Although I relay on feedbacks and reviews, it took a while to decide to write one. However, I wanted to write this review for people interested in diesel cars as I was, and there weren’t too many comments in regards to diesel engines. I was in search of a diesel car that will have a high MPG and be a little bit bigger than a sedan. I didn’t care about brands in the beginning knowing that I will sort it out at the end based on price/mpg/quality, etc. After narrowing down I ended up with 2 models: BMW X3 diesel and MB GLK250 diesel. I lived in Oregon at that time and the price in NW was higher than other areas. As I had time to search and not be in rush, I found a 2013 GLK250 in California @ $28K with 21000 miles on it. PURCHASE it for my wife. 2 months later I found an X3 diesel in Texas @ 36K brand new, but with rear window busted by the hails. The dealer replaced the window for free, but I paid for fixing the wiring as the rain water affected the rear side. 1 year later, both cars have about 10k miles put on them, and I can say that MB is the best as performance. Acceleration: BMW is on 8 speed transmission and the car is slow until you reach about 30MPH. The ratio on speed changes is small and that will keep you slow. It is irritant to see all kind of other brands vehicles to be faster than your BMW car, from stop to 30-35 MPH. GLK250 instead is on 7 speed transmission but the ratio is distributed different and you have the starting speed what you’ll need. Comfort: BMW is better as the seats are a bit better built and placed. The infotainment system has more options (like a computer) while MB is pretty simple (for old guys like me). MPG: I drove the BMW from Oregon to NY with constant speeds above 80 / 85 MPH and the MPG was about 30MPG. The driving comfort was ok as I drove about 12 hours / day. It bothered when I had to go to speeds lower than 30MPH as the transmission changed gears and it seems to not catch up speed at least as fast as other cars. In the “city”: I did UBER/LYFT for about 6 months and I achieved about 28 MPG in a stop and go traffic about 8-12 hours/day (on the days I worked). During the winter (snow and ice) it performed excellent. No slips, plenty of torque on snowy hills. Now on the NY routes I am getting about 35MPG even more if there were no hills. The best was 45MPG on a 75 miles trip at 45-55MPH. The GLK250: most highway trips were between Portland and Seattle and the MPG was about 33MPG @ an average of 75MPH. In the city (stop and go) I am constantly getting about 30 MPG. But leaving from stop lights is a pleasure. NOISE: Definitely both cars are quitter than their predecessors and while running you won’t make the difference between the gas and diesel engines. However, GLK is at least 50% quitter than X3. Now if I would have to start shopping again, I will definitely not buy an X3 anymore, but 2 GLK’s. Unfortunately, MB is not making diesel mid-size SUV’s / cross-overs or at least this is what I know at this point. Breaks: I drove Toyota and Honda for many years, but BMW’s breaks are worst. You have to push hard on them is not like the other cars where you gentle push the breaks and stops without efforts. If you’ll check the forums you’ll see that breaks and rotors are a common problem for BMW’s. If you open up the CARFAX reports on autotrader, you’ll see that almost every 30k the pads/rotors were replaced. GLK has pretty much the same habit, but maybe at 45K… Hopefully this will help you take the right decision. Feel free to ask questions if you have [contact info removed]. Updates as 1.5.18... on June of 2017 the GLK had a huge white smoke coming from the pipe. I took the car to the dealer and ended up in replacing the entire exhaust system. 1.5 months later the Oxygen sensor had to be replaced. In January of 2018 the check engine light came on and when I took it in I was told that the manifold needs to be replaced. However, all of those repairs were covered by the warranty which saddenly expires on June of this year. I am not going to keep this car as the expenses are out of control... current miles on the car? 31000! Mercedes is just a name tag, not quality anymore.
The ride is as one expects from a Mercedes, smooth ride, great cornering and handles well in snow. Great interior design. Seating in front is comfortable and easily adjustable. Controls are all accessible. The map/gps system takes a while to learn. Great view of traffic and blind sight assist is terrific.
Performance is excellent. Fast acceleration from 0-60 with good passing on highway.
I have two concerns. One, the rear seat space is limited, therefore you can only seat 5 adults with limited comfort. The windshield wipers do not perform well in heavy participation.
The only drawback to this vehicle is the tire noise from the run-flats installed as standard equipment. Otherwise it is a great vehicle with no problems, recalls, or dealer involvement. Tire and wheel warranty already executed for a leaky rim, but quickly replaced at dealership. The tire noise remains, and no apparent resolution is being offered as a remedy.
I love driving this little SUV. It has the Premium 1 package but no Navigation. I have been enjoying the diesel experience so far. After 16,000 miles, my MPG average is 31.1, pretty impressive compared to the published 28 MPG. I do not purposely drive slow to get that MPG number. I average 60/40% HWY/CiTY. My advice is to find the cheapest Diesel pump as it usually sells most diesel and keep the fuel fresh.
I have had many high power gas engine cars over the years including exotics. Driving the GLK returns a somewhat different experience. Not a negative one at all but just different from the high HP gas engines.
You feel "smoothness" in the delivery of power and you feel that there is alway untapped HP yet to be used. The power does not come instantaneously like the gas engines but it is available if you would time your right foot just a little bit. Going up steep terrain is a joy and you will be passing car with little effort.
All in all, I am very pleased with it.