Mercedes-Benz GLC (2015 – 2021) Review
Mercedes-Benz GLC (2015 – 2021) At A Glance
As a contender in the premium SUV market, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has a battle on its hands. Rivals such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 both offer a similar package of practicality and upmarket aspiration. However, the GLC is well-equipped for the fight, with impressive levels of technology and a high-quality interior. Engine options for the Mercedes-Benz GLC are comprehensive, ranging from efficient diesels through to flame-spitting turbocharged V8 AMG models. Four-wheel drive is standard on all versions and, should you feel brave, the Mercedes is surprisingly capable off the road. A firm ride on some models, and the confusing number of trim levels, count against it.
It seems almost everyone wants an upmarket family SUV, meaning the Mercedes-Benz GLC is an important model in the Mercedes-Benz hierarchy. Slotting above the GLB and below the GLE, it means this 4x4 Benz has to tempt consumers away from the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
Handsome exterior styling is likely to sway some floating voters, Mercedes having ensured the GLC looks reassuringly expensive. Yet avoid the performance AMG versions and it won’t appear too ostentatious in the supermarket car park. For those who want more distinctive styling, Mercedes also offers a separate coupe version of the GLC. Check out our Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe review to find out more.
Regardless of engine or trim level, all versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLC use the 4Matic four-wheel drive system. Certain models can venture further off-road than you might imagine, but the GLC is happiest when firmly on solid ground. A nine-speed automatic gearbox is standard on every version, adding an extra degree of luxury and refinement to proceedings.
Engine options for the Mercedes-Benz GLC are numerous, with the core range concentrated on the diesel offerings. The GLC 220d has proven popular with buyers, but the more powerful GLC 300d should not be overlooked. It offers extra pace, but without a huge penalty when it comes to fuel economy.
Petrol-engined versions are less economical, struggling to offset the weight and complexity of the GLC. Fuel economy for the V8 AMG GLC 63 S will likely be as ruinous as you’d imagine.
The latest Mercedes-Benz GLC range also includes an unusual diesel plug-in hybrid. With a 2.0-litre diesel engine complemented by an electric motor, the GLC 300 de can achieve an official 148.7mpg. It is also capable of covering up to 27 miles on battery power alone, and has the potential to be fully charged in just two hours.
Formidable levels of tech are also found inside the GLC, with the interior packed with the latest gadgets. The latest Mercedes-Benz GLC models gain the impressive Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system. Along with touchscreen controls, MBUX can function like a smartphone assistant. Ask it to turn the climate control down or change radio stations, simply by saying “Hey, Mercedes”.
Even the cheapest Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Sport version, comes loaded with kit. LED headlights, a reversing camera, heated front seats and climate control are all standard. Moving through the rest of the model range can be hard to fathom, the higher new trim levels are all variations of AMG Line specification. Just be aware the top-spec models have larger alloy wheels, which results in a stiffer ride on the sportier AMG Line suspension.
Despite the reams of equipment, the GLC also manages to leave enough space for passengers and luggage. Non-hybrid versions of the GLC can hold 550 litres of cargo with the rear seats up. Curiously, this volume is identical to that accommodated by the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Four adults will fit inside the Mercedes-Benz GLC with ease, although the rear middle seat is best left for children.
If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Mercedes-Benz GLC review.