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STYLING | 7 out of 10
targeted at Sex-in-the-City women, but it wears sharp, angular styling that apes the butch GL-class. Does this fuel-crisis trucklet suffer multiple-personality disorder?
complete lack of grace in its blocky form, clearly inspired by the ancient, military-intended Geländewagen
if it were any more German, it'd be named Gretel
the GLK has the appearance of a large vehicle until you get close to it and realize it is actually quite small — at least on the outside
The dual tailpipes hint at its penchant for sporty performance.
Newly revamped with a front end like the one on Mercedes' passenger cars, the 2013 GLK crossover still has the angular good looks of another era. That would be a high compliment if it were hunting for a spot in a film-noir revival, but in the crossover world, the GLK's sharp edges and crisp form weigh in as more formal, more rigid than the softer, sexier competition--or even than that rakish stiletto heel from Mars, the Range Rover Evoque.
The GLK still looks all butch and off-roadish next to those urban wagons. It's completely intentional, and it does show every sign of holding up well over time. The passing resemblance to some older Japanese utes lingers, though, and the GLK could use some of the sassy theming that's tossed into the latest M-Class--or even better, the last one. In its current form, the GLK actually looks far more like an off-road specialist than it really is.Inside, it's less of the same this year. In the past, the GLK's instrument panel has borne a striking resemblance to BMW's interiors, composed from dark plastics and a dark band of wood curved just so. The plastics are softer now, and the band's swelled into a more organic shape--wood on some models, metallic plastic on others, with new details formed in and gimballed vents drilled into the span, breaking up the surface. The gauges and controls still are remarkably straightforward, but the vaguely retro tone that lingered through the cabin is gone, replaced by something much more contemporary.
It's still more outwardly SUV than other crossovers, but the 2013 GLK has upped its interior game with finer finishes.