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Auto blogTue, 30 Apr 2013 17:30:00 EST
It's been more than a year since we first saw the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show, but it looks like the compact diesel crossover is finally starting to roll into dealerships. Those wanting to buy a diesel GLK will only have to pony up an extra $1,500 over a base, gas-powered GLK350, as the GLK250's starting price is listed at $38,590 (*not including $905 destination charge).
The turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel produces 200 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and Mercedes-Benz has also provided some fuel economy numbers for this model, with claimed EPA estimates of 24 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway. There is no listing for the GLK250 on the EPA's website yet, but the figures represent significant increase over the GLK350's lackluster 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway figures, which are for the rear-wheel drive model. The GLK250 comes standard with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system - a $2,000 option on GLK350 - meaning that if you want an all-wheel-drive version of the 2013 GLK, it's actually cheaper to opt for the diesel model. Head over to the Mercedes-Benz site for the full 2013 GLK-Class configurator.
That didn't take long. Shortly after a French administrative court gave the French government a ten-day window to reconsider its ban on registrations of Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class cars using the prohibited R134a refrigerant, the government cited an EU directive to formalize banning the sale of the cars. The country's environmental ministry said that registrations "will remain forbidden in France as long as the company does not to conform to European regulations," meaning so long as they do not use the approved R1234yf refrigerant.
Daimler had won the administrative court decision by challenging France's application of a "safeguard" provision in which the EU allows a country to block sales of cars that would "seriously harm the environment." In spite of Daimler's victory, France has cited that very provision as basis for the continuation of the ban.
Daimler got permission from Germany's KBA federal motor authority to keep selling cars with the coolant banned by EU politicians, and is using that national permission as the right to sell the cars throughout Europe. Meanwhile, above that battle, German politicians are asking the EU to let Mercedes sell the cars in France while the KBA does more testing, at the same time as the EU is threatening Germany with repercussions if it doesn't bring the KBA and Daimler into line.
Mercedes Makes A Mighty Little Sedan
We got overexcited when the W203 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan came out in 2001, calling it the "Baby Benz" when it really wasn't. We knew that, too, but our enthusiasm for a model more like the old 190 of the '80s was so strong that we were willing to stretch the first-gen C-Class to fit that mold. Today, the C-Class has done what all German premium cars do: grown in size. In this case, grown to satisfy the market intentions of the previous E-Class.
There was the tall A-Class sold from 1998 through 2010, but we never considered that a serious small Benz in the proper spirit, nor was it ever offered in the US. Regardless, we've been craving a smaller, premium, sexy sedan all the while.