2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC Review: An Elegant Evolution
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC Review: An Elegant Evolution

Mercedes-Benz’s best-seller, the GLC, makes a strong comeback

The Mercedes-Benz GLC, the German luxury brand’s most popular car internationally, is back as a second-generation model after a brief hiatus. The model’s absence from the brand’s lineup since last year meant that other contenders could swoop in to capture the market. With the new iteration, understandably a very important SUV for the brand, Mercedes-Benz is looking to reclaim its turf. The new car, like the new C-Class, is heavily updated and seems extremely promising on paper.


Exterior Design



Built on the MRA II platform, like the C-Class and the S-Class, the GLC’s design is an evolved version of its predecessor, which ensures continuity with a fresh touch. Borrowing elements from the former and with the well-proportioned shape of the outgoing model, the new iteration makes a mark while staying true to its roots. The car’s improved aerodynamics, with a drag coefficient reduced to 0.29 from 0.31, is claimed to ensure better performance and fuel efficiency. The newly integrated LED headlights with the grille and the larger three-pointed star emblem give it a distinct look, while the bumper, styled akin to a skid plate, adds a rugged touch.



From the side, not a lot has changed except a tighter bodywork. The smart-looking 19-inch, 5-spoke alloys add immensely to the side profile and are very different to what Mercedes-Benz have done in the past. Towards the rear, horizontally oriented lights with distinctive LED units with a central bar in gloss black tie the whole design together.


Dimensions and Interior Space



The GLC has grown in its second generation. While the height has been slightly reduced, it has gained in length, now measuring 4,716mm. A slight increase in the wheelbase ensures the cabin remains as spacious as ever. Though some might find the rear seating posture a tad upright, the overall cabin space offers commendable head and legroom. The boot space is also a highlight, now devoid of the intrusive space-saver spare tire (that now goes below the boot floor), making way for an impressive 1,250 liters with the rear seats down.


Interior Design and Features



One of the most prominent changes is on the inside. Drawing inspiration from the new C-Class, the overall design ethos feels contemporary. The dashboard, with its pinstripe pattern complemented by a matte dark wood insert, offers a touch of luxury. The rotary themed AC vents, which lock with a satisfactory click, and the floating touchscreen are some of the features that stand out.



The infotainment controls are now positioned below the display that’s tilted slightly (6 degrees) towards the driver. The palm rest and allied controls, lower down on the dash, have been given a miss like in other new Mercedes-Benz cars and that has freed up a lot of space for cupholders and a wireless charging pad with a cavernous central armrest storage. The new three-spoke steering wheel features capacitive touch controls. The seat controls are also now all-digital. These changes sure do lend a futuristic appeal to the interiors, but I am not convinced they are better than simple, tactile buttons and switches.


Tech-Forward Infotainment



The new GLC is a testament to Mercedes’ commitment to integrating modern technology. The infotainment controls have shifted from the centre console to the touchscreen. The MBUX infotainment system (NTG7) introduces several new features like a fingerprint reader, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the voice-responsive ‘Hey Mercedes’ assistant. The dual-display setup, consisting of the 12.3-inch instrument panel and the 11.9-inch central touchscreen, ensures clarity with high-res graphics and is intuitive to use.



From the onboard air purifier to the 64-colour ambient lighting that extends to the door pads and handles, every detail has been meticulously thought out and makes the GLC a haven of luxury. A panoramic sunroof is an added perk, and the 15-speaker Burmister sound system ensures an immersive audio experience.


Performance: Engine and Gearbox



One of the headline changes in the GLC is under its hood. All engine variants, whether petrol or diesel, are now 4-cylinder units and come with hybridization. At launch, in India, two mild-hybrids will be available: the petrol 300 4Matic and the diesel 220d 4Matic. With the integrated starter generator (ISG) in the hybrid system, both engines receive a power boost, ensuring better performance compared to their predecessors.



Our test drive in Hampi was quite revealing. The petrol GLC, with a 0-100kph time of 6.2 seconds, offers linear and robust performance. The electric motor’s input at lower revs counters any potential turbo-lag, ensuring power delivery remains smooth. While the engine gets notably audible at higher revs, it complements the sporty exhaust note rather than detracting from the experience. Adding to the experience is the quick shifting gearbox which always seems to ensure that you are in the right gear.


Ride and Handling



The new model offers a balanced steering experience. Unlike some models which provide a super light, almost detached feel, the GLC’s steering offers a gratifying weight and delivers quick, precise responses. This makes spirited drives, especially through twisty routes, immensely enjoyable.



While the firm suspension ensures body roll is kept in check, there’s a trade-off. The ride isn’t as plush as some might expect from a luxury SUV. On rugged roads, it tends to be on the firmer side, making the driver and passengers feel and hear it going through potholes. That said, the SUV’s ride stays firm but pliant and doesn’t mind taking on bad roads at higher speeds. The all-wheel-drive system ensures handling remains neutral, only leaning towards understeer when pushed to the extreme.


Pricing and Verdict



At Rs 73.5 lakh for the petrol and Rs 74.5 lakh for the diesel variant, the second-gen GLC is positioned slightly above its German counterparts and other competitors like the Lexus NX, Land Rover Discovery Sport, and the Volvo XC60.


The Mercedes-Benz GLC, with its evolved design and modern tech, feels like a culmination of Mercedes’ legacy and vision for the future. While it retains the elegance of its predecessor, the numerous updates make it feel fresh and up-to-date. Although the ride might not be the plushest, and some traditionalists might miss the tactile feel of certain controls, the overall package is compelling. The SUV is well-rounded, with a mix of style, space, modern interiors, and commendable performance.



For Mercedes-Benz India, the GLC has always held significance, being a strong seller in the past. And with this latest iteration, it seems primed to regain its top position in the luxury SUV segment. If you’re looking for an SUV that combines luxury with performance and modern tech, this appears to be a strong contender in the current market.

contact us :
Follow US :
©2024 Creativeland Publishing Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved