The old GLC was the brand's best-seller two years in a row.
Meet the newest Mercedes-Benz GLC. This one is an important one for the folks at Mercedes-Benz. The GLC is, after all, the brand's best-selling model over the last two years. Mercedes-Benz themselves call it one of the most important vehicles in its portfolio. This new model has also got some shoes to fill.
The previous Mercedes-Benz GLC got a lot right. It had an incredibly comfortable ride fitting of a luxury SUV, great passenger space, and excellent safety scores. To be a success, this new model needs to get all that right and improve on the old model's weaknesses.
On the surface, it looks like this new iteration of Merc's SUV is going to do just that. There are new, more appetizing powerplants on offer that'll return better fuel economy, updated, fresh design, and improvements to all of the GLC's strengths we mentioned above.
Of course, this being a luxury SUV, it must have real presence on the road. If you ask us, this new model nails it. The previous GLC was certainly getting long in the tooth, at least stylistically. The new metal draped over the GLC certainly puts that complaint to bed. The new front end helps to make the GLC look wider without actually increasing the track width much. Merc credits that to new headlights adjoined with a freshly restyled grille. Now standard is Merc's Avantgarde exterior with a chrome package that includes chrome window surrounds and a new chrome-look underguard. For AMG Line cars, owners will get a different grille with patterning featuring the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star.
The GLC isn't what we'd think of when it comes to off-roaders in this price bracket, but Mercedes-Benz begs to differ. The new GLC even offers new running boards as an optional extra. That said, if the tough-looking plastic wheel arch flares aren't to your liking, for the first time you can now get them painted in body color on all AMG Line and up trims.
The look of the GLC will be heavily influenced by the wheels it sits on, and Merc will offer a range of 18 to 20-inch wheels for the new model. And what's an SUV without a blackout package? That too will be on offer, again on AMG Line trims and up.
Inside, things have been updated significantly. Perhaps the most obvious changes are the new infotainment screens, ones which are much more in line with current Mercedes-Benz offerings. There's no Hyperscreen here, but the new 11.9-inch center display should do the job. For the driver, there's now a 12.3-inch display.
Mercedes-Benz designers also updated the air vents, a design favorite of ours, which are supposed to be reminiscent of jet engines. You'll also be able to order your GLC with some interesting trim options, including open-pore wood with real aluminum inlays Happily, Merc's fantastic ambient lighting system makes a return here. It's the best in the business and we're happy to see it back. Some of that lighting runs under the dash, which will be available in leather as an option. Finally, a new panoramic sunroof is available as an optional extra.
Mercedes-Benz has some new systems in place to keep you cool and calm in the new GLC as well. A new Energixing Package Plus creates seven new comfort driving programs. The system will also create a certain ambiance in the interior, likely with help from the ambient lighting. Merc gives a few examples, like an invigorating configuration "in case of fatigue or relaxing in case of an elevated stress level." A new "Energizing Coach" will suggest a fitness or wellness program based on the car's settings and trip data. The system will factor in info about sleep quality and stress levels into its calculations if you're wearing a compatible wearable device, like a FitBit.
Also available is a new air fragrance system, which will be part of the Energizing Package. That will work in tandem with the Energizing Coach to create a specific feeling inside the GLC, and multiple scents will be available. Optional Energizing Air control will monitor and improve the air quality in your GLC, a system not unlike the one found inside the EQS.
Inside, Mercedes has addressed one of our larger complaints with the last model: space. The car itself is 185.6 inches long, 2 inches longer than before, while sitting around 0.15 inches lower than its predecessor. In addition to the new face making the car look wider, it is in actuality wider. Mercedes-Benz says the new GLC's track is a hair wider at the front (0.2 inches) and a full inch wider at the rear.
Critically, luggage capacity is up by 2.4 cubic feet to 21.8 cubic feet, largely due to more rear overhang. The rear luggage space can be opened via the key and closed electrically, just like the last GLC. Underneath the GLC's floor, you'll find necessities like the car's charging cable (more on that in a moment), as well as a small space for loose items. Like the last car, the seats do still fold down, which will help with carrying larger items. These new dimensions haven't made the GLC any less friendly towards the air, however. In fact, this is a more slippery car, which will help increase fuel economy. Merc quotes a drag coefficient of 0.29, around two tenths better than the last car's 0.31 Cd.
Engine options for the new GLC are now hybrid only, offering output of up to 381 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. All cars will be AWD shifted via Merc's 9-speed auto gearbox. There's your pick of either a plug-in or mild hybrid system with a 48V motor and integrated starter. The engines themselves will for now be comprised of Merc's typical turbo-four engines. However, Mercedes does say that three further engine variants will be available with an additional 130 hp and 62 miles of electric-only range. Mild-hybrid cars will also be able to "glide," using the car's momentum plus a little electrical assistance to keep things moving.
Ride will be handled by a traditional coil and spring setup, with a four-link front and independent rear suspension. Mercedes-Benz will also offer its latest air suspension system as an option, in addition to rear steer. Rear steer will add up to 4.5 degrees of rotation to the tires to help the GLC feel a little more nimble. Also on offer is a new Offroad Engineering package, which adds an inch of ride height and comes with underbody protection.
For now, specifics on trim levels are rather scarce. Each trim level will offer different power outputs, and are named as follows: 200, 300, or 400 followed by either 4MATIC (connotating AWD), with plug-in models being differentiated by an "e", and diesel models shown with a "d" just after either 200, 300, or 400. For example, a top-tier hybrid model would be called the Mercedes-Benz GLC 400 e 4MATIC.
We expect more information when pricing for the new GLC is announced. However, there is some standard equipment we are rather excited about. That includes wireless charging and heated seats, both must-haves in the luxury SUV segment. AMG Line models will, of course, get the Mercedes tri-star grille we mentioned before, as well as sport suspension, different interior accents including carbon fiber, and larger wheels.
Without getting in the driver's seat, it looks like the new GLC will deliver on its promises. The new model brings updated styling, new tech, and more cargo capacity together in a more powerful and fuel-efficient package. There are even some off-road goodies thrown in, like 360-degree cameras for spotting obstacles. With any luck, the newest GLC will continue the model's streak as the most popular Mercedes SUV out there.
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