If you are in the market for a GLK, choosing the right engine is one of the most important decisions you have to make. The GLK is offered with a few different diesel and gas options, and choosing the right one is mostly dependant on how you will use the vehicle and the power, reliability, and efficiency of the engine.
The GLK was discontinued in 2016 and was replaced by a brand-new model, the GLC. The GLK is still a popular option in the used small-SUV segment. The diesel engines offered in the GLK do seem like a more efficient option, but they are lacking when it comes to reliability.
Diesel GLK engines
The two most popular diesel versions of the GLK are the GLK 350 and the lesser-powered GLK 250 BlueTec. The base price for the GLK 350 was around $40k, and the GLK 250 was priced at around $38k, but both of these can be found on the used market for a lot less than that.
GLK 250 BlueTec
The GLK 250 BlueTec has a 2.1-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox with a 208hp output. The GLK is fairly efficient when it comes to fuel, as this model easily returns around 28MPG, which is a fairly good result considering the weight and the age of the model in question.
GLK 350 CDI 4-Matic
The GLK 350 CDI 4-Matic is offered with a 3-liter V6 turbo engine also being mated with a 7-speed automatic transmission with a respectable 220-231hp output, depending on the model year. The 350 also offers decent fuel efficiency at around 25MPG.
Between the two, the GLK 350 4-Matic is a better option due to the substantial increase in power and the addition of the 4-Matic four-wheel-drive system, while still being fairly comparable in the fuel efficiency results.
Gas-powered GLK engines
GLK 350 4-Matic
The most popular gas-powered GLK model is the GLK 350 4-Matic which was offered as a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with a 7-speed automatic transmission at around 270-306 horsepower, depending on the model year. The 350 4-Matic returns at around 22MPG which is still a fairly decent number for a gas-powered engine.
GLK 300 4-Matic
If you want a more efficient gas option, the GLK 300 4-Matic, with a 3-liter V6 engine offering a respectable 231 horsepower also mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission, might be a better option. The GLK 300 4-Matic is realistically able to return around 24MPG, which is pretty decent for a gas-powered SUV.
Between the two, the 350 is a better option as it is an engine that is used in many different Mercedes models, and it does offer better reliability as such.
Diesel vs gas
The aforementioned stats only tell half the story, as the fuel efficiency and reliability are both mostly dependent on the specific automobile. There is a decent amount of evidence that shows that gas engines are the most reliable, but both the gas and diesel engines should not pose any major issues if maintained correctly.
That being said, a diesel engine usually costs more to fix, even though they are more efficient and cheaper to run. When deciding between the two, you should also consider the usage-scenario. If you are mostly driving in the city, a gas-powered engine might be more efficient.
On the other hand, if you are mostly driving on the highway, diesel is a much better option as a diesel engine usually works a lot less at higher speeds, due to the higher torque output a diesel engine offers. Moreover, a diesel engine-powered car usually depreciates a lot slower and lasts a longer time as well.
More things to know when choosing your car
Should I spend more and buy the GLC instead of the GLK?
It depends. The GLC is certainly an all-around better car. It is a more refined car aesthetically and in the engineering department as well. Furthermore, the GLC offers a lot more space in every category and is a lot more technologically advanced.
The GLC is a better car in pretty much every way, except the price of course. If you are primarily looking for a reliable, affordable family hauler, and you don’t care about the newest and greatest Mercedes has to offer, a GLK in good condition is still a great option.
Is a gas-powered car more comfortable than a diesel-powered car?
A diesel-powered engine sounds a lot different than a gas-powered car. As such, a gas-powered variant is usually a lot quieter and the sound is a lot more refined. If you plan to tow with your car then a diesel engine is a lot better because it offers more torque and works less in the process.
The comfort is mostly due to the power and the smoothness and easiness of travel, or the so-called “waft.” In this instance, a larger, more powerful engine should offer a more comfortable driving experience.
Is diesel cheaper than gas, and which fuel is more ecologically friendly?
A diesel-powered car is more expensive when buying new or used, but it does return better fuel efficiency and CO2 results. If you plan on owning the car for a longer period of time, the costs are likely going to even out if there are no major reliability issues to worry about.
But a diesel-powered engine is certainly a larger polluter, even though it does offer better fuel efficiency. In the early days, a diesel-powered car was considered a more eco-friendly option compared to a gas-powered car.
But the greatest polluter in a diesel engine is Nitrogen dioxide, a harmful pollutant that a gas-powered engine can filter as much as 70% of it through a three-way catalytic converter. It is simply a lot easier to keep a gas-powered engine clean than it is to keep a diesel-powered engine clean.
In the US, gas and diesel cost about the same. Sometimes these prices do vary, but in general, they are pretty much equal. In Europe however, a diesel is usually cheaper than gas.