Thursday, October 17, 2013

Used Car Review - Mercedes Benz GLK Class (2009-Current)

Get noticed while being low profile is what one wants. Myk Belmonte has one pick for you.

2009-Current Mercedes Benz GLK Class

They say that timing is everything, especially in the automotive industry whenever a competitor arrives. Mercedes Benz was a late entrant in the premium compact SUV market, and it was when Audi Q5 entered, the GLK Class was fielded in.

Also launched at the same time with the Q5 at the Beijing Auto Show in 2008; the GLK Class was the three pointed star's first attempt in the smaller class category. Based on the C Class, it was only available to left hand drive markets since the conversion is hard, no thanks to a driveshaft on 4WD versions when converted can intrude the foot wells.

It was the first quarter of 2009 when CATS Motors introduced the GLK Class to the Philippines. This is the smallest SUV you can buy from Benz, but not from the entire CATS dealership floor back then. In 2009, three variants (for the same price) were made available: Off-road, Sport, and Edition 1. But the following year it was simplified to just gasoline or diesel, with the former engine discontinued.

Value and Costs
Four years later, a second hand GLK Class costs as half when it was brand new. For just P2,600,000-P2,800,000, you get something desirable without being hit by depreciation. For security, go with a pre-owned unit since they have been certified and checked.

Maintenance costs, whether it is gasoline or diesel, is similar to other European rivals. As with other luxury vehicles, inspect if the electronic gadgets work well. And if you get a gasoline model, it requires a diet of 95 octane gasoline.

Exterior and Interior
Even though it is based on a sedan, the GLK Class has styling cues from the G and GL Class. The boxy stance is either a love or hate affair, with some finding it too polarizing on a market that puts styling as a premium. Various wheel sizes which includes 17, 19, and 20 inches can be had and they add style to the vehicle. There is an available AMG Package that can be ordered when the vehicle is new.

If you own a W204 C Class then you'll find the control layout similar, albeit mounted. The COMAND system takes time to master if you're a newbie, but it makes your life easy. The steering wheel hosts numerous functions for the radio, trip meter, folding the side mirrors, COMAND system, and many others. It has a touchscreen radio that doubles as a screen for your movie trips and for the blue tooth functions. Space is somewhat limited; while the front occupants enjoy adequate space, two is decent but three is a squeeze at the back. Cargo carrying ability is decent enough when the rear bench is up, excellent when folded down.

Offered from 2009 until 2010 is the E30 2,996cc V6 gasoline which packs 231hp at 6,000rpm and 300Nm at 2,500-5,000rpm, while the diesel propulsion is the OM651 DE22LA (that's a long engine code) 2,143cc 4-cylinder that is good for 168hp at 3,200-4,200rpm and 400Nm at 1,400-2,800rpm. Between the two, we'd choose the diesel available from 2010 since it is quick on its heels and can carry the 1,830kg vehicle effectively. There is nothing wrong with the 3.0 V6 since it is energetic, but maintenance costs is on the high side.

Driving Impressions
Heavy as it is, the GLK's steering is safe yet sharp. It keeps you planted when doing some fun behind the wheel, even with the blingy rims that come standard. Comfortable to be inside, despite the large wheels but the limited rear space is a bummer. Just enjoy the drive and arrive at style.

Before we leave, each premium compact SUV has its own personality; and the GLK Class appeals to those who want the sportiness of a C Class on an SUV package. You get the stares and you get the smiles behind the wheel.

The Good:
  • Highly engineered
  • Drives well
  • Available diesel
The Bad:
  • Polarizing styling
  • Pricey to maintain
  • Not that much practical
The Pick: GLK 220 CDI

Engines: 2,996cc E30 V6 gasoline and 2,143cc OM651 DE22LA I4 diesel
Power: 231hp @ 6,000rpm (gasoline), 168hp @ 3,200-4,200rpm (diesel)
Torque: 300Nm @ 2,500-5,000rpm (gasoline), 400Nm @ 1,400-2,800rpm
Fuel Consumption: 4-8km/L (city), 6-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P4,480,000
Price (Now): P2,600,000-P2,800,000
Rivals: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander, Volvo XC60
On Sale: 2009-current

CATS Pre-Owned - (02) 723-5808

Photos courtesy of

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