Mercedes-Benz will start selling the diesel-powered GLK250 BlueTec compact crossover in the United States on April 30, 2013. The GLK250 is powered by an all-aluminum 2.1-liter twin-turbo diesel that will also replace a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel in the restyled E-class sedan in September. The four-cylinder diesel engine will also power the redesigned C-class sedan in 2015.
Mercedes last offered a four-cylinder diesel in the US in 1985, in the persona of the 2.2-liter 190D. The GLK250 will be the fifth diesel-powered model in the Mercedes-Benz USA lineup after the E-class and S-class sedans and the ML and GL crossovers.
Mercedes executives disclosed that three bigger vehicles -- S-class sedan and the ML and GL crossovers -- are unlikely to be powered by the four-cylinder diesel.
According to Bart Herring, head of product management for Mercedes-Benz USA, the GLK250 BlueTec engine returns a 20 to 30-percent better fuel economy than a gasoline-powered GLK, receiving ratings of 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The GLK350 awd powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine has fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city and 24 highway.
The GLK250’s diesel engine provides up to 200 hp of output and 369 pounds-feet of torque, and is paired with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Mercedes expects the GLK250’s sales penetration to be similar to those of the diesel versions of the ML (14 percent) and GL (25 percent).
The GLK250 BlueTec compact crossover has a starting price of $39,459 with shipping, just $536 more than the six-cylinder GLK350 with awd. Mercedes-Benz will offer the GLK diesel only with standard all-wheel drive since around 65 percent of its crossover buyers pick that transmission. In 2012, Mercedes-Benz sold 29,364 GLKs in the US.