2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Review
- Balance of comfort and performance makes it an appealing daily driver
- Elegant design gives it a true luxury appearance
- Plenty of room for adult passengers in back
- Solid fuel economy from the standard four-cylinder engine
- Less cargo space and towing capacity than competition
- Warranty coverage lags the rest of the class
- GLC 350e, the plug-in hybrid, has been discontinued
- Minor revisions to feature availability
- Part of the first GLC generation introduced for 2016
8.3 / 10
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is all about smoothness and refinement. It treats you with serene comfort, a high-quality cabin, and impressive technology and safety features. In a group of small luxury all-stars such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Porsche Macan and Volvo XC60, the Mercedes-Benz GLC remains a benchmark.
How does the GLC-Class drive?
We tested the GLC 300. It has plenty of power for merging onto a highway or making a quick pass on two-lane roads. In our testing, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph took just 5.8 seconds. That's quicker than average for a small luxury SUV with a base four-cylinder engine. (For comparison, an Audi Q5 did 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds.) The GLC's nine-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly.
Maneuverability is another strong point. The steering is light and responsive for around-town purposes. Switch into Sport or Sport+ mode and the steering gains a little more heft, but never at the cost of comfort. Composed suspension tuning and strong brakes round out the GLC's road manners.
How comfortable is the GLC-Class?
The GLC has outstanding ride comfort. It ably absorbs bumps and cracks in the road and gives you a feeling of stability and control. This is as refined as it gets for an SUV of this size. The front seats are also quite comfortable and have a wide range of adjustability.
Very little outside noise makes its way inside the cabin, and our test GLC had no creaks or audible rattles. It all contributes to a serene driving experience made extra comfortable by climate control that's quick to activate and easy to control. You can even easily adjust it using your voice through the MBUX infotainment system.
How’s the interior?
You'll find the GLC's interior quite roomy. Most of the controls are within reach thanks to a wide range of adjustability in the driver's seat. Getting in and out is easy as well. Rear passengers will be comfortable since there is plenty of space even behind tall drivers. The rear doors don't open as wide as the fronts, however, so access isn't quite as open.
The standard MBUX infotainment system has helpful menus and controls for nearly every function of the vehicle. You can control the system by touchscreen, with a touchpad, with scroll keys on the steering wheel, or even through voice activation. All of these interfaces respond quickly.
How’s the tech?
The 10.25-inch MBUX center screen has vibrant-looking graphics and menus. Integrated navigation and the digital information cluster display cost extra but are perfect complements. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility comes standard, and both boot up quickly. The range and accuracy of the voice control system make this one of the few worth using.
The GLC also has excellent driver assistance features. The adaptive cruise control, for example, maintains a safe yet close following distance from the vehicle ahead and doesn't panic-brake when a vehicle cuts in front of you. This system, combined with the lane keeping system, provides impressive semi-automated driving in highway gridlock. The surround-view cameras are very helpful for parking too.
How’s the storage?
Utility is definitely not the GLC's strong suit. For example, the GLC can only hold 19.4 cubic feet of cargo behind its rear seats, while the BMW X3 can hold 28.7 cubic feet. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped) compared to the BMW's 4,400 pounds. Small-item storage isn't so great either — there's no great place to store your smartphone.
But the GLC is decent at family duty. The roomy back seat should allow you to easily fit two child safety seats, either boosters or the bulky rear-facing units. The car seat anchor and tether points are easy to find too.
How’s the fuel economy?
The EPA estimates a rear-wheel-drive GLC 300 (what we tested) gets 24 mpg in combined city/highway driving. Our testing mostly aligned with that estimate, and we observed 25.8 mpg on our 115-mile mixed-driving evaluation route. The more powerful GLC models get lower fuel economy (down to an estimated 18 mpg for the GLC 63).
Is the GLC-Class a good value?
The GLC is priced similarly to its competitors and feels every bit a high-quality luxury vehicle. There are premium materials throughout the interior and considerable heft to the controls. The body panels line up with German precision. This airtight build process, plus the addition of standard MBUX, makes the price seem more than reasonable.
But Mercedes loses points for its warranty, which lags the rest of the class. Sure, competitors such as Jaguar and Infiniti have better offers to make up for the relative lack of prestige, but the GLC is bottom in each category. If Audi and BMW can make a little extra effort for their customers, Mercedes should too.
Mercedes' engineers focused on luxuries that can be enjoyed every single day. The interior design and ride comfort, for instance, immediately stand out. These strengths make it easier to forgive less sexy oversights such as limited cargo space. Stepping into the GLC feels like washing all your worries away. "Fun to drive" may be a stretch, but don't be surprised if you look forward to driving it every chance you get.
As with athletes, CEOs and world leaders, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC embodies an age-old maxim: Getting to the top is easier than staying there. The GLC helped create today's small luxury SUV class when it first arrived as the GLK for the 2010 model year. Since then, Mercedes' regular tinkering with the classic mix of comfort, performance, utility and technology has landed the GLC atop our small luxury SUV rankings, outpacing the half-dozen competitors that have arrived in its wake.
With ample cabin space, the GLC handles office shuttles or soccer practice with equal ease, and an array of tech and safety features mitigate the road's daily hazards. The GLC lineup also ranges from mild to wild, so you'll find a suitable version whatever your threshold for thrills. Even after more than a decade, the GLC continues to pace its nearest rivals including the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60. Interested? Check out our Expert Rating below to learn more and get our in-depth evaluation on the 2021 GLC.
Which GLC-Class does Edmunds recommend?
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class models
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC is a five-passenger small SUV available in four trim levels: GLC 300, GLC 300 4Matic, AMG GLC 43 and AMG GLC 63. They come with different engines but otherwise have similar standard and optional features. Highlights include:
The base trim GLC comes with a well-rounded feature set that includes:
- Turbocharged four-cylinder engine (255 horsepower, 273 lb-ft of torque)
- Nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive
- LED headlights
- Power liftgate
- 18-inch wheels
- Power-folding side mirrors
- Remote start (via smartphone app)
- Keyless entry and push-start ignition
Interior features include:
- Simulated leather upholstery
- Power-adjustable, heated front seats
- Dual-zone climate control
- Household-style power outlet
Standard technology and safety features include:
- 10.25-inch touchscreen display with Mercedes' MBUX infotainment interface
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
- Blind-spot monitoring (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
- Forward collision mitigation (warns if a front impact is imminent and applies the brakes if you don't respond in time)
- Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while you're in reverse)
- Automated parking system (steers into a parking spot with little or no driver intervention)
GLC 300 4Matic
The GLC 300 4Matic has the same features as above but with all-wheel drive.
AMG GLC 43
A sportier version of the GLC, the AMG 43 comes with:
- Turbocharged V6 engine (385 hp, 384 lb-ft)
- All-wheel drive
- 20-inch wheels
- Sport-tuned air suspension (adapts to improve ride comfort and handling)
- Customizable ambient cabin lighting
- Upgraded interior trim
AMG GLC 63
When 385 horsepower isn't enough, there's the GLC 63, which adds:
- Turbocharged V8 engine (469 hp, 479 lb-ft)
- Enhanced all-wheel-drive system
- Sport exhaust system
- Multimedia package (navigation system with augmented reality video directions)
- Full digital gauge cluster
- 13-speaker premium Burmester sound system
The GLC offers abundant options, both as stand-alone selections or bundled in packages. Nearly all are available on all four trim levels, if not already available as a standard feature. Highlights include:
- Driver Assistance package
- Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the GLC and the car in front)
- Lane keeping assist (steers the GLC back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
- Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
- Enhanced blind-spot monitoring (can steer the GLC to help avoid a collision with a vehicle in your blind spot)
- Enhanced collision avoidance braking
- Lane change assist (can initiate and execute a lane charge automatically after activating the turn signal for a certain length of time)
- Panoramic sunroof
- 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the GLC and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
- Leather or upgraded leather upholstery
- Ventilated front seats
- Heated rear seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Tri-zone climate control
- Wireless charging pad
- Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line onto the windshield)
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class pricingin Ashburn, VA
Trending topics in reviews
Most helpful consumer reviews
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class video
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC Review
NOTE: This video is about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, but since the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 22 City / 29 Hwy / 25 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.4 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 255 hp @ 5800 rpm
- Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 183.3 in. / Height: 64.7 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 82.5 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.8 in.
- Curb Weight: 3889 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 19.4 cu.ft.
Our experts’ favorite GLC-Class safety features:
- Parktronic with Active Parking Assist
- Guides the GLC into an available parking spot with minimal driver assistance.
- Pre-Safe Brake with Pedestrian Detection
- Alerts the driver if a front collision is imminent and can apply the brakes automatically to lessen the impact. Can also identify pedestrians.
- Attention Assist
- Measures driver engagement with the vehicle to determine if the driver needs to rest. Alerts the driver via the information display.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
|Frontal Barrier Crash Rating||Rating|
|Side Crash Rating||Rating|
|Overall||5 / 5|
|Side Barrier Rating||Rating|
|Overall||5 / 5|
|Driver||5 / 5|
|Passenger||5 / 5|
|Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings||Rating|
|Front Seat||5 / 5|
|Back Seat||5 / 5|
|Rollover||4 / 5|
|Dynamic Test Result||No Tip|
|Risk Of Rollover||18.4%|
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
|Side Impact Test|
|Roof Strength Test|
|Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint|
|IIHS Small Overlap Front Test||Not Tested|
|Moderate Overlap Front Test|
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs. the competition
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
2021 BMW X3
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs. BMW X3
These two traditional rivals are so closely matched that, if you don't already have a preference, you really can't go wrong with either. The BMW has a slight edge with sharper, sportier handling and larger cargo space, while the Benz offers a bit more elegance, power and innovative tech. Test-drive both and see which speaks to you.
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs. Audi Q5
The Audi Q5 is a bit like a third political party. It doesn't have the numbers of its two main rivals, but its unique platform has broad appeal. All-wheel drive comes standard and its four-cylinder is capable. It looks and feels modern, with sharp exterior style, a high-quality interior, and a tech interface with crisp displays and lightning response.
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs. Lexus RX 350
Both the GLC and the Lexus feature forward-thinking technology and style. Think of the Lexus as a modern version of old-world luxury with a comfortable ride, a quiet cabin and top-shelf materials. The RX 350 comes with a few more standard safety features, a bit more interior space and a standard V6. Going with the GLC gives you greater performance potential and more advanced infotainment features.
Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class a good car?
What's new in the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class:
- GLC 350e, the plug-in hybrid, has been discontinued
- Minor revisions to feature availability
- Part of the first GLC generation introduced for 2016
Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class reliable?
Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
The least-expensive 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $43,200.
Other versions include:
- GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $45,200
- GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $43,200
- AMG GLC 63 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $73,900
- AMG GLC 43 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $59,900
What are the different models of Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Overview
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is offered in the following submodels: GLC-Class AMG GLC 43, GLC-Class SUV, GLC-Class AMG GLC 63. Available styles include GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), AMG GLC 63 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 9A), and AMG GLC 43 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A). Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 469 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 9-speed shiftable automatic. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What do people think of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 GLC-Class 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 GLC-Class.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 GLC-Class featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $48,510. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is trending $30 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $30 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $48,480.
The average savings for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is 0.1% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 2 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $51,610. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is trending $245 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $245 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $51,365.
The average savings for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is 0.5% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 55 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class AMG GLC 43 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A)
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class AMG GLC 63 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 9A)
Which 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Classes are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class for sale near. There are currently 4 new 2021 GLC-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $48,545 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.
Can't find a new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Mercedes-Benz for sale - 8 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,179.
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
What is the MPG of a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), 9-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
23 compined MPG,
21 city MPG/28 highway MPG
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), 9-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
25 compined MPG,
22 city MPG/29 highway MPG
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class AMG GLC 63 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 9A), 9-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
17 compined MPG,
15 city MPG/22 highway MPG
|EPA Est. MPG||23|
|Transmission||9-speed shiftable automatic|
|Drive Train||all wheel drive|
|Curb Weight||3977 lbs.|
Should I lease or buy a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials