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In-depth reviews

Mercedes GLC review - Interior, design and technology

Cabin is lifted straight out of the C-Class, but looks classy and is premium in feel

Undeniably recognisable as a Mercedes SUV, the GLC gets the distinctive family face, jacked-up suspension and a high-quality interior. The purposeful grille and LED daytime running lights give the GLC an imposing nose. Updates for post-2019 cars introduced slimmer headlights with revised LED graphics, and subtle adjustments to the front grille. Around the back the new models can be distinguished by LED tail lamp graphics which feature a ring-like design. The high roofline of the GLC results in decent practicality.

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Sport models get 18-inch wheels, heated seats, Garmin sat-nav and an ambient interior lighting package. AMG Line cars are bigger sellers thanks to a tougher bodykit, 19-inch wheels, sports suspension and AMG details for the interior.

On top of the basic cars, you can also spec a series of optional packages, adding more desirable kit to each trim level. The Premium Package gets 20-inch wheels, memory seats and keyless entry. Premium Plus builds on this, with all the aforementioned kit plus a panoramic roof, road sign assist and a high-end Burmester stereo. The top end Premium Plus Ultimate adds air suspension.

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The full-fat AMG models gets a flashy radiator grille and unique alloy wheels, plus sportier-looking bumpers and more pronounced tailpipes. There are some nice touches to differentiate it from lesser diesel models, but it doesn’t feel quite as nicely crafted as a Porsche Macan, for example. The AMG 63 models gets a grille design that's similar to the AMG GT sports car, plus blistered wheel arches, big wheels and chunky bumpers.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Inside, all cars feel suitably upmarket, with loads of well-finished surfaces and top-notch materials. The interior facelift, save for a couple of new options, results in a cabin that looks much the same as it did before. However, there’s a new infotainment set-up with a larger screen. It houses a sat-nav system which, like that in the latest A-Class, features augmented reality navigation instructions.

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These features are only available higher up the GLC range. Entry-level models don’t even get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; it’s disappointing to see software that’s often fitted to basic superminis doesn’t come as standard in a £40,000 SUV.

The menu layouts are largely the same as the old car, but they’ve been tweaked to allow touch inputs for the first time. If you’d prefer, it’s still possible to control the menus via the click wheel employed on earlier GLCs. Graphically, the system is very sharp, and the menus are fairly easy to navigate. The mapping screen is uncluttered and easy to read on the move.

Higher trim levels come fitted with a high-end Burmester sound system. It’s a worthy upgrade over the standard system, with a warm, punchy sound quality. It’s not quite a match for the glorious Bowers and Wilkins systems offered as (pricey) options with both BMWs and Volvos, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

The connected services and live traffic info are nice touches, and from the 2019 update onwards, the infotainment setup comes equipped with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. It’s standard on all but the base Sport and AMG Line trims.

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