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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350

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MPG 19 City / 25 Highway
Pros
  • Quiet and refined interior
  • Smooth ride
  • Surprisingly sharp handling
Cons
  • Vague, disconnected steering feel
  • Cramped backseat
  • Inconvenient climate control placement
, Automotive Editor -
The most affordable SUV/Crossover that Mercedes-Benz offers, you can think of it as a C-Class Crossover.

Introduction

In 2010, Mercedes-Benz saw a glaring hole in its lineup in one of the fastest-growing segments in the U.S. market: the compact crossover SUV. With this huge hole being realized, Mercedes launched the 2010 GLK350 to fill the slot.

Coming into the 2013 model year, the GLK350 is still relatively young and is quickly becoming a popular model, mostly due to its low-for-a-Mercedes base MSRP of $37,090 and only an extra $2,000 for 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The 2013 model year brought about a boost for the models slouching V-6 engine, as it was bumped from 268 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque to 302 horsepower and 273 foot-pounds of torque.

Also boosted is fuel economy, which rises from 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway in 2012 to 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway in 2013. Power wasn’t all that changed, as Mercedes revamped the exterior with a bolder front grille, more detailed headlights and larger fender flares. On the inside, the 2013 GLK350 now features a revised dashboard with aluminum bezels surrounding the air vents and instruments, refine interior materials, and an all-new mocha leather color option.



The crossover SUV marketplace is loaded with options, but the luxury segment is a little less crowded. The first competitor for the GL350 is the 2013 Audi Q5, which starts out at $35,900 and comes with a 211-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine that gets 28 mpg highway, tows up to 4,400 pounds and features leather seating for five people. Next up is the 2013 BMW X3, which carries a base MSRP of $38,500, has a standard 2.0-liter engine that pumps out 240 horsepower, gets 28 mpg highway, carries up to five people on leatherette interior and tows up to 3,000 pounds. The final competitor is the 2013 Infiniti EX37, which comes with a base MSRP of $36,800, seating for up to five people on leather, a 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine and 25 mpg city.

Though the competition for the GLK350 is slim, it is still rather tough, so Mercedes needs to bring a lot to the table to prevent losing customers to BMW, Audi and Infiniti.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350
Starting price
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Base

Recommended for: Buyers that need a premium five-person SUV with a relatively low starting price

Under the hood of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Base sits a 3.5-liter direct-injected V-6 engine that pumps out 302 horsepower and hooks up to a seven-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. This combination allows for a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. On the outside, the GLK350 Base includes: electronic stability control, adaptive suspension and braking, chrome grille, side-window trim and dual exhaust tips, black roof rails, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lamps, tinted rear windows, ABS, and brake assist. On the inside, the GLK350 Base comes standard with: dual-zone climate control, eight-way power front seats, MB-Tex synthetic leather, six-speaker audio system with auxiliary input, USB port, Bluetooth pairing with audio stream and HD radio capabilities, 11 airbags, and burled-walnut trimming.

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