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2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Overview
Packing a lot of posh onto its small-to-midsize frame, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class SUV heads into 2014 essentially unchanged after last year’s comprehensive rework. Once again, this princely down-sized ute again boasts seating for 5, as well as 54.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded, 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD) and turbodiesel power, while again toting the traditional assortment of luxury perks that have made the German automaker a legend.
Available in 2 engine-delineated trims, the entry-level GLK350 and the torque-toting GLK250 BlueTEC 4Matic, this classy coach is as at home on the commute as it is at the theater, and it doesn’t look entirely out of place towing a trailer or hanging at the building-supply lot. Further, the GLK350 can be delivered with traction-heavy AWD to become the GLK350 4Matic sub-trim. Meanwhile, the ruggedly handsome profile adorning this semi-slab-sided symbol of success still shouts “sport ute” louder than most of the pretenders in its segment.
Base power for the GLK350 and its GLK350 4Matic stablemate comes from a variable-valve-timed (VVT), direct-injected (DI) 3.5-liter V6 engine that remains under the management of a finely wrought 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission. This combo throws out 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, and sports auto engine stop-start technology to gain mileage estimates of 19 mpg city/25 highway in its standard rear-wheel-drive (RWD) form and 19/24 in the 4Matic. Alas, as is common for this high-end hauler, M-B recommends burning only premium gasoline.
Concerned about fuel efficiency? The GLK250 BlueTEC 4Matic comes with a 2.1-liter twin turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) diesel powerplant that again pairs with the 7-speed shiftable automatic for 200 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Boasting standard full-time AWD (4Matic) that tames corners while remaining ready to instantly transfer added power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip, front and rear, in slippery conditions, this turbodiesel-equipped ute is estimated to sip fuel at a 24/33 pace. Oh, and towing is maxed out at 3,500 pounds with either engine and, of course, with the proper equipment.
Each of the GLK-Class trims carries such standard appearance features as 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, rear spoiler and heated power-adjustable mirrors. Inside, look for leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, alloy and wood cabin accessories, a leather steering wheel mounting paddle shifters and dual-zone auto climate control. Again this pretty people-mover also boasts cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and an Mbrace2/Bluetooth communications interface, along with a 100-watt audio system flaunting a single-CD player bolstered by 6 speakers, a memory-card slot and a USB connection. M-B’s touted COMAND electronics interface, finally, allows voice-activated or touchscreen control of the various audio and communications functions via a 5.8-inch dashboard-mounted color display.
Options packages are expensive and somewhat restrictive, according to a number of reviewers. For example, a power liftgate, remote garage door opener, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio and memory for driver's settings are all included in the Premium 1 Package, while the Multimedia Package offers a rear-view camera and hard-drive-based navigation suite, each of which falls under the purview of the COMAND system. The AMG Package, meanwhile, offers 20-inch upgraded wheels and aluminum roof rails to the GLK350 and GLK350 4Matic, with the Full Leather Seating Package flaunting leather upholstery, upgraded head restraints and ambient interior lighting.
Standalone options do exist, however, in the form of available rear-seat DVD entertainment, the panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, and a Harman Kardon stereo system sporting 11 premium speakers.
Noteworthy standard safety features aboard each 2014 GLK-Class trim include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front head restraint whiplash protection, and front and rear head airbags. Further standard safety equipment delivered with this heady German-designed sport ute includes daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, Mbrace2 emergency communications services and a remote antitheft alarm.
Optional safety equipment offered to all trims, meantime, includes Mercedes’ well-wrought ParkTronic parking-assist technology, enhanced lane-departure and blind-spot warnings, radar-interfaced adaptive cruise control and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, each of which is available, unfortunately, only in package form.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.