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When Mercedes-Benz showed its 2013 GLK line off at the New York Auto Show, we got out first look at the brand’s brave new attempt at bringing diesel engines to the U.S., but is it really that courageous?
Brands competing with Mercedes, nearly all of them in fact, have either brought diesel cars to market or plan to do so very soon. While the GLK 250 BlueTEC is a decent start, it might not be enough to compete with companies like Cadillac, which announced plans for its new ATS sedan to offer a diesel engine during its first life cycle.
The EPA posted that owners of the 2013 X3 xDrive28i can expect as much as 21/28 mpg city/highway, and 24 mpg combined. Given the X3 xDrive28i’s 241-hp, those aren’t bad numbers. It’s even better when you remember the outgoing six-cylinder X3 which got 19-mpg city, 25-mpg highway, and a combined 21-mpg rating.
The turbocharged six-cylinder xDrive35i will see similar figures however, with 19-mpg city, 26-mpg highway, 21-mpg combined.
For now, those numbers net the X3 xDrive28i the most efficient, all-wheel drive luxury crossover – that isn’t a hybrid. That might change when Mercedes-Benz announced fuel consumption figures for the 2013 GLK, which we saw last week at the New York Auto Show.
Consumers will be able to choose between two versions: the higher-level GLK 350 which comes with a 3.5-liter V6, or the more efficiency minded GLK250 BlueTEC, which comes with a 2.1-liter diesel engine.
While some Merc loyalists might find the 350 variant’s brawnier 302 horsepower rating attractive, we’re calling the cheaper diesel option a better bargain. That assertion is based on a couple of points. First, the GLK 250 BlueTEC only packs 190 horsepower, but a whopping 369 lb-ft of torque, which will be more readily apparent to most drivers.