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by Jez Spinks

The Mercedes-Benz GLK may once again escape Australian buyers looking for a medium-sized luxury SUV from the three-pointed star when the second-generation model goes on sale by 2014.

Mercedes’ original GLK (main picture) couldn’t be converted for right-hand-drive markets because of an engineering oversight relating to the four-wheel-drive system.

The replacement model has been confirmed for production in both left- and right-hand drive, though a Mercedes-Benz Australia source says the company is still weighing up whether to introduce the off-roader that could clash with the upcoming, B-Class-based baby SUV, the GLA (spied below).

“We have missed not having the current GLK in Australia, though the second generation isn’t guaranteed to come here,” the insider told CarAdvice. “We already have one of the most comprehensive vehicle line-ups in Australia, and the question is, ‘Do we have room for another SUV?’

“We already have the ML, the GL and G-wagen. And if we’re going to have an SUV at a lower price point, what’s more appealing for consumers – the smaller GLA or the GLK?

“It’s a no-brainer for us to take the GLA, which we see as having huge sales potential. But a final decision on GLK hasn’t been made yet.”

The Mercedes-Benz GLA will be offered in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive formats, whereas the GLK is rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

The GLA is based on Mercedes-Benz’s new compact vehicle platform that’s dubbed MFA and is underpinning a whole range of smaller Mercs that also include the A-Class hatch, B-Class MPV and CLA sedan.

The GLA and B-Class both sit on a higher-floor version of the MFA platform to deliver the ‘command’ seating position appreciated by MPV and SUV buyers.


  • Martin

    What? Are they serious? Mercedes still have no competitor for the X3 or Q5 and they don’t want to bring the only competitor they would have? The GLA is a size smaller and has the X1, Q3 and somewhat the Evoque and Countryman so how is the GLK stepping on any other of the Benz’s existing SUVs.

    • Zaccy16

      Exactly, mercedes a made a very dumb decision not intering that segment!

      • Monk


      • mike

        not interring that segment?

  • Phil

    The shape of that GLA is almost as bad as the X1.

  • Realist

    Mercedes-Benz Aistralia are fools of they think I or anyone else will be holding off buying from one of there competitors for the GLA to arrive. When I heard about the possibility that the GLK might come to Australia in 2014 from my local dealer I decided to hold onto my Honda CRV until then rather than to buy the X3 as I would much rather have the GLK. Ifercdedes-Benz Australai are that stupid that they are going to let the factory leave them out of production then I may as well go and buy the X3

  • Prelude

    This would be the dumbest thing since designing the original without thinking about the right hand drive market. Good work Mercedes Australia if this is true you are idiots!

  • GregR

    Absolute madness and proof, if ever it were needed, that so many Australian corporate arms of international companies are run by accountants and not sales or marketing people. I have driven the GLK in Canada and the US and it is a superb vehicle leaving the X3 for dead. I saw more GLK’s in Vancouver than any other vehicle with the exception of Infiniti models.
    Just think how many CRV, Freelander and RAV4owners would love to upgrade to such a vehicle.

  • mike

    The best or nothing. In this case, it’s nothing.

  • Darryl

    These 2 cars don’t look like each other in any way shape or form. The GLK is like what the name suggests GL light, whereas the GLA is A class got fat and heavy. Audi haven’t had any issues selling the Q3 and Q5 with their so called Russian doll styling. I reckon the chunky looks of the GLK would appeal here, and it, rather than the GLA could become their biggest selling SUV/crossover thing.