The new GLC just started arriving to Mercedes dealerships here in the USA — and seems like an outstanding all-new SUV for the brand. The GLK and its boxy look is exiting the lineup of a half-dozen ‘Benz jeeps’ this year, making room for everything from the baby GLA to this GLC, up through the GLE and GLE Coupe and the top GLS for 2017.
The GLC, as its name implies, is aligned in shape and tech with the C-Class. This brings a massive set of benefits for performance drivers — particularly in its standard rear-drive setup. Just one engine and style pack makes the GLC300 very simple to buy. About $40k opens the books for the RWD model, and up to $42k for the GLC300 4Matic.
Many, many options will tempt you into bumping that tally into the high 40s/low 50s — but the gorgeous cabin and exterior go far at making this seem worthwhile.
Favorite detail of the new GLC has to be its available air suspension and six-pack of drive modes. Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual let you tailor the throttle, steering and suspension settings to match your mood or weather conditions. This is normal for any luxury car. But with air-ride suspension, the GLC offers at least 4X the actual difference in drive feel from its competitors like the Audi Q5 or BMW X3. Or even the Lexus NX200t and its variable-adaptive F Sport dampers. Comfort is truly pillow-soft and smooth, while Sport goes the other way in getting tight and taut. The result is a fabulously adjustable drive experience.
The one engine choice of the GLC is slightly underwhelming, at least on paper. A turbo four making 243 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque is competitive for the segment, but well behind the top BMW X3 xDrive35i on power and sprint speed. An estimated 7.4-second sprint to 60-mph is fairly pokey by Mercedes standards, but will feel stronger on the road thanks to a 9-speed (!) automatic gearbox as standard.
Performance cred is there for this rear-drive-based 4Matic AWD system too, in a way that the GLA and its front-drive origins never will match. The GLC is much longer and wider than the GLA, and dramatically lower than the GLK it replaces. A fresh look for the tail is very clean and chic, while the glasshouse and its continuous dark look is hot too. Nearly black tinted windows and black B and C-pillars are a timelessly cool style on the roads.
Otherwise, the biggest visual tweak is the available chrome chin spoiler. This pseudo-skidplate really alters the look of the GLC radically from the front. With it, the truck looks just like the big GL550 from the front. Without it, and there is a cool AMG-ish menace about its flared, body-color bumper intakes.
All told, the GLC seems like the ideal crossover for the Mercedes range. It appeals to people who hate the GLA’s narrow and cramped cabin, and also be a slam-dunk for any GLK owners who miss a smooth, creamy ride over bumps.
A win/win. Check out the official Mercedes details below — including a competitive comparo chart outlining how the GLC out-does its both rivals and MB predecessor.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic USA
Models & MSRP – December 2015 launch
- GLC300 – $38,950
- GLC300 4MATIC — $40,950
*Above prices exclude $925 delivery & destination charge.
Model Year Changes
- All-new design coincides with renaming from GLK-Class to GLC, in line with new nomenclature for Mercedes-Benz SUV models
- Redesigned grille, overhangs, headlights, and optional LED taillights
- Optimized for off-road use
- New 18-in, 19-in. and 20-in. wheel designs
- Increased standard equipment
- Redesigned interior offering choice of three types of trim
- Redesigned exterior offering three new paint colors
- Extensive range of options for personalization
- New upholstery color options
- New standard Crosswind Assist, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, ATTENTION ASSIST
- DYNAMIC SELECT
- Standard mbrace Connect package with five years complimentary service
- Redesigned center console
- Optional Sport Package
- Substantially more interior space for occupants and luggage
- Enhanced entry and exit space
Standard Feature Highlights
- COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS
- Crosswind Assist
- Power Driver Seat with memory
- Rearview Camera
- Power Tailgate
- Power Folding Mirrors
- 7” Color Display
- Media Interface
- 9 Speed Transmission
- DYNAMIC SELECT
Optional Feature Highlights
- DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist
- PRE-SAFE PLUS with Rear-End Collision Prevention
- BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist
- HANDS-FREE ACCESS
- Ventilated front seats
- Heated front seat
- Illuminated door sills
- MB-Tex covered dashboard
- Heated rear seats
- Air balance
- Ambient lighting
- Head-up display
- Panoramic sunroof
- AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension
- New 8.4-in. COMAND screen and touchpad with COMAND controller
- Second-generation of the all-new midsize luxury SUV that first debuted as the GLK in 2009.
- Lexus NX
- BMW X3
- Audi Q5
|Mercedes-Benz GLC300 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLK|
|Mercedes-Benz GLC300 vs. Lexus NX|
|Mercedes-Benz GLC300 vs. BMW X3|
|Mercedes-Benz GLC300 vs. Audi Q5|
2016 Mercedes-Bnez GLC300 4Matic USA – INTERIOR
At a Glance
|Dimensions (Wheelbase/L/W/H) — in.||113.1/183.3/74.4/64.5|
|Engine||2.0L turbo — 4 cyl.||2.0L turbo — 4 cyl.|
|Transmission||9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic||9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic 4MATIC AWD|
273 lb-ft torque
273 lb-ft torque
|0-60 mph (sec.)||TBA||TBA|
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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