2018 had a significant event at Mercedes-Benz. The GLC-Class SUV overtook the classic C-Class sedan in sales for the first time ever, becoming the most popular Mercedes in America. Officially, the world is turned upside down.
Today, 22% of Mercedes sold in the United States are GLCs. Sales of the remaining Mercedes SUV models account for another 22% of total sales, highlighting how important all of these crossovers are to Mercedes’ bottom line. As a result, the revamped 2020 GLC-Class is the most significant new car Mercedes has introduced in a long time. The bigger GLE and GLS have already had an update, and the brand-new GLB will soon complete the crew.
There will be five alternative ways to order the new GLC. The standard GLC 300 comes either a fastback four-door coupe or a square-backed SUV body, while the AMG GLC 63 also comes in those body types. The top-tier GLC 63 S coupe, which just won the title of “Fastest SUV in the World,” completed a scorching lap of the Nordschleife in 7:49.369 seconds.
The 2018 GLC’s key features are straightforward: Mercedes performance, luxury, and cutting-edge technology. Mercedes made a wise decision by keeping the starting price of the base model affordable for prospective customers of premium SUVs and offering a trim walk that makes it simple to access both flair and amenities. Mercedes intends to maintain the momentum by making the GLC appealing and attainable.
Can you give us a break, Mercedes?
The inclusion of the Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system as standard equipment marks the biggest feature update for the 2020 GLC series. This technological marvel has previously received a thorough description and is already present in the GLE and GLS platforms.
Three different methods are available for controlling the complete MBUX system and all vehicle settings: the broad 10.25-inch touchscreen on the dash, the touchpad on the console, or voice commands. The “Hey Mercedes” voice-controlled digital assistant feature is still way too readily triggered, which is the single item to keep in mind with the GLC. The system pauses music and navigation when someone in the car says “Mercedes” and asks what you want.
Even yet, it’s a tiny price to pay considering the advantages of the system. Almost anything you desire, from a different radio station to climate control, may be requested of the GLC, and MBUX will take care of it. The system includes a fantastic function if you spent extra money on the optional Augmented Video navigation. The map in the central display changes to a camera view of the road ahead with floating labels for side streets and large floating arrows that point in the right direction as you approach a turn. Your new Mercedes now includes augmented reality.
The most recent DISTRONIC driver aid
The most recent model of Mercedes’ DISTRONIC enhanced driver assistance services is another significant feature of the new GLC. Even in erratic traffic, active distance assistance helps the GLC maintain a safe following distance. Additionally, the technology controls stop-and-go traffic for you and automatically applies the brakes for stopped vehicles in front of you.
If you require assistance with steering, the GLC has active steering assistance. But in all honesty, you probably want to keep that joy to yourself because the new GLC drives so well. The technology offers more than just a sort of autonomous driving capability; it will also guide you through safe lane changes and even stop the GLC if you become unresponsive.
One more to highlight among the numerous driver aid features is Active Speed Limit Assist. By using this function with adaptive cruise control, you can maintain the posted speed limit. This function will be useful to anyone who has ever driven quickly through a tiny town only to get into trouble with the police.
Several fresh exterior design hints
There are some new design cues to admire in each of the new GLC models. The trapezoidal grille on the base GLC 300 cars has been replaced with a circular grille with vertical bars and a Mercedes-Benz triangular star, while the grille on the AMG performance variants is completely different.
The GLC’s most noticeable feature is its availability in two different body types: a four-door coupe with a fastback hatch and a “SUV” body with a full-height extended roof. The GLC 300 entry-level or the AMG GLC 63 performance models both come with a coupe body option.
Inside the engine
A well-tempered turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque powers the GLC 300 variants. The new engine has 14 more horsepower than the outgoing GLC, and it is mated to a 9-speed automated transmission. The GLC 300 SUV comes standard with rear-wheel drive and offers 4MATIC all-wheel drive as an option. The coupe comes standard with 4MATIC. The 0-60 time is 6.1 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds faster than the model from the previous year. For the GLC 300 SUV’s $42,500 base price, this driveline is more than adequate. Although the starting price of the GLC 300 coupe is $50,000, it is necessary to spend for that level of style if you want it.
The AMG GLC 63 variants are, as expected, more thrilling. These come with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that has a 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque rating, and they are offered in the same SUV and coupe body types. The base GLC’s 9-speed automatic is also used by the AMG variants, however 4MATIC is the default. With a 0-60 pace of 3.8 seconds, the AMG version will toss your head onto the seatback. The AMG GLC 63 S variant, which is only offered as a coupe and has 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, is another option if you really want to move quickly. In 3.6 seconds, that vehicle will reach 60 mph. The AMG GLC 63 starts at $73,750, and the S coupe will cost you at least $84,100, so you’ll need to get your wallet out.
On the highway
The new GLC is probably going to continue to be the best-selling Benz on the market because driving a Mercedes is the major incentive to purchase one. Driving the different GLC alternatives from Newark up to the Catskill Mountains while avoiding Manhattan via the Henry Hudson Parkway took us the better part of three days. We visited urban, rural, mountainous, and highway settings.
Simply simply, with this SUV, Mercedes found its sweet spot. The entry-level GLC SUV, which is the most economical model, handles precisely, rides well across all types of roads, and is typically enjoyable to drive. True, it continues to be a larger small SUV. Get an SLC roadster if you want something more maneuverable. The coupe tells essentially the same tale. In comparison to the SUV’s 18-inch wheels, our coupe’s 19-inch wheels may have contributed to our perception that ours was a touch harsher over bumps.
When you get to the AMG versions, the GLC really starts to interest you. You also get an AMG suspension that is silky smooth and ideally tailored to the size and weight of the vehicle in addition to the more potent engines. Although we experimented with the other drive modes, the softer Comfort mode actually works best for a typical winding road through the hills. This option keeps the GLC level and composed while absorbing the defects and bumps. Although the acceleration is still astounding, you can drive with certainty because of the car’s impeccable composure.
The bigger brakes on all AMG models ensure that you won’t ever overheat them during typical driving, but if you choose to upgrade to the GLC 63 S coupe, you’ll receive truly valiant 6-pot binders. Additionally, the S coupe offers Race Style, a driving mode not found on any other GLC. Even while it’s incredibly improbable that a GLC will ever drive on a race track outside of a Mercedes press event, it is available if you so choose.
Mercedes treated us to a magnificent meal and as much wine as we desired following the second driving day, and we then had a fireside conversation with one of their resident futurists. The message was clear-cut. Why so many SUVs? Because most Americans reside in suburbia. Despite all the rhetoric of urban regeneration, the suburbs and exurbs continue to flourish, and the residents there adore SUVs. You already know it’s accurate, and it’ll probably remain so for at least another generation.
Mercedes’ absolute mission-critical need for the new GLC-class is the reason they labored over the details until they were perfect. Not only is this car their best-seller, but the gap between cars like the GLC and everything else will only grow.
How this automobile might be configured by us
Get the base GLC 300 SUV for the GLC if you want the best bargain. Compared to the coupe, this vehicle has a maximum cargo capacity of 56.5 cubic feet. If you don’t mind rear-wheel drive, it’s a wonderful buy for $42,500. If you live somewhere where it snows, upgrading the GLC to AWD is only $2,000 extra, so it’s really a no-brainer. You will have the handy MBUX system, driving assistance, and a really comfortable and practical SUV in either scenario. The route-based speed adaptation, surround-view camera, off-road package, Burmester sound system, and other options are also available.
The AMG GLC 63 SUV, with a price tag of $73,750, is the finest option if you really must have a V8, and we won’t blame you if you do. The 63 S coupe is excellent and not a significant upgrade given the price. It’s a matter of personal preference if you like the coupes’ overall appearance. They weren’t better or worse than the SUV design, in our opinion.
Do you need one?
You should definitely check out the new GLC range if you’re looking for a luxury SUV. This car is fiercely competitive given the amenities you receive for the money.
Furthermore, it would be wiser to pause and consider what you would be getting with a base GLC rather than a tarted up econo-box if you are adding options to an economy SUV and the price is approaching $35,000 at that point. You could drive away in a Benz for a few dollars more, and that’s a fantastic idea.
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