Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Review
While we had our misgivings about its predecessor, the GLK, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has been a favorite of ours since its introduction for the 2016 model year. The new name is meant to align the GLC with the C-Class sedan, and the resemblance goes beyond the nomenclature: The C and the GLC share roughly 70 percent of their parts, and the close relationship is largely responsible for the GLC's smooth styling and distinctly carlike demeanor.
There is no shortage of good qualities when it comes to the Mercedes-Benz GLC: We love the interior, we love the space inside, and we love the way it goes down the road. The GLC faces strong rivals such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan, but we think it holds its own rather nicely.
Current Mercedes-Benz GLC
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is offered in three models: the rear-wheel-drive GLC300, the all-wheel-drive GLC300 4Matic and the high-performance AMG GLC 43, which also comes with all-wheel drive. (Mercedes also offers a fastback version called the GLC Coupe, which is reviewed separately.) The GLC300 comes fairly well equipped, and instead of offering several trim levels, Mercedes offers a host of stand-alone options and packages. That's where you'll find nice-to-have features including genuine leather upholstery, an adaptive air suspension and a premium Burmester stereo. The AMG GLC 43 gets the air suspension, 20-inch wheels, and a few of the GLC300's add-ons as standard.
Inside, the GLC shares many of its interior bits with the C-Class sedan, and that's a good thing: The cabin is roomy, elegant and comfortable. The GLC's interior is surprisingly spacious considering the vehicle's small size, especially in terms of passenger room, though cargo space (with and without the seats folded) is tighter than many of its rivals. The dash makes minimal use of physical buttons, with most secondary controls accessed through the center screen and dial controller. The system has a steeper learning curve than others we've used, but once the basics are mastered, navigating through the menus is a breeze.
GLC300 models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower. We've clocked the rear-wheel-drive version to 60 mph in a rapid 6.2 seconds, which makes the better-than-average EPA fuel economy estimate of 24 mpg combined for both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions an even more pleasant surprise. The AMG GLC 43 gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that delivers 362 hp to all four wheels, though fuel economy drops to 20 mpg combined.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC does an excellent job isolating its occupants from the outside world with a hushed cabin and a smooth ride, though models with 20-inch wheels have a ride that is noticeably more harsh. The optional air suspension does an even better job of isolating the cabin since it can be softened for a smooth ride or stiffened for better handling. Acceleration and response from the GLC300's four-cylinder turbo are impressive, and the GLC 43, with its turbocharged V6, is a real rocket ship.
Used Mercedes-Benz GLC Models
The Mercedes-Benz GLC was introduced as an all-new model for 2016 as a replacement for the GLK-Class. Along with the new name, the GLC got a new architecture and a new shape. The GLC300 was little changed for 2017; the big news that year was the introduction of the hot-rod AMG CL3 43 performance variant.
Read the most recent 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class page.
For more on past Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class models, view our Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class history page.