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#9

in Luxury Compact SUVs

MSRP: $37,480 - $39,480
Invoice: $34,856 - $36,716
MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
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Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Performance

Reviewers write that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class delivers a car-like ride, but add that it isn't as comfortable as some rivals over broken roads. While some say that other compact SUVs offer sportier handling, they still like the way the GLK drives, noting that it’s composed around corners. Reviewers also like the ample power from the GLK350’s V6 engine, and the great fuel economy that the diesel-powered GLK250 gets.

  • "While the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK350's V6 delivers brisk acceleration that borders on exciting (at least by small crossover standards), the diesel engine is truly impressive for its combination of stout pulling power and compact-carlike fuel economy. Although the diesel can feel a bit flat-footed when you're pulling away from a stop, it soon hits its stride and is startlingly refined and silent." -- Edmunds
  • "The addition of the BlueTEC turbodiesel in the GLK250 offers another reason to seek out this baby Benz: class-leading fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The GLK's competitors, the Audi Q5, BMW X5 and Acura RDX, are all quite sporty. While the GLK does offer a carlike driving character, it isn't as agile as its rivals." -- MSN (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 comes with a turbodiesel 2.1-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower, while GLK350 models have a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 302 horsepower. Both engines are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The diesel-powered GLK250 is rated at 24/33 mpg, which is excellent for the class, while the GLK350 earns up to an EPA-estimated 19/26 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low for the class.

Reviewers say the GLK350 has plenty of power for merging onto highways and passing maneuvers. Some reviewers say the GLK250 feels a bit slower, though others write that its ample torque helps deliver strong acceleration, and most appreciate its great fuel economy. Test drivers add that the seven-speed transmission is responsive and shifts smoothly.

  • "The 2014 GLK350 has a stout, 302-horsepower V6 that moves this tidily sized crossover with distinct authority, while the efficiency-oriented GLK250 Bluetec uses a 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel. The GLK250 is quite a bit slower than the GLK350, but the diesel's stellar fuel economy largely atones for that." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite its rather diminutive size, the diesel engine's 369 lb-ft of torque translates into a quick burst of speed whenever needed. The 7-speed automatic transmission provides silky-smooth gear changes along with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual-style shifting." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The power boost for the V6 for the new model year is evident in the effortless launches onto open roads and the eagerness with which the rig takes off from a standstill." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "The seven-speed offers a sport mode that holds gears longer and quickens response time when accelerating. Steering column-mounted paddle shifters allow for more control over shift points." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 GLK350 comes with rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, while the diesel-powered GLK250 comes with all-wheel drive as standard equipment. Reviewers say the GLK has decent handling, with well-controlled body motions through turns and a generally comfortable ride. However, some auto journalists mention that GLKs fitted with the optional AMG suspension and larger wheels ride more harshly, and note that the Lexus RX or Acura RDX may be better choices if ride comfort is the highest priority. Test drivers say the GLK’s brakes have plenty of bite and that the steering is accurate and well-weighted.

  • "A well-balanced chassis and taut suspension are hallmarks of a great driving car, and the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK has the formula down pat. At freeway speeds, the GLK glides calmly over expansion joints and uneven road surfaces, never losing its composure. When the road changes to twists and turns, the GLK's precise steering and big wheel/tire combo help it round curves with confidence." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Drive 100 yards down the road and you can't help but marvel at the feeling of solidity the GLK exhibits. The ride is mostly supple; although more severe bumps and ruts can be felt, the sharpness of the jolt is ably absorbed. Some consumers might find the ride quality too firm, but we think the GLK's crisp, controlled handling more than compensates. That said, the Acura RDX and Lexus RX are reasonable alternatives if you want a softer ride." -- Edmunds
  • "Its ride is smooth and handling is confident with the 19-inch wheel package, and the new electromechanical steering is accurate and nicely weighted." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "The tradeoff for a slightly bumpy ride is that GLK does offer good responsiveness when dodging potholes and minimal squat and dive when accelerating or braking at intersections." -- CNET (2013)
  • "The stiffer suspension and 20-inch wheels of the AMG versions added a more sporting feel, but didn't seem to improve handling quite as much as they degraded the ride. The brakes are strong with good pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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