Intelligence does not have to come with a style cost, Mercedes.
German luxury marque Mercedes-Benz has updated what has become one of their most important models, the GLC, to keep it fighting-fit against smarter and newer competitors. And while it gains its fair-share of intelligent & innovative new features, it’s also lost one of its most loved traits: Its looks.
The GLC was one of the very prettiest SUVs in the Mercedes-Benz range, for reasons that cannot quite be explained in full. It was proportionally perfect, with all the right elements in the right places in the right dosages. This new car, while undoubtedly more aggressive and more in-keeping with the new corporate design language, just looks a bit gormless. And those taillights are just hideous.
But the big changes, which we do like, are inside. Mercedes-Benz has integrated their new MBUX infotainment system here, the first such implementation of MBUX on this platform (something Mercedes said could not be done on the C-Class, for some odd reason).
It doesn’t get the dual wide-screen setup as in the A-Class, but it does get the full gamut of input methods (wheel touchpads, centre touchpad, touchscreen) and voice-command. It also gets the vaunted augmented-reality navigation system that we loved from the A-Class.
The GLC also offers new powertrains with the update. A 2.0-litre petrol mild-hybrid is employed in the GLC200 and GLC300, with the former putting out 145kW/280Nm and the latter 190kW/370Nm. Power goes to all-four wheels via a 4Matic system that Mercedes says is all-new, though the standard 9-speed auto is a tried-and-tested unit. Fuel consumption is rated at a maximum of 7.4L/100km on the combined cycle.
Diesels come as either a GLC200d, GLC220d, or GLC300d, with 120kW/360Nm, 143kW/400Nm, or 180kW/500Nm on tap. Fuel consumption for the oilers range from between 5.2L/100km in the 200d, while the 300d will drink as much as 5.8L/100km.
The GLC now comes with adaptive dampers on both axles, providing a greater range of comfort & dynamics, accessible via the Dynamic Select system which lets you flick between Comfort, to Sport, and then to Sport+. There are also a couple of off-road modes too, though it’s unlikely that anyone will ever properly utilise them.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed that the updated GLC will be in Australia in the third-quarter of this year, though local pricing & specifications have yet to be screwed down.