by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

The new Mercedes-Benz GLK 2012: The dynamism of a rock-solid character

Following the world premiere in April 2012, the new Mercedes-Benz GLK is displaying its full credentials on- and off-road. Its claim to leadership of the compact SUV segment is underscored by trailblazing assistance systems, engines matching efficiency with agility, a new design and an extended range of equipment and appointments.

The newly designed exterior lends the GLK added dynamism. The body combines classic elements of all-terrain vehicles with the design idiom of the current Mercedes-Benz models. 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 classic, functional all-terrain vehicles. Apart from the attendant benefits in off-road terrain, this design also offers concrete advantages in day-to-day use. The high seat position provides a commanding view of the traffic situation, with the body lines also designed for excellent visibility.

The designers at the Centre of Competence for Interiors have undertaken a thorough 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.

Clean machines: the GLK engine range

The range of engines provides for drive comfort and attractive performance in all GLK models in conjunction with low emissions and fuel consumption. In all, there is a choice of six diesel models and one petrol engine. The GLK 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC features a four-cylinder diesel engine generating 150 kW (204 hp) of power and 500 Newton metres of torque from a displacement of 2143 cc. Despite its formidable performance, this model is extremely frugal when it comes to fuel consumption: on average, the compression-ignition engine consumes 6.1 to 6.5 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (159 - 169 g CO2/km, NEDC combined mode).

The two rear-wheel-drive models GLK 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and GLK 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with six-speed manual transmission are even more fuel‑efficient. Both versions get by on 5.5 – 5.6 litres of diesel per hundred kilometres (143 - 147 g CO2/km, NEDC combined mode). The top performer among the diesel versions is the GLK 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY. Despite the 25 kW (35 hp) power increase, the top diesel model runs on around 17 percent less fuel, at 6.9 – 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres (179 - 183 g CO2/km, NEDC combined mode). The GLK 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY petrol-engine model featuring the trailblazing engineering of the leading generation of V-engines deploys BlueDIRECT technology to make its mark in terms of performance and fuel consumption.

The excellent fuel economy of all GLK models is underpinned by a comprehensive package of BlueEFFICIENCY measures as well as by this state-of-the-art engine technology. In addition to the ECO start/stop function that comes as standard, these measures include the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. Low-friction axle drives, electric steering and tyres with low rolling resistance also play their part in reducing fuel consumption.

Exemplary safety as standard

Assistance systems familiar from the S- and E-Class feature as standard to enable a further improvement in active safety and driver-fitness safety and take the compact SUV to the top of its market segment. Electric steering with STEER CONTROL, which supports the driver in unstable driving conditions by triggering an impulse which can be felt on the steering wheel, prompting countersteering by the driver in the correct direction, Brake Assist (BAS), which provides additional brake power when emergency braking is detected, and ADAPTIVE BRAKE featuring Hill-Start Assist, HOLD function, brake drying in the wet and priming of the brake system all support the driver. The high standard of active safety is ensured by the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system, the ESP® Electronic Stability Program with integrated trailer stabilisation and tyre pressure loss warning and, on the 4MATIC models, by permanent all-wheel drive and the 4ETS electronic traction system.

Optional equipment includes the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system and the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory safety system. Additional assistance systems, including active variants, are optionally available. One example here is Active Parking Assist, enabling automatic manoeuvring into and out of parking spaces. To facilitate manoeuvring when visibility is poor there is a backup camera with guide lines or – for the first time from Mercedes-Benz – a 360° camera. Additional systems are optionally available as individual items or in special packages. The Driving Assistance package Plus comprises DISTRONIC PLUS including BAS PLUS, PRE-SAFE® Brake, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. The Parking package combines the described 360° camera including Active Parking Assist and PARKTRONIC. The Lane Tracking package includes Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist. Another new development is the Offroad Engineering package in combination with the Intelligent Light System (ILS). Offroad Light is available here for trips in difficult terrain. Specific headlamp settings provide for better off-road orientation by more widespread illumination of the field of vision.

The revamped GLK-Class incorporates the integral safety concept in keeping with Mercedes-Benz's brand philosophy, which is based first and foremost on real accident scenarios. The GLK's highly robust occupant cell provides an effective basis for occupant protection in conjunction with the front and rear deformation zones. The GLK comes with numerous standard-fit items of equipment to protect its occupants. In addition to airbags, pelvisbags and sidebags for driver and front passenger, there are also windowbags for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers as well as a kneebag for the driver. The crash-responsive pedals and the crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints for driver and front passenger further bolster the level of protection. An active bonnet serves to reduce the risk of injury for the more vulnerable road users.

Attractive pricing beginning at € 36,235.50

The comprehensive range of equipment and appointments for the GLK includes details which are generally the reserve of higher classes of vehicle. With a total of seven model versions, the GLK-Class furthermore offers one of the most comprehensive model ranges in the compact SUV segment*:

- GLK 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: € 36,235.50

- GLK 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: € 38,377.50

- GLK 220 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: € 42,721.00

- GLK 220 BlueTEC 4MATIC: € 44,149.00

- GLK 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC: € 46,142.25

- GLK 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: € 49,742.00

- GLK 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: € 50,099.00

* Prices for the German market, incl. 19% VAT

Credits: Daimler AG

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