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Mercedes GLK, Audi Q5, BMW X3: new premium SUVs up to 2016

Christian Schulte
Mercedes GLK, Audi Q5, BMW X3
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D as is well known, the round must go into the square - and not just in football. Bayern Munich sponsor Audi is also following this strategy and saying goodbye to the current, rather soft-sucked shape with the new edition of the Audi Q5 (2016). This is proven by an almost martial-looking single-frame grill with a deliberately three-dimensional design and strongly angled corners.

But what if the angular has to be rounded? Quite simply: Then a model like the rather angular looking loses Mercedes GLK from 2015 its familiar look and looks as round as the current Q5. As you can see, a lot will be in motion in the next few years in the compact premium SUV segment.

The new Mercedes GLK will only change slightly in terms of its dimensions, but the new look makes it look narrower and, with the roof sloping slightly at the rear, more coupé-like. The size of the window areas is a little smaller, the sheet metal part of the body increases.

Mercedes GLK with technology from the C-class

But one shouldn't conclude from this that the Mercedes is a copy of the Audi. On the contrary: With the model change, the GLK is developing into a character and demanding off-roader based on the technology of the next C-Class generation (new from spring 2014).

A touchpad is moving into the interior as a new operating unit, which reacts to touches and inputs using characters. The cockpit is characterized by a large screen, which the C and even the new V-Class will get in a similar form.

The use of the 360-degree camera in the area of ​​the interior mirror opens the GLK Eyes outward: It now enables automatic braking intervention even in cross-traffic and automatic adjustment of the light distribution on the road, because it detects oncoming traffic and can hide it in the light cone. So the driver always gets an optimum of light. In addition, there is the active parking assistant with steering and braking interventions as well as an additional safety element Pre Safe Plus, which now reacts proactively and brakes the GLK even in the event of an impending rear-end collision.to protect passengers from the consequences of whiplash injuries.

As with the M- and S-Class, Mercedes has turned every lever here to optimize the aerodynamics. Thanks to its streamlined shape and an optimization of the engine range, the GLK should consume around 15 to 20 percent less fuel. By the way, the diesel is particularly popular with customers, which accounted for 1,412 of 1,449 new registrations in Germany in June - combined with all-wheel drive in 80 percent of all cases.

The four-cylinder diesel 200 CDI ( 143 PS), 220 CDI (170 PS) and 250 CDI (204 PS), which will initially be taken over, but will be replaced by the new engines from the Renault cooperation in the course of the model cycle. In addition to the six-speed manual transmission, the new nine-speed automatic transmission, which will be used for the first time in the E 350 Bluetec in autumn and will also be gradually passed on to other models and engine variants.

New Audi Q5 from 2016

Like the Mercedes, the Audi Q5 successor (from 2016) will get a head-up display for the first time. A stereo camera is not yet in sight. Instead, Audi wants to use a mono camera in the course of the model cycle that, in combination with sensors, can also detect pedestrians and two-wheelers - but this technology will only be introduced into the Q5 in 2018/19. With the model change, after the A8 (facelift at the IAA), he will also get the matrix light, which ensures precise control of the LED light and can thus switch off or dim the high beam in a targeted manner if a vehicle approaches on the oncoming side. Together with the optional night vision device, the Q5, like the GLK, can also be used to detect people in the dark, together with appropriate warnings.

Similar to the Q7 (over 300 kilograms less), the Q5 also has to slim down. The diet is not quite as radical here. Similar to the A4 platform dispenser (new from 2015), it should be around 100 kilograms less than its predecessor. The interior is characterized by a new operating concept with options for programming the display and a touchpad à la A3. The engine range includes the four-cylinder TSI with cylinder deactivation (180 PS) and the plug-in hybrid, which, as a combination of a two-liter TFSI (211 PS) and a 70 kW electric motor, should allow around 50 kilometers of purely electric driving.

BMW X3 optics will be moderately changed

From an optical point of view, the BMW X3 is developing in this trio on smoothest - just like the X5, which is currently starting up in a new form. Here, too, the focus was on improving the aerodynamics, and so BMW uses so-called air curtain technology to ensure that the body is properly flowed around and that air entering through the front apron is targetedis directed backwards via the wheels. The whole thing is supported by a small tear-off edge at the rear.

The X3, based on the 3-part construction kit, is also lighter thanks to a clever mix of materials, which also includes carbon. BMW Development Board Member Herbert Diess made one thing clear on the sidelines of the i3 premiere in London: the findings from i3 production are being gradually transferred to the other model series - a clear point advantage for BMW over the competition, which has not yet reached that point in lightweight construction is.

Another thing that sets it apart: the use of the new three-cylinder. Even if it should be up to 224 hp - you have to get used to this idea.

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