2013 Mercedes GLK 350 | Model Review | Model Specs
In 2008 Mercedes-Benz released the GLK 350 crossover SUV giving it a refresh in 2013 that really elevated its styling. With depreciation placing these at a very attractive price point I thought it was time to do a review on the 2013 Mercedes GLK 350.
I have spent a great deal of time in the Mercedes GLK 350 and this review will act as a guide for those who might be looking into buying one of these with low (and high) mileage.
Mercedes-Benz is known for producing beautiful cars and this model certainly has aged gracefully.
But, is the 2013 Mercedes GLK3 50 a good car? That depends entirely on what you are using it for and what you expect to get out of your money.
As far as car reviews go you can view my opinion on the current state of reviews in my post: The Problem With Car Reviews. This is simply my opinion based on driving the car and it is completely unfiltered. Proceed accordingly.
2013 Mercedes GLK 350 Specs:
- Engine: 3.5-Liter V6
- Drivetrain: RWD or AWD
- Transmission: 7-speed automatic
- Horsepower: 302 hp @ 6,500 RPM
- Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 3,500 RPM
- 0-60 mph: ~ 5.7 seconds
- MPG: 19 City/25 Hwy
- Fair Market Value: $16,000-$23,000
- Average Rating: 8.8/10
2013 Mercedes GLK 350 Background
The Mercedes GLK 350 has been around since 2008 when it was revealed at the Beijing Auto Show alongside the Audi Q5.
Its moniker is an acronym that stands for this super long string of German words that I’m sure sounds very lovely when pronounced correctly. However, the important bit is this: The GLK takes its name from the larger GL class which gets its name from the much coveted “G-Wagon”.
To really dive into the naming convention here – the “GL” acts as the luxury version of the “G” and the “GLK” is the compact version of the “GL”. It was renamed in 2015 to the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class to make sure consumers stayed confused.
The design of the GLK 350 was influenced a great deal by the Mercedes C-Class sedan, which is one of the best selling executive sedans of all time. The platform continues to share resources with the C-Class sedans today.
2013 Mercedes GLK 350 Interior and Cabin
2013 Mercedes GLK 350 Interior Highlights:
- Beautiful gauge cluster
- Great field of view
- Attractive trim components
- Easy-to-read dashboard
- Very comfortable steering wheel
- Simply seating adjustments
The Mercedes GLK 350 has an attractive cabin that has aged gracefully since 2013 and still provides ample technology to tick most peoples boxes.
2018 experienced a massive jump in tech and while digital gauges and 30-inch flat screens are all the rage right now, this cabin is classy and classic.
The leather seats still fill good to sit in, are easy to adjust, and using seat memory is a breeze. The seat adjustments sit on the door panel, a design aspect that I personally love about Mercedes and it makes adjusting the seats easy and simple.
The wood inlays in the dash are very nice but unfortunately, age has caused some blemishes which would indicate that the woodgrain the car might not have been the highest of quality, but it still looks sharp.
As weird as this is to say the backup camera is unreasonably crisp. Almost like HD TV crisp. I’m not sure why, but it’s a feature you don’t fully appreciate till you are in a car with a lesser quality backup camera.
It sounds silly, but trust me, it’s nice when you have it.
As far as gauge clusters go this one is top notch. It’s comprised of three circular gauges with a circular speedometer surrounding a digital display in the middle that is extremely clean looking. Personally, it’s one of my favorite gauges in the Mercedes line-up. At night it looks very nice.
And the steering wheel is a total compliment to the cabin as well adding a great degree of comfort with exaggerated thumb hooks for an extremely comfortable “9 and 3” position that allows for maximum control of the vehicle.
Field of view in the GLK 350 is very nice which makes driving the car on the highway and around town a lot less stressful.
There aren’t many blind spots in the cabin and it’s got a comfortable view of out of the rear window in case you didn’t trust that ridiculously high-def backup camera.
Driving the 2013 GLK 350
Here’s why I love it:
- Heavy and sharp handling
- Surprising turn radius
- Very comfortable transmission
- Nice amount of power
- Attractive styling
- Compact size makes it easy-to-use
- Fold-down rear seats
When you step into the GLK 350 it feels nice. The door shuts firmly without rattle, the steering wheel feels nice, the push button start is large and the cabin feels spacious without seeming over the top.
The layout of the cabin puts everything at your fingertips mostly utilizing the center console control knob which is easily reached by the driver and passenger alike.
It’s airy and bright inside as well with a large sunroof that opens quite nicely to allow plenty of natural light in. I love cars that do this because it reminds me that I’m not in a submarine.
When you start the car the engine almost lets you know it’s more than what you thought, but it’s not over the top and quickly becomes quiet in the cabin.
Gear changing is easy and the lever is actually off the side of the steering wheel in much the same way vintage cars have the old school gear lever.
This one is sharp and new age, however, and it’s easy to flip between gears. Even easier is switching between “Eco” mode and “Sport” mode and turning off that annoying “Start/Stop” feature.
It’s mandatory anytime you get into a car to put it into sport mode and turn that eco start/stop crap off.
The car responds well and feels like it has ample power. Once you get going the gear shifting is smooth and almost unnoticeable which is amazing for a transmission that’s not a dual clutch.
Its transmission is probably one of my favorite features and when in sport mode it’s very smart for a compact SUV, it gives you the RPMs you need to pull when passing and doesn’t allow it to sit at the top end for too long making the car nice on the highway.
Steering the car is sharp and crisp as well, with lots of nice feedback, something I was surprised by, to say the least. It always catches me off guard how agile the car feels despite it being high off the ground and top-heavy.
This is likely due to it sharing the C-Class sedan chassis, but the responsiveness of the steering makes the car very nice to handle.
Another great thing about this car is the size. It seems to be just right. It’s not a burden when in tight parking lots and it doesn’t feel small when next to much larger trucks. It can go into downtown easily and also off the beaten path once in a while without a problem.
The rear seats fold down entirely and it’s incredibly useful. I was able to fit an entire toolbox from Home Depot in the back as well as a full sized dresser. The GLK 350 also comes equipped with roof rails making it easy to add additional storage to the roof.
One thing about this car is that it looks good. Even when compared to the newer models the car looks classy and clean, especially when equipped with the optional AMG appearance package. It’s still very pretty and aesthetically pleasing.
With all great things, there are some downsides so let’s talk about those.
Downsides to the GLK 350
- Cramped back seat
- Mercedes maintenance intervals
- Backup camera doesn’t make noise
- Base headlights are terrible
- Cabin noise at highway speeds
The backseat of this car is tight. Probably fine for kids and the occasional back seat passengers, but definitely not suited for two adults making a road trip.
Children and car seats are fine, but a car in this price range should offer a slightly better back seat, especially when it was new.
Mercedes also has a way of making a maintenance interval or service interval light pop up on your dash every 17 miles. It seems like service “A” or “B” is always being recommended by the car, even several hundred days out.
It gets annoying and honestly, the car requires very little in the way of maintenance so it’s a clear money grab tactic by Mercedes. Knock it off.
Another odd thing for a car this expensive is that the backup camera, though incredibly high-def, doesn’t notify you when you get close to something.
Almost every backup camera does this. I’m not sure the logic, but maybe the cost savings went into the 4K backup camera instead of the noise making part.
And finally, the headlights are bullshit. By 2013 very few cars did not come with HID lights at a minimum. In fact, most luxury brands were already migrating to full LEDs, which this car has none. At $46,000 you would think they would toss some money into the headlights. You would be wrong.
It might sound weird but it’s such a shame. The car is beautiful with the optional headlight upgrade, it really should have been standard equipment.
One last pet peeve I have is that the car can be a little loud on the highway. Around town the car is very quiet, but I suspect the “G-Wagon” styling of the windshield causes wind noise once you arrive at highway speeds. Some might call this nitpicking though.
GLK 350 Cost of Ownership
- Service “A” cost on average $600
- Service “B” cost on average $600
- Tires start around $900
- Repairs range from a few hundred to several thousand
GLK Final Thoughts
Mercedes-Benz isn’t exactly known for having the cheapest maintenance and cost of ownership, but you’re not buying a Mercedes because it’s a budget car.
There is a tendency for used car shoppers to see steep discounts on luxury cars and assume it means they are cheap to own, but the truth is that they are so heavily depreciated because of the cost of ownership.
That being said the GLK 350 is pretty easy to live with. It’s small enough to not break the bank with gas mileage, it’s compact enough to enjoy around town and big enough to haul when you need it to.
It looks very nice and the paint quality is some of the highest I’ve seen. It comes with a lot of nice standard technology that has aged well, especially the hilariously crisp back-up camera.
Here’s why I think you should buy it:
- Perfect for daily driving
- Perfect for young families or singles
- Fits well into garages and parking spots
- Classy design inside and out
- Standard technology is still good
- Smooth shifting
- Sharp handling
- Versatile while not being huge
While I think this is a great car let’s talk about who this car is for.
This is a car for someone who doesn’t mind spending roughly $20,000 on a used luxury SUV that is going to require a little more in terms of ownership cost than a Chevy Equinox.
It’s a car for someone who wants the utility of a compact SUV, but still wants the driveability of C-Class Mercedes, but most of all it’s for someone who wants to get into a Mercedes without breaking the bank.
An argument can be made that there are better used cars out there and while that may be true it’s entirely subjective. If the Mercedes GLK 350 is calling your name then take advantage of the depreciation and get yourself into a nice luxury SUV that still looks and drives sharp.
If you’re in the market for a new car don’t forget to see our post: The Best Luxury SUV to get an idea of the types of SUV’s you could be driving.