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).
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.
With its newly designed exterior, the new Mercedes GLK exudes a whole new level of on the-road poise and confidence. After all, it is a fusion of the classic styling elements of a functional all-terrain vehicle and design language of current Mercedes models. For instance, the all-terrain attributes of the new GLK includes its upright front end, short overhangs, slender roof pillars, taut roof line and a steep windscreen. These design attributes were harmonized with the typical design cues of existing Mercedes models like expansive surfaces, stringent lines as well as smooth-surfaced front and rear areas.
As penned, the design of the body of the new GLK wasn’t meant to achieve style. Instead, the body design of the new GLK integrated the attributes of all-terrain vehicles (ATV). These ATV-specific features include considerable approach and departure angles as well as ground clearance – thereby allowing the GLK to go off the road any time. However, the GLK’s neat body and all-round visibility allows it to be suitable for daily drives.
All GLK models are provided with LED daytime driving lights in a chrome clasp, as located below the newly designed headlights that reinterpret the signature Mercedes lamp design. The base model is provided with reflection-type headlamps that come with a chrome torch feature spanning two reflectors.
For GLK models with the Intelligent Light System (ILS), the bi-xenon headlamp serves as the projection unit, a reflector and the torch. These models also feature LED fiber-optic cables for the position light as well as LED turn signal indicators. These headlights flank the radiator grille with the centrally positioned Mercedes star and two slats, which are finished in silver although chrome inserts are optional.
New Mercedes-Benz GLK comes with newly designed roof rails that match the SUV’s new design idiom. Its polished gallery bar – sitting on black plastic supports – provides the GLK an elegant line. This new design has allowed the roof rail to weigh significantly lighter than in the previous models. A lighter roof area is considered to have a more significant effect on driving dynamics than similar weight reduction in other areas of a vehicle.