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The power liftgate has been a very popular feature on the ML, R and GL. Previously the liftgate had two settings – open fully, or the “limited” position that stopped it only a little bit open. The “limited” position did stop the liftgate from hitting cargo on the roof of the vehicle but made it difficult to access things in the cargo area.
Our dealership just installed our first Universal Media Interface (UMI) system in a 2009 C300. I had been reading about this sytem but it seemed to good to be true. Now that I have had a chance to try it out, I am very impressed.
#1 – Navigation – The map data and entry system is very similar to what is in all of our other vehicles. It is displayed, in color, on the standard audio 5″ screen. It was just as easy to use as the other systems and looks good.
#4 – USB Port – Yeah! Good quality sound for those of us who use a non-iPod MP3 player. It is easily accessed in the glove box right next to the iPod adaptor.
#5 – AUX jack – In case you have some other form of audio you want to connect to the vehicle you can use an 3.5mm male to male audio cable to connect.
#6 – Bluetooth Audio Streaming – For those of you who want to beam stereo music directly from your phone using A2DP. The connection process is very similar to connecting your phone via bluetooth to the car and the audio quality is excellent! This is the first time this has been offered in any of our models!
— Update — Read my new post on MHI as a factory option.
Mercedes-Benz just announced that the panoramic roof will not be standard equipment on the GLK350. It has been moved into the Premium1 Package. That package will be priced at $3,150.
$35,900 Base Price
$875 Destination and Delivery
$3,150 Premium1 Package
$39,925 for a well-equipped GLK350
Premium1 Package includes – Panoramic roof, Rain Sensor, Driver memory seat, Homelink, Auto-dimming mirrors, Sirius Radio, Power Liftgate, 115V AC power plug, and Compass in interior mirror.
Also, did I mention that the 2 wheel drive version will arrive this summer for about $2000 less than the 4 wheel drive?
I returned from Germany about a month ago now. Sorry for the delay in posting!
There are no pictures from the Test Track at Unterturkheim, the Mercedes-Benz Engine Production Plant in Cannstatt, or from inside the AMG factory in Affalterbach, which were certainly some of the best parts of the trip. Mercedes closely guards their secrets and we were not allowed to take pictures there. I have included an old stock picture from Unterturkheim because I couldn’t put into words what we got to experience there!
The Engine Plant was striking in how clean and efficient it was. They pride themselves on high standards for the workers, including a 35-hour workweek, over a month of paid vacation, facilities that are non-toxic and empowering the workers to fix things and stop problems. Here the engines start down the production line and both the workers and the robots add parts, adjust tolerances and test the components. I found it very interesting that the engines come down the line mixed together. It isn’t 200 right-hand-drive V-6’s one day and 200 diesel V8’s the next. It is one of each of whatever is needed. They are currently expanding the facility because they also produce engines for some of our competitors and demand has grown.
At AMG, the facilities are just as impressive but the production of the engines is kind of opposite. The block is mounted to a cart and the single technician moves that cart from station to station adding the components and testing as he goes. After the engine is complete all of the V12 engines and a selection of the V8’s go to the test bench and are put through their paces. We saw a V12 race around the track virtually and it shook the room! At this location they also do customization for an elite clientele. We saw elongated G-wagons, an ML with a royal blue and yellow interior and a CL with more security features that an embassy!
The day we were scheduled to go to the Production Plant in Sindelfingen the plant closed for a meeting! (The meeting was to discuss reducing production by 35,000 units for the rest of the year.) We were able to go to the European Delivery Center in Sindelfingen instead and see where our clients would pick up their vehicle. In Germany it is popular to pick up your new vehicle from the factory rather than the local dealership!
I had not been to Germany before and was surprised by the beautiful countryside and vineyards. It reminded me of upstate New York in the fall. The trip was a wonderful mix of the Mercedes production and history I was looking forward to and a tour of Germany that I wasn’t expecting. Thank you to Mercedes-Benz Training and Education for arranging the trip and to Fred Schoeninger, our fantastic guide!
The GLK is quite impressive! You can tell that Mercedes put a lot of work into developing this model specifically for drivers who want a small SUV, rather than just adapting a current model to fill a niche. From the outside it has its own distinctive styling – it does not look like a shrunken ML or a GL. It also has a presence – this is a car that you would notice driving down the road. On the inside, I was impressed with the seating position. It is smaller than a traditional SUV but the upright seating position and great visibility make it feel very commanding on the road. It was also a pleasure to drive. The V6 engine is plenty of power and the car felt very agile. It even has a 3500 lb towing capacity!
I was unfamiliar with the Acura RDX (and I still probably couldn’t pick it out of a line-up!). This car is a re-outfitted Honda CR-V. I can’t believe that people would pay close to $40,000 for this vehicle. The RDX lacks all of the insulation, finishing, and attention to detail that makes a Mercedes a good value at any price. On the road the Acura has some torque steer, lets in a lot of road noise and is just not a compelling vehicle.
Overall I was thrilled with the GLK! I think Mercedes is really demonstrating a commitment to quality and serving their customers. I know that this vehicle will be an excellent choice for people who want more room than a sedan offers but don’t need a huge SUV. Also, the pricing is fantastic. I was expecting it to come in only slightly lower than the ML350 and it turns out it is going to be very close to the price of a C350! Base MSRP is $35,900 and I think you max out around $47,000 if you get all the bells and whistles. I would guess that the most common set-up, Premium 1 Package, ipod and heated seats would be around $39,500.
We expect to get a demonstrator vehicle at the dealership in December and the GL350 will be for sale in January of 2009. If you live in the Atlanta area please let me know if you would like to be notified when the demo vehicle arrives. I can’t wait to introduce you to the newest member of the Mercedes family!
It was just announced (about an hour ago) that the MSRP for the 2010 GLK350 will be $35,900. I’m in a training session today at our dealership on this new model. I will post more info, photos, and my impressions later this evening.