Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class  vs Audi Q5 TDI 

Mercedes-Benz GLK350

  • $37k
  • 3.5L V6
  • 19 city 25 hwy
The GLK could use some of the modern design cues from the larger ML-Class–at least in our opinion–as it looks more like an off-roader than it really is.
by The Car Connection (Apr, 2014)

Audi Q5 TDI 3.0 Premium Plus quattro Tiptronic

  • $47k
  • 3.0L Diesel V6
  • 24 city 31 hwy
We're happy with any of the carry-over powerplants, especially the 2.0-liter turbo four-it's lighter and almost as quick as the Q5 3.0T, with its 272-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.
by The Car Connection (Mar, 2014)

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of GLK350 vs 3.0 Premium Plus quattro Tiptronic


Will it break the bank?

Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

NMOG/mile, carbon monoxide/mile and nitrogen oxide/mile

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

combined CO2/mile and EPA greenhouse gas score

RideNerd Score

Affordability, Fuel economy, Air quality and Climate friendly

Mercedes-Benz GLK350 

RideNerd recommends the Mercedes-Benz GLK350  based on its air quality.

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Benchmarks Real world tests of GLK-Class vs Q5 TDI

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Annual Fuel Cost The cost of fuel to drive 15,000 miles each year.

Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

Reasons to consider the
Mercedes-Benz GLK350

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Causes much less acid rain 0.01 g vs 0.04 g 3.5x less nitrogen oxide emitted per mile
Lower MSRP $37k vs $47k More than 20% cheaper sticker price
Emits less non-methane organic gases per mile 0.01 g vs 0.02 g 2.6x less NMOG per mile; organic gases contribute to respiratory problems and ozone production
Slightly cheaper annual cost $10,052 vs $11,491 Around 15% less expensive per year
Produces less smog 0.2 g vs 0.33 g Around 40% less carbon monoxide per mile
Less landfill usage 32.84 kg vs 72.31 kg 2.2x less waste sent to landfill during manufacture
Front view of Audi Q5 TDI

Reasons to consider the
Audi Q5 TDI 3.0 Premium Plus quattro Tiptronic

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Runs on diesel Yes vs No Diesel engines typically last longer than gas engines and cost less in maintenance
Saves on fuel $2,191 vs $2,556 Around 15% cheaper based on 15,000 miles/year
More efficient freshwater use 3.69 m³ vs 7.37 m³ Around 50% less per car made; 1 cubic metre of water is 1.5 year's worth of drinking water
Much less energy used per car made 2,680 kWh/vehicle vs 4,858 kWh/vehicle Around 45% less per car made; less dirty energy used in the manufacturing process benefits everyone
Much less CO2 per car made 0.66 metric ton vs 1.06 metric ton Around 40% less CO2 emitted per car made; clean factories are good factories
Significantly better highway driving range 613 miles vs 435 miles More than 40% further range on the interstate
Better city driving range 475 miles vs 330 miles Around 45% further in the city
More emission control devices 3 vs 2 1 more catalytic converters; typically results in cleaner emissions
Higher EPA highway mileage 31 MPG vs 25 MPG Around 25% better on the interstate
Higher EPA city mileage 24 MPG vs 19 MPG More than 25% better fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic

Annual Costs Which is the smarter choice for your wallet over 5 years?

$37,480 17.4¢/mile Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Audi Q5 TDI $46,500 14.6¢/mile
Infrequent drivers     Up to 10,000 miles/year
Average drivers     Up to 20,000 miles/year
Heavy drivers     Up to 40,000 miles/year
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is cheaper (per year) for most drivers. The Audi Q5 TDI only makes sense if you drive more than 66,000 miles per year.
Our math for 15,000 miles / year, over 5 years
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Audi Q5 TDI
Price $7,496 ($37,480) $9,300 ($46,500)
Fuel $2,606 (3,521 gallons) $2,190 (2,807 gallons)
City 19 MPG 24 MPG
Highway 25 MPG 31 MPG
Customize our assumptions
% of city miles
$ per gallon of gas
$ per gallon of diesel
$ per gallon of ethanol
$ per gallon of natural gas

Specifications Full list of technical specs


GLK-Class  vs
Brand Mercedes-Benz Audi
Model year 2014 2014
City range 330 miles 475 miles
Highway range 435 miles 613 miles
MSRP $37k $47k
Annual cost $10,052 $11,491

Manufacturing Emissions

Water per car made 7.37 m³ 3.69 m³
CO2 per car made 1.06 metric ton 0.66 metric ton
Energy per car made 4,858 kWh/vehicle 2,680 kWh/vehicle
Waste per car made 32.84 kg 72.31 kg

power & handling

Max torque 273 ft-lb @ 3,500 RPM 428 ft-lb @ 1,750 RPM
Max HP 302 HP @ 6,500 RPM 240 HP @ 3,750 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio 13.47 lb/hp 18.65 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 37.7 feet 38.1 feet

stereo & entertainment

Brand Generic Generic
Speakers 6 10
Has a speed sensitive volume No Yes
Has a subwoofer No No
Auxiliary input Yes No
AM/FM radio Standard Standard
CD player Standard Standard
CD changer N/A N/A
Satellite radio Optional, $460 Standard
Entertainment system Optional, $1,950 Optional, $1,950


Cruise control Standard Standard
Front A/C N/A N/A
Front passenger A/C N/A N/A
Keyless entry Standard Standard
Keyless ignition N/A N/A
Sun roof Optional Optional, $0
Navigation system Optional, $0 Optional, $3,550
Roof rails N/A Standard
Power locks Standard Standard
Power mirrors Standard Standard
Power outlets Optional, $0 Standard
Power steering Standard Standard
Power windows Standard Standard


GLK-Class  vs
Carbon monoxide/mile 0.2 g 0.33 g
NMOG/mile 0.01 g 0.02 g
Nitrogen oxide/mile 0.01 g 0.04 g
Vapor canisters 1 0
Bleed canisters 0 0
Catalytic converters 2 3
Stops the engine instead of idling Yes Yes
Disables engine cylinders under low loads No No
Recirculates exhaust gas Yes Yes

engine & drivetrain

Engine size 3.5L 3.0L
Air compressor None None
Cylinders V6 V6
Paddle shifters N/A N/A
Gearing type Traditional Traditional
Transmission 7-speed Automatic 2WD 8-speed Automatic 4x4

suspension, wheels & brakes

Rear suspension Multi link Multi link
Front brakes 12.99 in Ventilated Disc 13.58 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 11.81 in Ventilated Disc 12.99 in Ventilated Disc
Front wheel width 235 235
Front wheel diameter 19 inch 19 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 50 55

safety features

Active head restraints Yes No
Head curtain
Antilock brakes Standard Standard
Child door locks Standard Standard
Electronic stability control Standard Standard
Traction control Standard Standard
Rear camera N/A N/A
Rear sensor Optional, $970 Standard
Park assist system N/A N/A
Communication system None None

physical dimensions

Width 74.2 in 74.7 in
Front track width 60.1 in 63.7 in
Height 66.9 in 65.2 in
Ground clearance 7.9 in 7.9 in
Length 178.3 in 182.6 in
Wheelbase 108.5 in 110.5 in
Curb weight 4,068 lb 4,475 lb
Tow weight 3,500 4,400
Has a rear spoiler No Yes
Seats 5 5
Front seat room 53 ft³ 54 ft³
Rear seat room 45 ft³ 48 ft³
Mercedes-Benz GLK350
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Audi Q5 TDI 3.0 Premium Plus quattro Tiptronic
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