With a new design, exclusive appointments, pioneering assistance systems and efficient and agile engines, the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class underscores its claim to leadership of the compact SUV market segment. The newly designed exterior lends this car full of character greater poise, combining the straight lines typical of all-terrain vehicles with the design idiom of the current Mercedes-Benz saloons.
High-quality materials, new interior appointments, fully revised trims and the new infotainment systems are all conducive to a truly delightful driving experience in the GLK. The 2013 GLK comes up trumps with a range of state-of-the-art assistance systems and comprehensive BlueEFFICIENCY measures such as the standard-fit ECO start/stop function. BlueTEC diesel emission control is available for the compact SUV for the first time, enabling compliance with the EU6 emissions standard. "In the GLK we have a dynamic lifestyle SUV offering a winning combination of intelligent technology and character in abundance," says Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of the Management Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing. "It will further bolster our SUV portfolio, making a vital contribution to Mercedes-Benz's global growth in this market segment."
The GLK offers outstanding driving dynamics, excellent driving safety and superlative ride comfort. In addition to the rear-wheel drive versions, the 4MATIC models with permanent all-wheel drive demonstrate an intrepid spirit even in the most adverse conditions - both on- and off-road. Like all SUV and all-terrain vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, the GLK is a thoroughbred, no-holds-barred off-road operator. Meanwhile, the forefather of all modern-day Mercedes-Benz SUVs which lent its name to the GLK - the G-Class - is now in its 33rd model year and is also undergoing a thorough facelift.
The exterior lends the GLK added poise. The body combines classic elements of all-terrain vehicles with the design idiom of the current Mercedes-Benz saloons. Stringent lines, expansive surfaces and the smooth-surfaced, volume-emphasizing front and rear areas harmonise with the hallmark GLK body features which are typical of functional all-terrain vehicles. These include short overhangs, the upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steep windscreen and the taut roof line. The body design is not a stylistic end in itself. Rather, it applies the advantages typical off all-terrain vehicles to the compact SUV class. Accomplished ATV-specific features such as approach and departure angle and ground clearance enable off-road ventures at any time. The neatly designed body and the good all-round visibility combined with the seat position enhance suitability for everyday use and provide for relaxed driving. There is no longer any differentiation between different types of bumpers with specific on-road and off-road packages. Beneath the newly designed headlamps, all models offer LED daytime driving lights in a chrome clasp as standard. The radiator grille with two slats and central star follows the design idiom of all current passenger car models. The slats are painted silver, with chrome inserts optional.
The headlamps embody a new interpretation of the signature Mercedes lamp design. On the basic model with reflection-type headlamps, a chrome torch feature spans the two reflectors. On models featuring the Intelligent Light System (ILS), the headlamp comprises the projection unit, a reflector and the torch with LED fibre-optic cables for the position light, above which the turn signal indicators consisting of individual LEDs are located. The roof rails in a totally new design are particularly striking in the side view. The rear bumper lends a bold, sporty character to the GLK's rear end with its width-emphasizing lines and delicate tail lights. The new-style underride guard - optionally in chrome - and the chrome-plated tailpipe trims which also come as standard catch the eye here. The tail lights have undergone a complete revamp in terms of both appearance and functions.
Fibre-optic cables and LEDs are also employed to provide the GLK's rear end with a unique and characteristic night design, the new licence plate LED lamp providing a finishing touch. As part of the model facelift, the designers have also developed new wheels in size 43.2 cm (17-inch), 48.3 cm (19-inch) and 50.8 cm (20-inch), which are available in various paint finishes or with a high-sheen finish. An aerodynamically optimised 43.2 cm (17-inch) wheel is available for the first time. The AMG Sports package for the GLK For GLK customers who appreciate sporty elegance a comprehensive AMG Exterior Sports package is available, boasting hallmark design features from the renowned customisation company. These include AMG front and rear apron, the specific radiator grille with two chrome slats, AMG LED daytime driving lights, 48.3 cm (19-inch) AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels and a sporty suspension setup.
The features are based on the extended Exterior Chrome package. GLK interior: even classier setting, high feel-good factor The newly designed Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class interior offers design, a quality feel and a choice of materials on a par with higher classes of vehicle. The interior designers at the Mercedes-Benz Design Studio in Sindelfingen have undertaken a complete makeover of the dashboard, for example: a wide trim in aluminium or optionally in wood spans the entire width of the dashboard. The new round vents and additional trim elements in silver shadow also catch the eye. A high-end colour display is optionally available for the instrument cluster. A three-spoke sports steering wheel, new upholstery colours and seat designs plus indirect ambient lighting featuring LED fibre-optic technology, which is available on the GLK for the first time, further enhance the feel-good atmosphere inside the car. The models with the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission are fitted with the DIRECT SELECT lever in ergonomically convenient position on the steering column tube. This frees up space in the centre console for a stowage compartment, which is provided with a precision-finished frame in silver shadow and can be closed by means of a retractable cover.
The Interior Sports package which was available for the predecessor model has been upgraded, with sports seats featuring in the GLK for the first time. Other components are the 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather, black sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with stitching in alpaca grey (alternatively real black leather upholstery), door centre panels in ARTICO man-made leather with diagonal stitching, shift lever in nappa leather with chrome surround and sports pedals in brushed stainless steel.
All models come as standard with a comprehensive range of equipment and appointments designed to optimise safety, comfort and agility for the occupants or to relieve the strain on the driver both on long trips and in urban traffic. The standard scope of interior appointments includes electrically adjustable front seats with height and backrest adjustment, a folding armrest for driver and front passenger with stowage compartment, a folding rear armrest with double cup holder and stowage compartment, THERMATIC 2-zone automatic climate control, 12 V sockets in the centre console and the luggage compartment, power windows all-round with one-touch control and automatic reversing function and a trip computer with current consumption indicator.
Rain sensor, Headlamp Assist, central locking with infrared radio remote control, cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC variable speed limiter (except for GLK 200/220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY) and outside temperature indicator still all feature as standard, as does green-tinted heat-insulating glass all-round, heated, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors in body colour with aspherically curved glass and integrated indicator and 43.2 cm (17-inch) 7-spoke light-alloy wheels.
The scope of individualisation options for the new GLK models covers virtually every conceivable wish, particularly with regard to the broad choice of metallic and non-metallic paints and the vast range of interior options. In all, there is a choice of ten metallic and non-metallic paints and two special paint finishes in diamond white BRIGHT metallic and luzonite grey.
The interior guarantees the hallmark congenial Mercedes atmosphere and can be appointed in a variety of styles ranging from sporty to classically elegant. The spectrum of single-tone interior options ranges from alpaca grey through various beige tones to black, while the available two-tone design leather finishes are black/corteccia, black/porcelain and black/light brown.
The G-Class is the longest-serving model series from Mercedes-Benz, and has been in production now for 33 years. Originally designed back in 1979 as a vehicle for tough off-road use, the G-Class has undergone an astounding evolutionary process. Over the course of 33 years, Mercedes-Benz has refined the initially functionally oriented off-road specialist, providing it with a high-class interior and on-road handling on a par with the Stuttgart-based automobile manufacturer's premium saloons. The G-Class is recognised here as the top model among the luxury off-road vehicles, also providing the gene pool for the other successful SUVs from the Mercedes-Benz brand. The G-Class has been voted off-roader of the year countless times over the past decades - most recently last year.
The R-Class is the model available in the largest number of different variants, its greatest merits being the exceptional comfort which it offers on long journeys and its highly variable interior with up to seven seats. The most successful Mercedes-Benz SUV, with sales topping 1,000,000, is the M-Class, which was premiered in 1997 and is regarded as the forerunner of all modern premium SUVs. The third generation was presented in 2011. It offers impressive performance both on- and off-road and has become established as a champion of efficiency: the ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC gets by on 6.0 litres of diesel per hundred kilometres (NEDC fuel consumption).
The beginning of 2012 marked another milestone for the SUV models from Mercedes-Benz. From the market launch of the G-Class 33 years ago until the end of 2011, over two million models were delivered to customers. The SUVs account for around one fifth of Mercedes-Benz's global sales. The USA is by far the largest market for the entire SUV family, including the M-Class, the GLK and the GL-Class. The second-largest market for off-road vehicles as a whole is China, followed by Germany. The G-Class off-road classics are the most popular choice on the domestic market in Germany, while the R-Class enjoys the strongest demand in China.