A significant exterior restyle, fully recast interior, upgraded infotainment systems and more potent/efficient engines - including the introduction of a new GLK250 BlueTEC turbodiesel variant - highlight the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class that makes its debut in New York. This compact five-seat crossover also benefits from more precise electromechanical power steering and a host of new safety/driver assistance enhancements aimed at further bolstering its appeal in an increasingly competitive market segment.

>2012 New York Auto Show full coverage

To help elevate the GLK's curb appeal, Mercedes has refined the exterior in an evolution keyed around complementing the original crisp SUV basic styling with more elegant front/rear fascia and lamp detailing that brings it more into line with the look of the firm's current sedan lineup. All versions of the 2013 M-B GLK-Class ride on new 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/50 all-season tires, however, as 20-inch upgrade is available as part of the Appearance Package or an AMG styling package that also includes AMG front and rear skirts, an AMG grille, AMG LED daytime running lights and aluminum roof rails.

The same kind of rethink is evident inside of the new GLK-Class, where the cabin rework brings upgraded trim elements, an all-new and more contemporary dash design and a new Direct Select shift lever that's been repositioned from the GLK's now larger and more user-friendly center console to the steering column. The lengthy roster of standard features includes a full array of power assists, cruise control, 8-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control with dust filter, 12V powerpoints in the center console and luggage compartment, a trip computer with current consumption indicator and rain-sensing wipers.

Several infotainment setups are available for the new GLK-Class, with the standard kit consisting of a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with Bluetooth interface and a central controller that features a 5.8-inch color display. An optional Multimedia package nets a 7.0-inch color display with rearview camera, enhanced voice control and M-B's latest COMAND system with hard-drive-based navigation while SiriusXM satellite radio and an iPod/MP3 media interface can be added with the Premium1 Package or as standalone options. King of the Sonic Hill in the new GLK-Class is an available 510-watt/12-speaker Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio system with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and DTS.

Equally meaningful changes are found underhood in the 2013 GLK-Class. The rear-drive GLK350 and all-wheel-drive GLK350 4MATIC, which go on sale here in the fall, swap the existing 268-horsepower/3.5-liter V6 for the newer and more potent 302-horse direct-injected alternative used in the M-Class. That transition also sees peak torque output rise from 258 to 273 lb-ft. Backed by a seven-speed automatic transmission, it promises to drop 0-60 mph times to an estimated 6.5 seconds while a new ECO start/stop system along with a supplemental ECO display in the instrument cluster should help deliver even better relative fuel economy. Set for a spring-2013 arrival, the new GLK250 BlueTEC 4MATIC gets it motivation from a 2.1-liter turbodiesel four that makes 190 horsepower but cranks out a heady 369 lb-ft of peak twist. Also backed by a seven-speed autoshifter, Mercedes claims this state-of-the-art oil burner will be "extremely frugal" when it comes to mileage maxing.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class also steps up its game on the safety front, bolstering an expanded list of standards that include M-B's Attention Assist system, ESP/ASR Stability/Skid control with trailer braking, Adaptive Braking/Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist and nine airbags with new Lane Tracking (Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist) and Driver Assistance (Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Brake, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist) Packages.


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