Great luxury SUV with some minor refinement issues
written on 01-25-2016
Overall it's a great vehicle. The price can quickly go up depending on options selected. And in order to get certain options, you must select another package which increases the price further. Plenty of features, but surprised that a few aren't even standard considering it's 2016. Features such as keyless entry (MB calls it keyless go) and any color other than white or black is still an added cost option. Most models in dealership comes with the high end stereo system, panoramic sunroof, heated seat, which add to the cost but not providing a lot of value for certain region. You must special order in order to get close to what you want.
The quality is good and design is nice. A few trim pieces felt cheap because of plastic feel. The ergonomic is poor, but that's typical German where common logic isn't a high priority on their design. The center console with the touch pad and wheel is over complicated and difficult to use, a lesson they need to learn from the Japanese, or take a page from Apple in design. The gear shift located on the column is awkward to use. And then the turn signal, lights, front & rear wiper, and washer are all located on one stalk on the left hand side along with another two stalks for cruise control and steering wheel adjustment as well as the paddle shift. The steering wheel already have many buttons. I think it's overly complex and not very user friendly.
So far during the first month of ownership, a couple issues creep up already. One is the rear camera for parking which is unreliable because the image could freeze or goes black completely. Also some squeaking sound from the dash which is a reflection of NHV control. But this is typical for a first year model of a new design, but it's a Mercedes and these should have been ironed out during quality control testing.
OK I'm a car guy. I spend way too much time looking at cars on the web and to tell you the truth this car was not on my radar because I thought I was going to buy 1 YO used. So I did my obsessive planning for about 3 months and spent 12 hours on a Saturday looking at cars. Problem was I just could not track down the car I wanted so we went from used to new. I loved the 2016 BMW X3. Its nice nice nice but it was the 1st car we drove and should have been the last because that was the car I thought we would buy. Drove the Audi Q5 but it's dated and is in need of a face life. My wife liked the Q5 seats the best. We also drove the Lexus RX 350 (AKA the space ship) liked the interior but the exterior lines are way too sharp. We were pulling out of the Audi dealer and I saw the Mercedes GLC. I knew about it and liked the looks but it was a 2016 and I was thinking 2015. So we took it for a spin and WOW it was smooth, love the transmission (A+ MB) it is quiet inside and has the rounded exterior similar to the Porsche Macan I think. The Tech is really good too. So the dealer only had the demo and we wanted a different color so we drove to Seattle (30 miles) and did the deal. (1500.00 over invoice) Very happy! My wife loves it. We drove it about 70 miles today and got 29.6 MPG mostly highway.
My first Mercedes. I expected more and better technology. The mouse pad and control are difficult to use. A touchscreen would be 100 times better. Navigation is extremely difficult to set up an address. Panoramic sunroof wind noise is so bad we do not use it. Front and rear cameras have limited view range. Sensors do not sound until you are right on an object. Accustomed to General Motors and Chrysler where rear camera range extends up and down the street when in reverse. Sensors also sound when another vehicle approaches; not the GLC300. Ride and handling are very good. Not so performance. Dealer, Cutler Bay, Florida, very bad in explaining accessories and technology. Pushed Lojack when MBrace (included with the vehicle) does the same thing in more areas of the country. I would not buy another vehicle from them or suggest the dealership to another person.
I am a Honda and Subaru owner who usually keeps her cars for 15 years. Those brands are not known for having impressive interiors, but the cars ran great, were reliable and had good resale. When it was time for a new car I spent 3 years looking for a car that was a little higher than a sedan and had some cargo room, but was also not too big, was super comfy and handled great. I could not find that car at Honda or Subaru. I did however find it at Mercedes Benz. The GLC300 embodies all of those qualities and then some. If you want a car that feels like it was made for you, that makes you look forward to driving, then you have found it in the GLC300. The cabin is quiet, the seats are great, the multimedia is second to none (get the larger 8.4 inch screen), the Burmester is the best sounding factory audio in this price point, the handling of this car is dreamy, it has great acceleration. I guess the only negative about this car is that it's not a Honda or a Subaru with proven reliability or resale value. But since Honda and Subaru refuse to make comfortable, luxurious vehicles with great tech, audio and handling, it's MB for me for the next 15 years.
Have had the GLC about 3 months and have about 2000 miles on it. It does everything it is designed to do. It is a pleasant place to sit in in traffic and move about town, but can quickly change character if you wish. Just downshift with the paddles or change the driving mode. Mileage has been decent considering my mostly city/traffic driving (about 23.5 mpg). Like BMW, the GLC shuts off the engine if you are stopped for a few seconds. Since the car is so quiet I do not notice this, and so I think it helps with some of that city mpg. My friend who just got a BMW X1 turns off the auto shut off because he says it's annoying. Possibly because BMW wants you to hear the engine - so I can see what he means.
My only quibbles are things I knew about the car before I got it - getting in and out takes a little bit of effort, unlike my old RAV 4 which was so easy. However, the GLC seat is incredibly comfortable. Rearview from the side mirrors are only so-so, but the Blind Spot Monitor takes care of that.
The Burmester stereo is great, but I would recommend using .wav files which are uncompressed. The 2 USB ports, the SD card, and the 10.8 GB harddrive mean that there is about 200 GB of storage (64 GB max for USBs and SD) - so that's approx. the equivalent of 20 GB of compressed music. The difference in sound is worth it to me (e.g., Lexus does not play .wav files through the USB; BMW does, though). The active safety feature of warning/stopping the car if you get too close really works. It does, however, beep at me when the car in front of me is almost finished making a right turn and I have not braked. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
As far as all the buttons, etc., I found that after a few days I easily got used to it. Still finding some neat little tricks here and there.
Another thing I really like about this car is how MB packaged the options. I got everything I wanted and did not have to pay for the things I did not want (e.g., sunroof), compared to BMW, say. Also, I got a pretty good deal, about 9% off MSRP at the end of January.