Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 Mercedes GLK250 BlueTECIts Mercedes smallest SUV with the smallest diesels you'll ever run into.
-Here's Mercedes' smallest SUV with also one of the smallest diesel engines you'll ever encounter. On top of that, a big ambitious package of tech. Let's see what size it presents as we drive this 2013 GLK250. Check the tech. So the first thing you'll notice on this guy is it doesn't look like any other Mercedes, you're gonna wonder who Daddy was. It barrens no DNA resemblance to basically anything else they make. Not quite sure how that happened but you'll either look at it and say that is a really handsome small SUV or it looks a lot like a 2005 Forester or both. Now the first thing when you get in to this Mercedes, you'll realize what they haven't done is downscale the interior. It's the same look. The same styling and the same high-quality materials you'll find in the bigger SUVs or across their line. So that's good. Let's start with our basic control and Mercedes doesn't change that in ages. You got the command knob with a back and a clear button. They've always had pretty darn good map quality and that hasn't changed. Destination entry of course by voice is very simple. Enter destination. -Please repeat. -Enter destination. Right off the bat, you know, this is going to annoy me. -Please wait. Please select a line number. -Two. -Number 2-- -Because I have to do every little piece of the address. -Do you want to enter town first? -One talk at a time. -And street first. -Enter town first. -Please select a line number and-- -I hate that Interstate and city and number. -Please wait. -I hate that. -Please select a line number, town-- -Let's go to media now. Lots of sources, AM and FM with HD Radio, satellite radio-- again, that's optional by the way. Disc DVD is optional. It's music register is 10 gig of hard drive, not interested but you can get it if you want. There's USB, which comes based. But then there's also media interface which comes optional, which is another way to hook up your iPod and the auxiliary jack, the good old female auxiliary lives in here as well. That's standard. Now bass audio on this guy is 6 speakers and some kind of amplification. I don't think any of them will ship with that. They're mostly gonna be upgrade with Harman Kardon Logic 7, which is 11 speakers plus a power and sub. And you've got surround sound support 'cause that same package brings in the DVD drive. Now let's go to this globe icon, the upper right. That's where things get "interesting" and I put interesting in quote. You can see I'm establishing a data connection. Basically, you've gotta get 2 layers of telematics and pay for those on an ongoing basis as well as then paying for your app service because they require each other that gets a little pricey. It is horribly slow and there's a lot of lockout, where things don't work when you're driving. It's kind of a joke. I wanna just say, I'm gonna clip my phone on the windshield and get something that I can actually use by voice safely while moving. The things you can use while you're parked include Google local search, which is gonna look for local POIs, Yelp, Facebook, a very abbreviated version, and My Mercedes Financial services. You can make a payment on your car from here, which I find kind of silly self-promotion. Now let's move on to driver assistance technology standard includes this sort of drowsy alert. The car is always measuring inputs on the wheel, the pedals and such and can detect from everything as you're falling asleep and then it will blast a little alert on the dash and ring a tone as well. It's not looking at your eyelids though, unlike some Japanese cars that use that for detection. There is passive, lane drift warning and blind-spot warning. You can also step up to active n both of those along with adaptive cruise control that maintains speed and distance and you have to option into a rear camera that makes me nuts. Vehicles that cost far less often do. Now, if you think that 250 on the butt means 2.5 liter engine, that's wishful thinking. This is way smaller, 2.1 liter in-line 4 diesel. That's the smallest thing Mercedes' fields at least in the US market that I know of. Now the key to this little guy working out are turbos, two of them. It's a true bi-turbo. A small high pressure one up near the top. It's actually on the exhaust [unk] and a larger lower pressure turbo downstream the exhaust away, 200 horsepower specifically. That's okay. Three hundred and sixty-nine foot pounds of torque. There's your key. That helps to move this 4,300 pound vehicle up to 60 in just 7 seconds, which is quite respectable for its weight and it's profile while delivering 2433 MPG, which will check up the reality of when we go on the road in a moment. By the way, all these GLK250s go out to a 7 speed, true Cog automatic and all these guys are 4-matic all wheel drive. Let's go for a run. One of the first thing I noticed about the GLK250 is what I don't notice about the GLK250. You may have noticed that huge gasket around the hood opening, we were over on the engine bay that I believe has to be an example of the effort that they've gone to and trying to seal it out and at least isolate that diesel clatter. Now that little diesel is always reminding that at some degree that is a very small diesel. It doesn't have the same urgency of torque that I find in bigger turbo diesel vehicles. It has great torque but it doesn't quite get to the area of being getty. It's just sufficient to ample, which is absolutely fine. Also, we have this automatic transmission doing its thing and the turbo is having to spooled up. So there's a little bit of a crack throttle response that's missing here that I have found in other turbo diesel cars but it's very torque. Once you get things spooled up, the handling is really nice. I wasn't expecting that. There is no AMG package or other nonsense on this car. It's just the GLK250. But here on this twisty road, the body roll is really minimal. It's really planted. It's very different in the RAV4 we had a couple of days ago. It was all, you know, swinging to and fro like a ship. Now, I also point out this button down here, E and S, an echo mode and a sport mode. I don't know. I haven't felt a real big difference. I think if anything, it tends to change the transmission behavior more than throttle response. Real world MPG-- you see, we're doing close to 30 over a lot of miles since we've had this vehicle. I wouldn't be surprised if you got 35 average on long freeway trips. Okay, this place is '13 GLK250 starts off just a hair below 40 grand or 39,8-- something. Then there's the premium package for about 3,400. A panoramic roof, power lift gate, satellite radio, Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio 800 bucks-- that's a definite, $2,800 for a driver assistance package that has active blind-spot and lane departure tech and adaptive cruise control, all of those active. We're looking at a car that is pushing 51,000 on CNET style but not even fully loaded. And you're looking at a vehicle that should have really good durability partly because of that--