After getting a sneak-peak at the GLK‘s replacement only a few hours ago, Mercedes have went ahead and released everything they have about the all-new 2016 GLC compact SUV.
Since we already had time to browse through a few comments about the GLC, it seams that our readers are split between appreciating its taller C-Class wagon look and disliking its unoriginal design, saying that the GLA is a better looking model.
It’s tough not to agree with that 2nd assessment. Even if you don’t mind the looks of the all-new GLC, it just seems like it blends in too much with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz line-up. It would certainly be hard to say that this is a better looking car than the Porsche Macan, BMW X3 or Lexus NX.
And those taillights look funny.
Other than that, Mercedes seem to be pretty high on their newest SUV, saying that it features excellent safety, state-of-the-art assistance systems, great fuel economy and ride comfort.
“Our new GLC represents a further, systematic step in the implementation of our successful SUV philosophy. It combines the ultimate in driving comfort with a sporty touch, impresses on the road and – more than ever – off it as well, and appeals to the eye with the new design and equipment line,” said Thomas Weber, Daimler AG Management Board member.
We can’t argue with the fact that the GLC does indeed stick to their current SUV design philosophy. You’ll quickly identify it as a Mercedes-Benz, regardless of how far away it is.
First thing you’ll notice is the short overhang at the front and the three-dimensional radiator grille – they work really well with the LED High Performance headlights. Mercedes say that the GLC has a self-confident look and we tend to agree. At least from this angle.
The profile is a whole different thing, as you’d be hard-pressed to say that this was a particularly masculine car. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the GLC looks like something you’d buy your wife on your 5 year anniversary. It lacks any aggressive lines, everything is curvy and straight forward and that might push some people (or most people) towards its rivals, such as the pretty darn good looking BMW X3.
As for the rear, well, Mercedes says that it has broad, muscular shoulders and in a sense it does. Something else it has is a silly droopy-eyed look with those uninspiring taillights – too bad we’ll have to wait until the facelifted model for Mercedes to do anything about that. Naturally, if you like the looks of the car, feel free to ignore the previous paragraph.
Moving on to the interior, you’ll be glad to know that the GLC has outgrown the GLK in every possible way. You not only have more legroom, but also more elbow room (front & rear), more shoulder room (front & rear) and more car between you and the road.
The design of the cabin has obviously nothing to do with the GLK as it resembles the C-Class and it also keeps in touch with the GLE’s interior. The large, one-piece console panel sweeping from the center air vents to the armrest is a nice touch, as is the newly developed and innovative touchpad which you can recognize finger gestures.
Now, if you’re worried about cargo space, you’ll be glad to know that the GLC’s rear bench features a 40/20/40 split and increases the load capacity by locking the backrests at a steeper angle. You get a grand total of 1,600 liters (56.5 cubit feet) which is more than enough in this segment and coincidentally is also what you get in the BMW X3.
In terms of energy efficiency, you’ll be able to buy the ultra efficient GLC 250 4MATIC, GLC 220 d 4MATIC and GLC 250 d 4MATIC in Europe, while State side you’ll only get the GLC 300 and GLC 300 4MATIC – both powered by a 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder engine producing 241 HP and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm).
Performance-wise, you get a Cd value of 0.31 in the GLC which clearly bests the GLK’s 0.34 Cd, while also setting a benchmark in the segment. In comparison, the BMW X3 has a 0.33 Cd.
All EU models feature 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with a basic drive torque split of 45% to 55% (front-rear) and standard nine-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. However, as with all Mercedes-Benz hybrids, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC will feature the latest version of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS gearbox.
Once you start driving, you’ll be able to enjoy the Air Body Control suspension as well as the Dynamic Select handling control system with five driving programs as standard (ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL). Should you ever venture off-road, the GLC’s Rocking Assist program will raise the car by 50 mm and increase the wheel-slip control threshold. Other off-road programs include Off Road, Incline and Trailer.
As far as tech is concerned, almost all the driver assistance systems which you know from the C, E and S-Class are now available for the new GLC. You get goodies such as Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Crosswind Assist, Headlamp Assist and Attention Assist as standard, while Distronic PLUS (with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot), PRE-SAFE Brake with pedestrian detection, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE PLUS are all part of the optional Driving Assistance Package ‘Plus’.
On models equipped with the LED Intelligent Light System, the adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows main beam to be left on permanently by masking out the area of the main-beam light cone which is occupied by other vehicles.
Another new feature is the Head-up Display (HUD) – which displays (duh) important information directly in the driver’s field of vision. Of course, you already know how this works. The system provides the driver with information about speed, speed limits, sat nav instructions and messages from the DISTRONIC system.
In case you get into a bit of a “situation” with your new GLC, you’ll be happy to know that the car has plenty of airbags at your disposal. They include the combined thorax/pelvis sidebags for driver and front passenger and a newly developed windowbag extending over both seat rows.