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Mercedes-Benz Review Roundup: The GLK350 4MATIC, CLS63 AMG, B200 Turbo And C-Class Estate
Posted September 9, 2008 At 12:00 PM CST by T. Philips

Exterior views of the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC, CLS63 AMG, B200 Turbo and C-Class Estate

The newest, latest and greatest batch of Mercedes reviews are in, with a grand total of four Mercedes-Benz models tested for your reading enjoyment.  The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC, the CLS63 AMG, the B200 Turbo and the C-Class Estate  – these are the lucky models chosen, so if you're in the market for any, keep reading to find out what reviewers thought of each.

As is the case with all our Mercedes Review Roundup installments, you can find excerpts from each review as well as links back to the full articles immediately below.

Enjoy.


Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC (via driving.ca)
Reviewer's rating:  Unspecified

"The GLK's look is incredibly clean. The sharp, crisp lines clearly set it apart from any other model. On the outside, at just over 4,500 mm long and 1,840 mm wide, the GLK looked smaller than I had expected. Part of that could be the 19-inch wheels, which act as an enhancement to the already aggressive look. The big wheels stand out, making the rest of the GLK seem smaller in relation.

It's inside the GLK, where space seems to expand. The rear cargo area, even with the rear seats up, is very accommodating at 450 litres (15.9 cubic feet) with the cargo cover up, and 660 (23.3) with no cover. Put the rear seat down and you have 1,548 litres (54.7 cubic feet), and it includes two bag hooks. The rear seat room is good for an average size adult, even if there is a larger than average guy in the front with the front seat fairly far back.

Once behind the wheel, the GLK experience gets even better. Power comes from the brand's 3498cc V6 with four valves per cylinder, which puts out 268-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel mileage is expected to come in at about 10.1 L/100km combined average; a respectable number for a V6 powered SUV.

This engine package makes the GLK very lively, and it feels like there's plenty of power on tap. This is partly because it's mated to Mercedes' silky smooth 7G-Tronic electronically controlled seven-speed automatic transmission with torque converter lockup. The transmission works in three modes, comfort, sport and manual, and the gear changes in both automatic and manual modes are very, very smooth.

You'll have to trust me on this, but we put the GLK through a course you wouldn't wish on any vehicle, and even though I found myself thinking there is no way we were going to make it up that hill, or through that mud hole, or down that hill, the GLK just chugged along like it was a Sunday drive... it was amazing."

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Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG (via The Detroit News)
Reviewer's rating:  Unspecified

"When you drive the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG high performance coupe, you need an escort, a passport or any other reliable radar detector.  This machine flies.  A colleague and I were testing the new Mercedes for what we thought would be a long haul to Joliet, Ill. But somewhere along the trip, we either broke through some time-space continuum or we were accidently speeding. By the time the iPod rambled through the second play list, we were nearly there.

It's easy to do in this racing-enhanced Mercedes that has four doors but Germans insist on calling a coupe.  They could call it weiner schnitzel, that wouldn't change how great it is.  This car, which starts at $94,550, turns the fast lane into slow motion. While heavy (just over 4,200 pounds), the CLS 63 AMG feels well weighted on the road. The steering is firm but not twitchy. The 6.2-liter V-8 rumbles but never roars, though it packs more than 500 horses under its hood. It's refined in every way. Even the seven-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth as it clicks through the gears to hit 60 mph from a standstill in 4.3 seconds.  But all of that power is hidden under curvy sheet metal and a sloping roof that is as graceful as a marble sculpture.

Parked at a gas station outside of Paw Paw, the CLS 63 AMG looked out of place as 20-year-old pickups cruised past. This vehicle is sleek and sophisticated. It carries spies to embassy parties, not a couple of reporters to Joliet. The CLS 63 AMG is ferocity in a tuxedo."

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Mercedes-Benz B200 Turbo (via Winnipeg Free Press)
Reviewer's rating:  Unspecified

That the little Mercedes B200 Turbo might not just be another boring mini minivan first came to my attention when I joined Mercedes-Benz Canada for the introduction of its summer driver training course at Ontario Place.  The instructors, fresh from a similar event at Mosport, were raving about the smallest Merc, claiming the five-door was both powerful and handled a treat.

Looking at a smorgasbord of hyper-powered AMG products in the Ontario Place parking lot, I was skeptical. Indeed, I avoided the B200 as long as I could, opting first for an SLK, a CLS and even an E-Class. Eventually, though, it was my turn in the B and, worse yet, it was for the slalom course. Darn, why couldn't I have something with wider tires and a centre of gravity somewhat lower than the nearby CN Tower?

Imagine my surprise when the little rascal handled all the to-ing and fro-ing that slaloming requires with aplomb. No, it wasn't faster than the AMG SLK, but it was mighty sprightly and incredibly easy to toss around, with none of the heaviness that accompanies the mounting of gargantuan, low-profile tires.  As a people hauler, it made a fine sports car.

Of course, the truth is that no matter how well it traipses around corners, that will never be the reason anyone buys a B200. It may be the added bonus that seals the deal, but its raison d'etre is that it hauls people and their belongings without the girth of an SUV or a full-sized minivan -- and it wears a Mercedes badge. That last bit should not be discounted since, for its average transaction price, one can buy a mighty fine Mazda5 and have some significant cash left over.

What one gets for $33,900 is a turbocharged, 2.0-litre four-cylinder, hooked up -- in the tester's case -- to the optional ($1,500) continuously variable transmission. It's a peppy combination that also just happens to be very quiet. This last attribute has as much to do with the CVT, which keeps the four-cylinder revving quite low, as with the engine's sophistication.  And it's the added torque (206 pound-feet starting at a low 1,800 rpm) from the turbocharger that lets that engine spin as slowly as a V6 or V8. Without that increased low-end pulling power, any 2.0L four spinning that slowly would provide woeful performance. Indeed, the normally aspirated version of the B200 takes more than 10 seconds to accelerate to 100 kilometres an hour where the Turbo takes but 7.4 seconds."

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (via FemaleFirst.co.uk)
Reviewer's rating:  three stars

Now the biggest obstacle facing any family travelling with the car is its ability to accommodate not just all the occupants, but the suitcases possibly camping equipment and the multitude of in car entertainment gadgets to keep those little ones amused. So the car has to be spacious flexible and practical. The obvious choice would be an estate unless you have so much clutter you need to hire a transit. However estates are often regarded as the workhorse of the car industry therefore lack the glamour and sophistication other cars boast.

That is, unless you invest in the new Mercedes Benz C-Class Estate. Hot on the heels of the luxury C-Class saloon, this new estate range takes the same qualities as the saloon in terms of safety and comfort but with the added benefits of space plus versatility.

There are eight engines to choose from all with significant improvements to reduce fuel consumption in some cases by 12 per cent mated to various trims according to the engine size. Prices start from £24,630 for the C180 Kompressor rising to £33,265 for the flagship C320 CDI, which will not tug on the purse stings too much considering what equipment comes as standard. Just be aware of the optional extras or packs that could send the price tag spiralling higher than fuel prices.

My test car for the week was the C220 CDI that stands in at £26,760 and came with the upgrade package SPORT that costs £2,895. This gained me Parameter speed sensitive power steering that was blissful, Sports Braking system that was reassuring, 15mm lowered Sport suspension giving a superb ride and handling in addition to little touches of elegance in the guise of Sports seats and Sports pedals.

The spacious interior should keep in-car fighting at bay from the children that is with the added benefit of copious storage binnacles to put all their precious toys in. Parents - invest in the satellite navigation system to keep your arguments minimal. Failing that, plenty of CD’s or the MP3 player for the CD/radio with Bluetooth connectivity. The host of luxury on board toys is better than Hamleys. Ensuring no discrimination against any size driver is an electrically height adjustable with memory drivers seat plus lumber support coupled with height adjustable twelve button multi function steering wheel. Take some time to work out what button does what before embarking on your journey.

Drive wise; this is where Mercedes Benz excels. As soon as you accelerate off towards the coast, you know you are driving a car packed with technology giving a take off better than a leer jet. The 2148 cc litre diesel engine whizzes to 62 mph in just 8.5 seconds with the six speed manual transmission fitted to my car. Top speed is 130 mph yet fuel consumption a healthy 46.3-mpg on a combined cycle."

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