Manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. MSRP at launch 51,900 USD
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 Review
The Mercedes-Benz GLK is a compact SUV that fills in the gap between the M-Class and the GL-Class. The GLK is to the GL what the SLK is to the SL, a smaller, more personalized version of their elder siblings. Catering to the small suburban family, the GLK-Class has the diminutive size and odd-angled looks that keeps it distinct from every other SUV in this market segment.
The 2013 model sees some simple changes in the general body design, mainly brining it in line with the GL-Class. While the main grill remains similar, the headlamps have now been given a distinctly sculpted look, along with daytime running LEDs instead of fog lights. Behind the number plate we now have a chrome edged black mesh grill.
The GCC version of the GLK-350 comes with the exterior AMG package, and our tester also came with the optional 20-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke rims. The steel sidesteps certainly add to the look of the new GLK. From behind the lights have had a minor change in the interior design, while the AMG body kit adds silver diffuser base with chrome tips.
From the inside the new GLK is brought up to the levels of recent vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The steering wheel looks much better than the previous generation. The dial cluster sees some minor improvements with a high-res display panel in the central speedometer.
This is accompanied by the new navigation and entertainment system which is pretty reactive to touch, and can also be easily used from the main control knob just in front of the center armrest. Speaking of which, the central area where the gearbox used to be has a sliding door which reveals another small storage compartment. The actual gear is now a lever on the right of the steering wheel.
The brown and black leather interior felt sublime, yet retained the sharp German engineered feel to it. The rear seats don’t have much legroom, but I have to say the GLK feels extremely roomy on the inside. Add to this the panoramic sunroof and you have compact SUV that feels huge.
As the model name implies, our tester GLK 350 came with a 3.5-liter V6 producing a respectable 306hp and 370Nm torque that enough to push from 0 to 100kmph in 6.5 seconds. That’s very impressive for a compact SUV.
While driving the GLK 350 you’ll be absorbed in complete silence and a commanding view out of the windshield. The engine response is very confident while on the highway, with the ECO start/ stop mode working very precisely when you stop at the signals. It is a bit annoying during heavy traffic, though, as turning off the engine (automatically) for a split second or two can get annoying. Thankfully you can turn the mode off at the touch of a button.
Personally I don’t like the Americanization of the gear, where it’s now sitting behind the steering wheel as a diminutive lever. Furthermore, switching the Sports/ Manual/ Economy mode come through a button that’s located on the center console; not exactly convenient.
Another issue that I encountered was the fuel economy on the GLK 350, which was not as good as advertised. Mercedes-Benz rates the GLK 350 at a maximum of 8.6L/ 100km with mixed driving. Yet when I drove our tester unit for 251kms with an equal mix of urban and highway driving all the while being on the Eco mode, the trip computer showed 10.7L/ 100km. On its own, almost 11L/ 100km isn’t so bad for a V6, but with so much efficiency claimed by Mercedes-Benz for their 2013 models, this is certainly disappointing.
Ultimately the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 is an admittedly odd shaped compact SUV, but with the AMG body kit (which comes stock) it looks much smarter than competitors. Certainly the premium pricing is realized in typical Mercedes-Benz luxury, performance and comfort, although the fuel economy certainly has room for improvement.
Smart looks thanks to AMG body kit
Gear lever behind the steering wheel doesn’t feel engaging