By on January 3, 2013

We’re all familiar with the Mercedes-Benz GLK, from its new-for-2010-looks-like-2002 exterior to its “they want how much for this?” interior. But the fourth model year is MCE time. Mid-cycle, has Stuttgart enhanced its compact crossover enough that previous rejecters should reconsider it?

This being an MCE, the “aimed for G-Wagen, hit late-model Forester” metal hasn’t changed. More Volvo than any post-Horbury Volvo, it remains the yang to the Audi Q5’s yin. New light assemblies and fascias address an LED deficit (and then some) while taking the box they append uptown.

Mercedes got the message that many people (or at least many reviewers) found the original GLK interior overly basic, to put it kindly.

The revised interior has more soft surfaces and looks more worthy of a price north of forty. Plain, hard-edged black plastic surfaces are out, displaced by some subtle curves (though the basic forms remain blocky), additional wood trim, and many not-so-subtle chrome bits. The new white-ringed instrument faces are classier. Unless it’s dusk, when the main thing you’ll notice is how hard it is to read silver digits on a white background.

Before you get carried away by visions of opulence, realize that the seat cushions remain flat and firm. Rear legroom also hasn’t changed, and so remains short of the segment average. A six-footer will fit behind a six-footer even if they’re wearing tall hats, but shins will be grazed. If you need more space, a dealer will happily show you something in a larger size.

The GLK brochure proclaims the “SUV embodiment of a sport sedan’s soul.” From the start, the fundamentals have been present: a big V6, nearly balanced weight distribution, and 19-inch wheels shod with low-profile rubber, all as standard equipment. For 2013, the V6 receives direct injection and a power bump from 268 to 302. Lay into it, and the GLK350 will scoot, but the powertrain’s initial response isn’t snappy as engine remains paired with an aging (if updated) seven-speed automatic. The newly offered (and standard) shift paddles don’t help. Add in the need to hit a button on the console to activate them (the P-R-N-D shifter is column-mounted), and they might as well sign up for unemployment.

The 2013 GLK’s retuned suspension feels tighter than I recall from the one one I drove two years ago. Body control is up while lean in hard turns is down. The steering, now electric-assist, contains less slop than the previous hydraulic unit while providing a similarly low level of feedback. Drive the GLK the way such vehicles are typically driven, and it behaves well, with the ride quality and quietness people expect from a premium brand and the evident solidity people expect from a Mercedes. Push the ute, though, and you’ll discover limited grip as the outside front Latitude Tour HP scrubs and a non-defeatable, far-from-transparent stability control system jerks your chain. If you’re looking for fun, you’re much more likely to find it in the competing Audi, BMW, Infiniti, or Volvo.

Fuel economy has also been enhanced. In addition to direct injection and electric-assist steering, the GLK350 has gained an automatic start/stop system. Unlike Munich’s contraption, which produces shudders unbecoming any machinery this side of a Tata Nano, Stuttgart’s operates almost imperceptibly. The EPA ratings of 19 mpg city, 24 highway might seem less than impressive, but they’re considerably better than last year’s 16/21! (Unlike with an Audi Q5 or BMW X3, but like the Infiniti EX37, you can get rear-wheel-drive. The EPA highway figure is then 25.)

Like Toyota’s hybrids, the updated GLK grades your driving. The grades are more precise than in a lowly Prius c—out of 100 rather than on a five-point scale—yet they are considerably less helpful. In a Prius c, the grades are for the current accelerate-cruise-brake cycle. In the Mercedes, they’re for the entire period since the car was started or the system was manually reset. Consequently, the link between what you do and the grade you receive is far less intuitive. You start out with a 50. From there, it’s easy to sink your score into the teens, and surprisingly difficult to nudge it over 80. On one suburban drive I managed a 98 with a feather-light foot and a sharp eye for anything that might require the brakes. The trip computer reported 28 mpg. When paying less attention to my driving, but still driving far from aggressively, the trip computer reported a score in the 40s and about 21 mpg. If your foot is at all heavy you won’t observe north of 20 in the suburbs, with 16-17 a very real possibility. Require better fuel economy? A GLK250 BlueTec powered by a 190-horsepower, 2.1-liter diesel arrives next spring.

Of course, most people don’t buy Mercedes for how they handle or how far they go on a gallon. What likely matters most—beyond the three-pointed star—is the amount of technology packed into the vehicle, and especially that focused on safety. To remind you of the priority the GLK puts on your well-being, the front seat belts are given a very firm tug each time you start the car.

Every redesigned or refreshed Mercedes beginning with the 2010 E-Class has received a drowsiness monitor as standard equipment. The system works entirely by evaluating the frequency and amplitude of steering corrections. So, if you are not aware that you’re falling asleep, a “coffee cup” icon below the speedometer will inform you.

Blind spot and lane departure warnings are available in passive and active forms. In “active,” the system doesn’t only warn you via a large graphic between the tach and speedometer. It also selectively blips the brakes and tugs the wheel to help get the car back where it’s supposed to be. I found the blind spot system helpful, perhaps because the warning light in the mirror alone was sufficient and I never tripped the “active” level. The lane departure system, on the other hand, proved a PITA. Touch the lane marker (quite easy to do with the one on the blind side) and you’d think death was imminent from the strength of the system’s reaction. To be fair to Mercedes, I haven’t yet encountered a lane departure system that wasn’t a nuisance. This one was only the most intrusive of the bunch.

The optional adaptive cruise control impresses, even in traffic. On some of my trips around town I let the GLK do most of the driving. (The car gave its own driving style a grade of 46%.) Even if it’s not on, the Distronic system will sound a warning if you approach the car ahead too quickly. If you don’t react, it will attempt to stop the car itself. In a major ergonomic revolution (for Mercedes, at least), the turn signal and cruise control stalk have swapped positions. I made it through the entire week without setting the vehicle speed in an attempt to signal.

The GLK is also now able to steer itself into a parallel parking space. Unfortunately, life in the burbs provided no opportunity to test this system.

The Lighting Package now includes, in addition to steering-linked xenon headlamps, “adaptive highbeam assist.” Theoretically, this means that the car determines the appropriate and safe amount of forward lighting, and automatically provides it. In practice, it meant I had to switch the lamps out of “auto” to get the high beams. In “auto,” the car almost always rescinds your request for the brights the moment you release the stalk.

On the infotainment front, the GLK can now connect you to news, Google search, Yelp, Facebook and (when parked) the entire Internet for $14 a month on top of the $280/year basic “mbrace” telematics fee. Yes, it all costs money. Load up a GLK350, and the price jumps from $39,995 to the tested car’s $55,015. Even at this price the tested GLK lacked proximity key ($650), premium audio ($810), an Appearance Package (20s, shiny roof rails), and an AMG Styling Package that includes the previous and adds more aggressively styled fascias and wheels ($1,990). For the sake of comparison, let’s add the first two options, yielding an MSRP of $56,475.

This only seems like too much money for a compact SUV until you compare the competition. A loaded BMW X3 xDrive35i lists for $620 more—and running both through TrueDelta’s Car Price Comparison Tool finds that over $3,000 of the stuff on the Benz isn’t available on the BMW. Adjust for this, and the BMW is $3,700 higher. An Audi Q5 3.0T lists for a scant $45 more. But back in the 1990s, the idea of an Audi costing even a dime more than a Mercedes would have been written off as just another one of Piech’s insane ambitions. After adjusting for feature differences the Audi is $500 more. Of course, if you’re willing to go non-German, an Infiniti EX37 or a Volvo XC60 is about $3,000 less. Or, if you don’t need 300+ horsepower, the 240-horsepower X3 xDrive28i is about $1,200 less than the GLK while the 211-horsepower Q5 2.0T (not available with some of the 3.0T’s pricey options) undercuts a similarly decontented Mercedes by about $4,000.

Which leaves us where? Those who liked the GLK’s exterior before will like it more now. Those who didn’t like it before most likely still won’t, unless their issue was insufficiently fancy lights. Performance and handling have both improved, but not by enough to win over driving enthusiasts. The array of available technology could impress some people. Competitors offer many of the same features, but the GLK could have the most in the class, at least for now. Most of all, though, the dramatically upgraded interior could warrant another look. When you think of how people actually use this class of vehicle, an upscale look and feel matters a great deal, and the 2013 GLK is a much more credible luxury vehicle than the 2012 was.

Mercedes-Benz provided a GLK350 with insurance and a tank of gas.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online provider of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.

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79 Comments on “Review: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350...”


  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Is the COMAND system new? It looks like the graphics have been revised since 2012. Is it any better than before (and more of a match for iDrive and MMI) or just prettier?

    • 0 avatar

      It has definitely been revised, but I’ve never spent enough time with the earlier version to be able to compare the two. I didn’t find the graphics especially pretty. Not unattractive, just basic, in grayscale with a few red highlights.

      Most things were fairly easy to adjust once I got the hang of first toggling to the correct menu. There’s a primary menu at the top of the screen and a secondary menu driven by the first at the bottom of the screen. So top, then bottom, then middle. With the Audi and BMW systems buttons are provided around the control knob to select the primary area, which avoids some toggling, scrolling, and clicking. The other systems also seem to make in a larger number of minor functions, though I didn’t count them up to confirm this.

      Climate control is still entirely handled but conventional controls. Not that this is a bad thing!

  • avatar
    glwillia

    Am I the only person who likes the cruise control stalk where it traditionally was on Mercedes? If I went from my W124 to a new MB I’d be hitting the cruise control stalk instead of signaling for a solid week.

    • 0 avatar
      F_Porsche

      +1. I have been driving MBs since I am 18 and only ever got confused when driving a BMW or Audi. It probably only was a problem for newbies and not when you were accustomed to it.

    • 0 avatar
      genuineleather

      +1000

      You can’t read a review of any Mercedes product without them mentioning the cruise control stalk. I like the traditional MB location, and owners were fine with it for decades.

      Having always driven a Mercedes, I found the wonky stalk a charming idiosyncrasy rather than a nuisance.

  • avatar
    cwallace

    MCE stands for “Mid-Cycle Ehr-r-refresh”, I guess?

    • 0 avatar

      E = enhancement. I tried to play on this in the following sentence. “Refresh,” at least in my mind, refers to styling, while “enhancement” includes all changes. “MCE” was the term used inside GM when I performed my research there. Maybe only GM?

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    This screams Sebring/200 style refresh to me. The old dash set up looks better to me as well. Too much going on with the new layout. Updating for the sake of updating defeats the purpose here.

  • avatar
    jz78817

    an “aging” seven-speed auto?

    I’m getting old.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    MCE? I thought it was MCR, or MCU. And I couldn’t decide then.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Every time I see a GLK (which is occasionally, 3-4x a month) I think it’s a 1st-gen Highlander until I really take a second look.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    That little teacup is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in a speedometer.

  • avatar
    carguy

    When looking at German SUVs I always get the impression that the manufactures really neither love nor understand them and consequently reserve their best talent for other projects.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    I’m sure that there are thousands of women with fake everything who desire one of these and haven’t worked a day in their lives to pay off the 55k sticker (that’s something for “daddy” to worry about).

    I see a boxy, ugly wagon with big rims. The interior looks OK–much better than most Bama Benzes with their GM-quality interior bits.

    I’m sure the tennis skirt wearing crowd will make these fly off of the lots.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Very sexist…but probably very accurate.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Don’t really understand the need for the sexist parts of the comment. For every daddy-purchased GLK, there are probably 5 realtor-purchased ones. Well, leased probably, in both cases.

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        I’m sorry that there are women who acquired wealth through their looks by marrying men who are more than willing to spend mountains of dough on them and the surgeries necessary to keep up that appearance. Society has not progressed to the point that we have abandoned our base human nature.

        The GLK is a rich woman’s fashion accessory, like the 1000 dollar purse.

        Of men in my earning bracket, I am one of the few fortunate enough to have a wife who doesn’t see me as an ATM.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Not sure where you live, but that doesn’t seem like an accurate description of the GLK buyers I’ve seen. Also, where I live, there are plenty of women who are married to high earning men and don’t see them as an ATM, like my wife. Many of them also have significant earning capacity and buy their own cars, see my wife again. Get out more.

        As for whether these cars are “feminized” or “emasculating,” as 28-Cars-Later says, who cares? The way I see it, every one of these that sells subsidizes a car I might consider buying. Lot of cranky jealous people on this site.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’ll give Mercedes this: they put an attractive interior in it… but I think you’re spot on FJ60, and I’m lobbying for permission to carjack and beat men GTA style who buy this junk as their personal DD.

      The automotive business we all have an affinity for is being deliberately feminized and the smart brands are cashing in on emasculating the rest of us. For every Corvette there are at least ten sissy rides like this being sold. How is this progress?

      • 0 avatar
        mcc.pj

        Yes, how dare business market to 50.8% of the population…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Like alot of things, there is reasonable and there is too far. Turning 80%-90% of every model offered into a chick ride is going too far.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        I’ve always thought that comments such as these, in this forum or any other, say more about the commenter than the comment itself.

        I’ve never felt personally emasculated or feminized by anything any car company has ever done. What is it about you and your sense of self, identity and manhood that feels by a car that someone else is driving?

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “BMW X3 Difference Event”? Ouch.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Michael, thanks for the good review. However, when you have photos comparing old models vs. new it would be helpful if there were captions underneath identifying which is which. From the text it was not really clear which interior or front grill image was the old model and which was the new.

  • avatar
    Spanish Inquisition

    I don’t think this will surprise anybody to see this list, but here’s a list of items in the old cabin that appears to be in common with early W204 C-classes:
    Sport steering wheel, driver’s side window and mirror controls, center console armrest, storage unit, shifter, ashtray (actually an ashtray), climate control, radio controls, seat controls, dash gauges. And if I’m not mistaken, the seats.

    No other Mercedes, I believe, ever had that level of interior parts commonality at that time. I find that interesting.

    Seems like the new one’s only taking the climate control, steering wheel, window and mirror controls, and radio controls, which seem to be shared across most platforms anyways.

    I like the move of the shifter to the column, S-class/MB truck style. No need to take up all that space with an automatic.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I used to wonder how MB (and BMW) could bring themselves to build crap like this. Now, I wonder how they bring themselves to build anything good at all. This is the Hyundai Santa-Fe of Mercedes-Benz.

  • avatar
    vanwestcoaster

    $56,000 for a vehicle that to me has all the cachet of a ’92 Jeep Cherokee (but with a more garish dashboard) – I know I can’t afford one, and I’m clearly not among those who lust for one.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Does anybody know what the tea-cup is suposed to represent in the speedometer display? I’ve seen it in the new C’s display too.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Air vent discs look like something lifted from a 1953 Philco. And gauges from a 1948 Hallicrafters.

  • avatar
    SV

    The facelift really was a big improvement. The face is nice now, though the body is still awkwardly, self-conciously truckish. Losing the 80s-chic style inside (or at least as much as is possible without a full redo) is a welcome improvement.

    Overall, it looks more appropriate for its price point, but in this segment I’d still go for the Q5.

  • avatar
    Power6

    Boy I must be getting old this looks like a great way to blow 55k on complete and utter crap.

    I’m sure it has to be me, but people are still buying these things. I live in a fairly affluent area which warps my view i am sure, we can comfortably afford our modest house and two paid for older cars. Those people have to be doing sooo much better than we are to drop this kind of money on cars and I thought we do pretty good! Are there enough of those people to keep the market awash with all these 50k compact SUVs? This can’t possibly be “oh everyone leases” or “they are just pretending to be rich” these people have giant houses with plenty of equity and they aren’t going bankrupt.

    Maybe the sticker price isn’t all there is to it if you lease/trade every couple of years, maybe the ones with the greater means have it right?

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “This can’t possibly be “oh everyone leases” or “they are just pretending to be rich” these people have giant houses with plenty of equity and they aren’t going bankrupt.”

      Why can’t it? A lot of people with high income are also big spenders and never save anything. No guarantee that they have plenty of equity — plenty of house-poor out there, even among higher income circles.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        Its public information, house prices, mortgage amounts down payments etc. I don’t have time to look up my whole town but I could pick any house with 100k worth of cars out front and they are likely doing fine, could be very house poor as you say, but not house poor enough to drive old cars.

        It has to be warped view living among the “upper middle class” not all 1%-ers here but close.

        I just have trouble wrapping my head around the money that is wasted on over 50k vehicles and where does it come from the market seems so flooded with models I guess I’d need to look at some data to understand. Average price is 30k for a new car I think.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Exactly, for many its all a house of cards. This car as tested was $55,015… 55 THOUSAND US dollars for a CAR, and a tiny one of limited use at that. To comfortably afford (key words) that, you should be in the $150K+ range, top ten percent of income earners start at taxable $113K IIRC, that’s who can afford this thing.

        When I had a car payment last, it was $288, and it was at the time I believe 11% of my net monthly income, roughly 15% if you factored in insurance on it and my old beater @ $100/month. If somehow there were no rent involved, I could have swung the $600+ payment of one of these, but after rent, car, and misc bills, 50% was gone ya know, and that’s before gas money and fun. Heck student stealing loans alone are $240 (and still are).

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        I am in in that bracket and my wife does pretty well too! I couldn’t possibly imagine getting into that sort of vehicle. We bought a house this year, baby on the way etc. and we save for retirement. I can’t see the day when we would ever be so comfortable: kids college paid for, retirements fully funded etc. to where we would say 50k is a good budget for a car.

        I wonder if I see one of these driving around if I could take a look at the financials of the owners, would I be like “holy crap you shouldn’t be driving this” or “damn you are doing alright” heh.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ah Power6 you bring up very good points on the expenses of retirement and children, not even on my radar so I can’t even relate.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        If I didn’t have those expenses… GT-R time baby!!

        I do have a number of friends that will eventually inherit enough to live in retirement, some enough to pay for kids college too, so I can see they will eventually have enough extra money the 50k car makes sense…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Personally for $50K ‘cash money’ I want something far more exclusive. If I am in a very comfortable position, I’d buy a used snoozemobile DD and something tasteful with the rest, perhaps a restored classic Mercedes in place of the Gotta Look Kardashian.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        True it is more of a general sentiment, I could buy a lot of cool things with 50k maybe it is better off I don’t have that kinda free cash.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This is less “post-Horbury Volvo” and more “Chrysler-badged Dodge Nitro”, far more tacky than fancy and the rear leg room is just idiotic for something that costs $50k.

    As for a sports sedan “soul” (Give me a break), well what merits are there to an SUV-thing compared to a sports sedan?

  • avatar
    jacad

    Wow, there sure are a number of envious folks on here. Calling the car a “piece of crap” and questioning the sanity of those who spend $50,000 plus on a car does not serve one well.

    I have a ’13 and have now driven it 3,000 miles. I noticed it while buying my wife an E350 and found it to be the ideal size for around town carrying the various packages one accumulates and the golf clubs for me and my buddies. Yet, I can easily park it and turn it around without needing a football field.

    It is very comfortable for the driver, relatively quick, and handles well enough as long as you don’t take it to Track Day. Best of all, it is far easier to get in and out of daily than the DB9.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I think you take it the wrong way. There will always be some sort of “wouldn’t it be nice” that is just the way we humans are. I guess that is why one might buy any luxury good though to let everyone know that you do have the cash, I notice you made sure to mention “while buying my wife an E350″ and also your Aston, there is some undeniable human behavior on all sides, so lets cut the bull this is TTAC.

      “Crap” is a bit of hyperbole there, if I had the 50k to spend on a vehicle the GLK is as good as any, it was a thought about the expense of cars in general not really about the vehicle.

      I understand you are have the money, why not have it? I am just surprised there are so many of you out there jacad, to support all the options! Can you tell do you see 50k as good value, or more like “hey i have the money why not” and do you lease, finance, or pay cash?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “As I take my Amex Black from my Louis Vuitton wallet, the dealer eyed with jealousy. My wife’s Hermez bag spilled open onto the table, revealing the valet key to the Aston Martin DB9 with ceramic brake package.”

        Something like that perhaps ;)

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I think the new redesign is heavy handed and UGLY! It’s lost all of the original’s elegance, which wasn’t a lot to begin with. Newer mercedes’ design all seem to be heavy handed and thus not elegant or long lasting. Who was their head of design? Is he a juvenile? They should fire whatever that is, before he does the brand lasting damage.

  • avatar
    micronstudent

    Excellent review! As an owner of 2013 GLK, I have some observations to share.
    1. Speedometer is terrible. Seriously, I cannot tell if I am going 35 or 40 mph. Using the digital speedometer prevents track changing in the radio. Bummer
    2. The rear view camera is a joke. Not clear enough nor wide enough to provide a good safe view. Sadly you must buy the equally inept Navigation sys to get this $10 camera. Bummer
    3. The side mirror do not fold down when in reverse. Eh, but my old 3er had this feature, why not this?
    4. The coffee thingy does not work. It only prompts when driven for more than 2 hours continuously, not when I was really drowsy.
    5. The lane change vibration thingy is just that. A vibration thingy.
    6. The auto high beam always thinks street lamps are oncoming vehicles. Bummer
    7. To change the HVAC setting, I have to look away from the road and look down. Incredibly unsafe while driving.
    8. The wipers have a mind of their own, no matter what auto setting they are set to. And they are squeaky as well.
    9. The Beige MBTex is now light blue, thanks to my cheap Levis.
    10. There is eye liner on the headlights, chrome lipstick on the AMG packaged GLK, and weird Egyptian God’s eyes on the taillights. Yes you have to see this thing at night to awe at this monstrosity.
    Amazingly, one month after buying mine, a neighbor buys the same car, go figure.

    • 0 avatar

      The HVAC controls are mounted very low. This wouldn’t be as bad if they were tilted up towards the driver, to make them easier to see, but they aren’t.

      On #6, the auto high beam control might not think the street lights are oncoming vehicles. Instead, it might just assume that, since the road is lit, you don’t need the high beams, even if you think you do. As mentioned in the review, the system wouldn’t turn on the high beams in my neighborhood.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    I can’t understand all the hate expressed for this solid little trucklet. It is very safe, handles very well and is relatively efficient. The update handled most of the niggles encountered by the first gen which was a little too stark and utilitarian and not befitting of it’s 40k price tag. It is now a true. Luxury SUV. Coming soon will be the 2.1l turbo-diesel which will be very popular. As for the looks some like and some hate but it stands out compared to all the soap bar SUV’s out there. We sell a lot of them, not to gold diggers but mostly to independent women from recent college grads to grannies.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    No need to get pissy over a difference of opinion. And for your information I am a proud Mercedes-Benz sales consultant. What about you…..still living in your mother’s basement?

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I like the “no need to get pissy, now let me get pissy” response, perhaps one has recently emerged from your parents basement? That is usually how it goes.

      Typically the sales consultants of a brand are not all that objective. Would you care to offer the reasons why your prospects might buy the other brands? I think many feel the styling is not that great, the price is high and the Audi Q5 or the BMW X3 is the better product in this space.

      If I ever sold cars I’d want to sell for a brand like Benz I think, loyal customers, not a big emphasis on grinding out the price, maybe better commissions?

      • 0 avatar
        cdnsfan27

        I will admit to not being totally objective, after all I do sell Benzes. I do get a lot of trades and I do drive them all to compare. Audi’s and BMW’s are fine vehicles and are comparable when new to Benzes but they do not age as well. A 4 year old Audi looks and feels older than a 4 year old Benz and our reconditioning costs are much higher. A 4 year old BMW is fine, still drives well and has reasonable reconditioning costs but compared to my mid-80’s 3 series I find them fussy with a bad dash layout with buttons haphazardly scattered and a high dash that feels claustrophobic. I just like the look and feel of the Benzes better.

        I wish that we could sell Benzes for high gross but MB has held the line on pricing for the last 10 years. You can buy an E-Class for the same price now as you could 8 years ago. Some is as a result of manufacturing efficiencies but most comes from a lower gross. Combine that we the fact that there are four dealerships in the Tampa Bay Area and as a result we get a lot of minis. The only vehicles selling at near list are the SL and GL. Still I enjoy what I do and have a lot of repeats and referrals.

        Sorry for the previous pissy comment but I get tired of comments on this site by people who do not know, have not owned or even driven the product but pass themselves off as experts.

    • 0 avatar

      I figured you had to be one of three, by the manner of your wording.

  • avatar
    amca

    I rented one of these recently. In Oregon, where windshield wipers are really important. And the multi-function wiper stalk on the GLK is so effectively completely and totally hidden from view by the left steering wheel spoke that I couldn’t for the life of me see what setting I had. Particularly annoying when the sometimes inexplicable behavior of the rain sensor had the wipers doing unpredictable things.

    It was so bad as to almost qualify as dangerous.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Wow lots of little bitter men around here, no surprise given that this is an “enthusiast” website. How about this, little men, go out there after cleaning burger slop from your third chin and find a nice smallish station wagon that compares to this. BMW? nope. Audi? come on, that’s just garbage. How about a loaded Crosstour? Now you’re talking – expensive, non-efficient, and hideous to boot! Look around, when a 3-series wagon is pushing $39K, when a 4-door truck is pushing $40K this GLK makes sense. It won’t sell well because the M-class is million times better but that’s something for MB to worry about.

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      It is a good little truck and we sell a lot of them. With the P1 and Becker Map Pilot they sell in the high 30’s. not everyone can afford a mid-50’s ML. Sold one Saturday to an older lady who was thrilled with her first Benz. Remember that 80% of all new Benzes are leased and you can get a GLK for $399 a month with 5K down.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m no salesman, but am a Benz fan from way back and I’ll admit I’m a tightwad… but to me $5K I’ll never see again and $399/mo doesn’t scream deal to me for the Gotta Look Kardashian. I think the chief the benefit here is the Mercedes experience with optional snob appeal and later perhaps the availability of turbo diesel. My other thought on these besides being a fashion accessory, GLK is obvious small child hauler, that backseat looks almost engineered for a car seat. Trouble with that is, experience and common sense have taught me small children destroy car interiors, do you really want to pony up quite a bit for something you know is going to go through the paces so to speak.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        This looks about the size of a RAV4 if I am right? Really can’t make an argument about practicality with this one, you buy it because you want it or you want the brand, and justify it on blog commentary later.

  • avatar
    Richard

    I’m always amazed by how the Lexus RX is never mentioned when there is anything written about the X3, GLX ,Q5 etc. Are their HOOD ORNAMENTS that powerful to completly ignore the originator and totally dominant player in the crossover segment. These vehicles are so easy to sell against when someone is comparing them to the RX350. The Lexus is larger,better equipped,more reliable, better resale,safer and less money than any of the Germans. The only vehicle that is tough to compete with on the showroom floor is the MDX.
    How all the “Experts and Pundants” can ignore it is beyond my comprehension,and it makes me wonder why I even bother reading all the magazines and online articles or videos that are out there.Once I deliver a Lexus product to a diehard German car owner they very rarely look back. I guess these are the people that are secure enough in them- selves to pull up tp the parking valet in a Lexus. Thats really the bottom line,and my own personel take on the whole thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I think there is a product difference, the X3/Q5/GLK being the sports sedan in small SUV/CUV/whatever shape. The RX is more traditional SUV.

      Probably the type of person that is into nice ride, trouble free ownership, gravitates toward the RX or MDX, not nearly as fashionable as the German options.

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      Different vehicles with a different customer base. We applaud your customer service, are emulating it and are trying to beat your standard. But from driving the Lexi traded in to our dealership I see great differences with MB. Lexus vehicles for the most part are reliable and packed with features but do not have the solidity of a Benz or the driving dynamics.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t and wouldn’t compare the RX to the GLK/X3/Q5 for a reason you mention: it’s larger, about the size of the ML.

  • avatar
    Richard

    Well said. Good luck selling in ’13

  • avatar
    johnhash

    Thanks For sharing informational article..

    I have a c300 and I am looking for a site that sells mercedes benz brand parts? I am looking for brakes and rotors.

    finally I found one site. The best quality parts are from your nearest Mercedes-Benz dealer, of course. If you want.

    to save some money, http://MBZPARTS.com is by FAR the best for OEM parts — that is, parts made by the same.

    manufacturer who makes it for Daimler.

    That said, are you looking for some kind of “upgrade”, or if you do honestly need new parts, get here. They cost much less than the dealer part and are better.


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