New Mercedes-Benz GLC driven.
This C-Class-based SUV has, since its introduction, become the brand's best-selling passenger vehicle on a global scale. The same can be said for our local market. Mercedes aims to continue that success with this latest version.
The new C-Class is a great-looking car, and Mercedes designers have carried that styling over to the new GLC. The GLC features a revised front design with sportier bumpers, new headlights, and a unique DRL signature. There is no mistaking this for anything other than a Mercedes. There is also a function to its form. This new GLC offers aerodynamic improvements, which have resulted in a minimal drag coefficient of only 0.29.
The car's rear has also been revised with new double-section tail lights highlighting the GLC's wide athletic stance. AMG Line models can be had with body-coloured wheel-arch liners and the Night package fitted to my launch. The running boards can be specified on any model.
The GLC remains an attractive machine, now with a more modern design. It is, however, the interior that also impresses. Like the C-Class, the GLC features a contemporary interior packed with technology and is visually appealing. The most notable feature in the cabin is the 30.2 cm central display that rises from the middle console. The screen is slightly angled towards the driver for improved visibility and operation. The graphics are impressive, and the system is easy to use once you are familiar with the functions.
The visual experience is further enhanced by including a 31.2 cm high-resolution LCD screen, which replaces the traditional instrument binnacle in front of the driver. Here, you can customise your view with various layout options. Like the main screen, the graphics are the best in the business. Due to this enhanced technology and the versatility of the infotainment system, the facia is not riddled with buttons and everything, including the climate control, is handled via the screen.
As a video game player, a standout for me is the augmented reality navigation, which will display directional arrows on live image view when using the navigation system. This allows the driver and front passenger to see an overlay of navigation instructions directly on the central touchscreen screen ahead.
Wireless smartphone connectivity is a plus, as is the wireless charging pad in the centre console. A variety of USB-C ports are also available. Mercedes-Benz South Africa will offer revised equipment packages to simplify the optional extras. This new GLC has many popular options based on what many customers specify when purchasing a GLC.
Mercedes-Benz will be offering three engine options for the latest GLC. These include two diesels and one petrol. At launch, however, I could only sample the diesel and the petrol models in transit. However, the diesel route should be the only consideration because they are brilliant.
On offer is a 220d, which develops 145kW and 440Nm of torque. Over our 200km route, this motor sipped just 6.4l/100km, including various driving modes and styles. The bulk of my day, however, was spent behind the wheel of the 300d. Like the 2.0-litre diesel in the 220d, this motor, however, does develop a fair bit more power. You can expect 198kW and 550Nm of torque. I managed an equally impressive 7.4l/100km.
Both diesels use a smooth 9G-Tronic gearbox, and 4MATIC is standard across the range. What is also impressive is the fact that all the cars are fitted with a 48V mild hybrid system. This adds 17kW and 200Nm into the mix and helps reduce fuel usage.
Out on the road, both cars performed well. The 220d I sampled was fitted with the optional AIRMATIC suspension, which can lift the vehicle when the Off-Road mode is selected. Yes, the GLC can get its fancy wheels dirty. Apart from being a capable on-road performer, the GLC has various technologies that work with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system to venture off the tarmac.
Overall, the new GLC hasn't changed the game. It has refined an appealing offer with more style, technology and brilliant engines. While the price may be steep, one must consider our dwindling Rand and an economy struggling under pressure. Mercedes-Benz South Africa does, however, offer various finance options which aim to assist buyers. Explore these in more detail when considering this GLC, which we highly recommend you do.