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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Crossovers are all about fuel efficiency and family functionality. They blend attributes of cars with traits of traditional SUVs to create vehicles that are neither fish nor fowl; they’re the undecided voter of the automotive world, essentially the state of Ohio. Is it going red? Will it be blue? One thing’s certain; it’ll never go to the Green Party.
Once upon a time the automotive market was radically different. Just a few decades ago things were much simpler for consumers than they are today. Unless they’re shopping for a new Tesla, buyers face a borderline-absurd number of choices when they walk into a typical dealer showroom. This is why we’re here. Ask AutoGuide’s expertly trained, nationally certified Oracles are ready, willing and usually able to help new-car shoppers in distress. Think of them as caped crusaders fighting for what’s right… as long as they don’t have to get up from their desks or change out of their Velcro Hush Puppies.
For what seems like forever, North America has been left behind when it comes to diesel cars. Sure there are a few options, but nowhere near as many as our friends in Europe. In fact, according to the Automotive Industry Data Newsletter, 52% of all new car sales last year in Western Europe were diesel powered.
Diesel engines offer unique advantages, with plenty of torque making tiny power plants more useable in small cars, while making modest size engines a functional alternative to much larger gasoline ones in SUVs. Towing, after all, is not something hybrids are known for. Additionally, diesel engines can provide fuel economy closer to that of a hybrid, without any of the worries surrounding new technology; plus, there’s no battery pack compromising passenger or storage space.
With those advantages, not to mention a push by automakers to meet increasingly strict corporate average fuel economy standards, a slew of diesel models are set to arrive on our shores in the near future. If you’re considering the switch to diesel power, here are a few options you’ll soon be able to consider.
The rising Chinese market for luxury SUVs have forced automakers to turn towards manufacturing in those respective countries to avoid raising prices from importing in the vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has just rolled their first Beijing-built GLK off the assembly line, joining their European counterparts Audi and BMW in manufacturing their SUVs in China.
Audi has been producing their Q5 in China almost since its launch, while BMW recently began X1 production there. Mercedes for now will only be producing the GLK300 in China, but plans to complement the 3.0L V6, 245-hp engine with a smaller engine before the end of next year.
Manufacturing Mercedes-Benz models in China is part of the German brand’s long-term plan with hopes of producing two-thirds of all Mercedes sold in China by 2015. Which models will join the GLK, C-Class and long wheelbase E-Class in China’s manufacturing is unknown currently but sales of Mercedes-Benz models have been on the rise in China with 168,940 vehicles sold in 2011 so far. Unfortunately, they’re still third behind BMW and Audi.
[Source: Left Lane News]
The Mercedes-Benz GLK will get a diesel option in 2012, making it the lone compact luxury SUV to be offered with an oil-burning powertrain. Mercedes-Benz will also offer a diesel C-Class at launch in 2013.
Mercedes will also re-introduce the E-Class diesel for 2011, after a one year hiatus. Ernst Lieb, Mercedes USA’s President, said that the take rate for their Bluetec diesel engines ranges from 12-20%, with the E-Class on the low side, and the GL enjoying more diesel-oriented customers.
Lieb said that he would like to see the take rate grow to between 15-20% in the United States, but higher vehicle and fuel prices have kept consumers wary of buying diesel. By contrast, the take rate for diesels in Canada, with even pricier vehicles and fuel, approaches 80% consistently.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
To help pump up sales of the all-new GLK-Class SUV, Mercedes-Benz Canada has launched a microsite to help potential owners interact with their new car, even before they purchase it.
The GLK 350 4MATIC, which went on sale in January, features a rugged yet urban look with a 268hp V6 and a 7-speed automatic transmission that will propel the mid-sized SUV to 100km/h (62mph) in just 6.7 seconds. The transmission features both Comfort and Sport shift modes, so owners can customize their driving style.
The site asks the question, “Where Do You See Yourself?” and lets visitors interact through a personality profiler that helps them build their own stylish GLK wallpaper and then download it. Other images and videos can also be viewed and downloaded.
As expected, the microsite features important technical information and all the important features of the new GLK.
Mark Forsyth, Manager of Interactive Marketing and CRM at Mercedes-Benz Canada, notes: “A key objective of the site was to provide prospective customers with an emotional connection to the GLK, as well as to celebrate the style and uniqueness that the vehicle clearly possesses. This is one of our youngest and edgiest vehicles to date and we wanted to offer an experience that echoes the values of this demographic.”
To find out more visit:
2010 GLK350 4MATIC:
Full GLK info and specs after the jump: