Mercedes GLC (2015-2022) review
The Mercedes GLC mid-sized SUV blends premium quality and style, efficient powertrain options and a luxurious comfortable drive
The Mercedes GLC has all the styling, tech and driver appeal needed to win buyers in its hard-fought premium SUV sector. The four-cylinder diesels offer as much performance, economy and refinement any driver could routinely require, while the high-performance AMG models add serious punch.
In terms of practicality, the GLC is pretty much a match for its rivals when it comes to passenger and boot space, and although adding option packs and features can get expensive, an efficient range of engines means mainstream models offer reasonable running costs.
The more exotic AMG GLC 43 offers the exclusivity and performance of an AMG with plenty of practicality, while the AMG 63 is stupendously quick. While these models will be lightning-fast in a straight line, they can’t match quite the Porsche Macan for handling, which does a better job of hiding its SUV mass.
About the Mercedes GLC
It was later to market than most rivals, but the Mercedes GLC and GLC Coupe have made up for lost time by being among the front-runners for sale in the premium compact SUV class. There are a wide range of models, and whether you buy or lease a GLC, you'll be getting a high-class car with plenty of appeal.
It needs to be classy to help it take on rivals in the premium SUV class, and shares much of its DNA with the C-Class saloon. The main opponents are the Volvo XC60, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace, but there are a number of other cars it must face. The list includes the Audi Q5, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Lexus NX and Porsche Macan.
The GLC can take on this range of rivals because it has a broad model line-up, from the GLC 220 d and GLC 300 machines, all the way up to the storming AMG GLC 63 variants. As a result, prices range from just under £45,000 to around £90,000.
The GLC range was overhauled in 2019, with the compact SUV gaining some mild style revisions, updated infotainment and a variety of updated engines. The powertrain line-up now includes a pair of 2.0-litre diesels called the 220 d and 300 d, a 2.0-litre petrol known as the 300, as well as diesel and petrol plug-in hybrid models known as the 300de and 300e respectively. The high performance AMG 43 and AMG 63 models use 3.0-litre V6 and 4.0-litre engines, and also feature brake, suspension and wheel upgrades.
All cars were given a fresh LED lighting signature, and the bumpers were subtly reprofiled based on trim level. The entry-level Sport has now been dropped, and there are three trim levels in the GLC range, comprising AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus.
The AMG Line features 19-inch alloy five-spoke wheels, AMG-styled front and rear diffuser-effect aprons, plus Merc’s diamond-studded radiator grille, LED headlamps, power mirrors, privacy glass and parking assist. Inside you get black leather upholstery plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen with hard disk navigation and the MBUX multimedia system.
AMG Line Premium upgrades you to 20-inch wheels and exterior running boards, plus a 12.3-inch digital instrument pack, traffic sign recognition, upgraded audio, wireless phone charging and black ash wood interior trim. Premium Plus gets you a different style of 20-inch alloy wheel plus a panoramic sunroof, while the cabin is lavished with a 360-degree camera system, Keyless Go, memory seats and an electrically-adjustable steering column and a Burmester surround sound system.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 is available in Premium and Premium Plus trim, and both feature AMG Ride Control air suspension. The GLC 63 is only available in Night Edition Premium Plus trim, and you can recognise it by huge 21-inch alloys, black trim details and red brake calipers. All cars feature 4MATIC four-wheel drive and Mercedes' smooth shifting 9G-Tronic Plus nine speed auto gearbox.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Mercedes GLC mid-sized SUV blends premium quality and style, efficient powertrain options and a luxurious comfortable drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveExcellent body control and a refined motorway cruiser, but ride can be fidgety on big wheels
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsStandard nine-speed automatic gearbox keeps running costs down and on-par with rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe GLC's cabin is lifted straight out of the C-Class, but looks classy and is premium in feel
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe GLC is smaller than an F-Pace, but rear passenger and boot space is reasonable
- 6Reliability and SafetyA huge amount of safety kit and strong Euro NCAP results mean the GLC offers great protection