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Mercedes-Benz GLK and GL: Big and bigger (photos)

At the 2012 New York International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz brought out an updated GLK, then showed off the even bigger updated GL. These reworked vehicles add efficiency and new tech features.

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Wayne Cunningham

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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-class is very young, launched originally in 2008. The 2013 model year update gives the small SUV new styling, a new engine, and the latest Mercedes-Benz cabin tech.
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2 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

Although the smallest of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the GLK is about equivalent to BMW's X3, with room for five in the cabin along with cargo in back. It can be had in rear- or all-wheel drive.
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3 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

Styling for 2013 is not radically different from the first generation. The contour lines seem straighter down the sides, and the overall presence seems more masculine.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

Mercedes-Benz will offer the GLK in two variants, the GLK350 and the GLK250 Bluetec, the latter being a diesel. The GLK350 uses a direct injected V-6 generating 302 horsepower, while the diesel is a four-cylinder, making 190 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

The cabin of the GLK shows Mercedes-Benz refinement, along with an impressive tech package. Almost all of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance features will be available, including blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and collision mitigation.
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6 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

The four-blade air vents are a new Mercedes-Benz design cue, also seen on the SL-class roadster. The center navigation LCD is complemented by an LCD on the instrument cluster.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

Most exciting is Mercedes-Benz's new app integration system, which we saw at CES earlier this year. The screen in the GLK shown at the New York show uses the old name for the system. In production, it will be called Mercedes-Benz Apps.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

Topping the Mercedes-Benz SUV lineup is the GL-class, which gets an update for 2013. This American-made SUV first hit the road in 2006. A luxury SUV, the GL-class has three-row seating.
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9 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

Mercedes-Benz is offering three variants of the GL-class for 2013, the GL350 Bluetec, GL450, and GL550. The first is powered by a 3-liter turbo diesel making 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The two other models use a twin turbo 4.6-liter engine, the GL450 making 362 horsepower and the GL550 at 429.
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10 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

The styling of the GL-class gives it a very different look than the other SUVs in the Mercedes-Benz model line, with smooth sides reminiscent of the BMW Bangle era. The GL-class shows its might with big, square wheel arches.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

The Mercedes-Benz Airmatic suspension comes standard with the GL, as does its all-wheel-drive system. Airmatic does an excellent job in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles of soaking up rough roads, and should give the GL a luxury ride not typical for SUVs.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

Along with its passenger carrying capacity, the cargo area of the GL is huge. Mercedes-Benz designed the vehicle to tow heavy loads, as well.
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13 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

The cabin is big and luxurious, with fine trim elements and thick leather over the power-adjustable seats. Driver assistance systems such as blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control contribute to safety.
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14 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

The GL-class gets the latest Mercedes-Benz head unit electronics, meaning a hard-drive-based navigation system and connected services through Mercedes-Benz Apps, including local online search integrated with the navigation system.

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