Mercedes reveals new GLK compact SUV

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 26, 2012

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Mercedes-Benz has upgraded its rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, but like its predecessor the new GLK SUV won't be coming to South Africa because of what seems very much like an engineering oversight.

A driveshaft for its four-wheel drive system intrudes on the passenger-side footwell of the left-hand drive model, reportedly making it unfeasible to engineer a right-hand drive version. Altering this, according to sources, would simply be too expensive, even if it meant being able to sell it in key RHD markets like the UK.

Mercedes-Benz says this problem will be sorted for the next-generation model, due in 2015, but for now South African's won't be able to experience the recently revised SUV.

Aesthetically the 2013 GLK retains its boxy shape that makes it quite unique in its class, but it does receive a more modern headlight and grille design while redesigned taillights adorn the rear end. The company has also developed an AMG Exterior Sports package for AMG wannabes, although there is no actual AMG performance model on offer.

It does boast a wide range of engines, comprising of four diesels and one petrol unit. Turbodiesel options include a 2143cc unit with 105kW/350Nm, 125kW/400Nm and 150kW/500Nm output levels and there's also a 3-litre V6 with 195kW and 620Nm to play with. The sole petrol engine is a 225kW/370Nm 3.5-litre. Most models come standard with 4-Matic all-wheel drive, but entry-level versions are also available with rear-wheel drive.

The biggest change to the 2013 GLK is in the cabin, where a completely new dashboard was designed to impart a far more upmarket feel. The dash boasts a wide trim element available in either aluminium or wood as well as new round air vents as seen on the new B-Class.

Other highlights are a fancy colour display for the instrument cluster, three-spoke sports steering wheel and ambient lighting that features LED fibre-optic technology.

The long list of available gadgets includes an iPad docking station for rear passengers, a multi-media system that connects to the internet, Harman Kardon surround sound system and a glut of driver assistance systems first seen on the S-Class, such as drowsiness detection, Pre-Safe, lane keeping assist and an active parking assistance system.

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