2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Review
Edmunds expert review
When the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class debuted last year, it won us over with its elegant interior, strong performance and luxurious ride. For its sophomore year, the lineup expands with a higher performance AMG GLC 43 model.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 shares 70 percent of its parts with the praiseworthy C-Class sedan, giving it a solid base of aesthetic appeal, driver engagement and maneuverability. Although we highly recommend the GLC in this class, its rivals are worth considering. The new Jaguar F-Pace is similar in size and function and earned top marks from our staff along with the Porsche Macan. The BMW X3 and Audi Q5 are showing their age just a bit, but they continue to be strong contenders in the class.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag, full-length side curtain airbags, trailer sway control, crosswind assistance, a forward collision warning system, a forward collision intervention system with automatic braking, Pre-Safe (takes measures to secure the cabin and occupants when a crash is imminent) and a drowsy driver warning system. The Mbrace Secure telematics system includes automatic collision notification, emergency assistance, agent-assisted remote unlock and stolen vehicle location assistance.
Features such as blind-spot warning (and automatic intervention), lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, enhanced forward collision intervention with pedestrian detection, and forward cross-traffic collision detection and intervention are available with the Premium packages.
In Edmunds testing, a rear-wheel-drive GLC300 with 20-inch wheels and summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 116 feet. This stopping distance is typical for small luxury crossovers with large wheels and summer tires.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in GLC300 and all-wheel-drive GLC300 4Matic trims. There's also the high-performance AMG GLC 43, which offers extra power and a few more options as standard equipment. There's also the new-for-2017 GLC-Class Coupe, with a sleeker roofline and more sporting look. For more about the GLC Coupe, check out our review.
Standard features for the GLC300 include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, adaptive suspension damping (not driver selectable), keyless remote entry and ignition, a power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers and roof rails. Standard advanced safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation, a drowsy driver warning system and a crosswind assistance system.
Additional standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, adjustable drive settings, synthetic leather upholstery (MB-Tex), a 14-way power driver seat with memory functions, 40/20/40-split power-folding rear seats, a universal garage door opener, a rearview camera, a 7-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, Mbrace Connect (includes smartphone app integration) and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio and two USB ports.
The optional Premium 1 package adds blind-spot monitoring, advanced keyless entry, a household-style 115-volt power outlet and satellite radio. The Premium 2 package includes all of the Premium 1 features, plus a navigation system with voice control, an 8.4-inch display and real-time traffic and weather information. It also adds a touchpad controller, cargo net and a collapsible crate in the cargo area. The Premium 3 package adds adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, active blind-spot assistance, and an air freshener and purification system.
The Sport package includes sporty body styling, 19-inch wheels, upgraded brakes and stitched MB-Tex dash trim. The Night package includes the Sport package equipment but with gloss black exterior accents and black wheels. The Active Parking Assist package adds front and rear parking sensors, an automated parking system, hands-free liftgate activation and a surround-view camera.
Other available options include 20-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, panoramic sunroof, a roof spoiler, an illuminated Mercedes grille star, a head-up display, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rear side-window sunshades, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 14-speaker premium Burmester surround sound system and internet streaming radio. Several Mercedes Mbrace options are also available, including emergency telematics and concierge services.
The AMG GLC 43 model includes 4Matic, a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels and a powerful V6 engine. It also comes standard with the Premium 1 package and unique exterior and interior design flourishes to help set it apart.
Powering the GLC300 models is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 241 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels or all four wheels in the case of the 4Matic model.
In Edmunds testing, a rear-wheel-drive GLC300 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which is quick for vehicles in this class equipped with the base engine.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway) from the GLC300 and 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway) for the 4Matic. These numbers are quite good for the compact luxury crossover segment.
The AMG GLC 43 uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive come standard.
Whether navigating congested cities or logging serious road-trip miles, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 keeps its occupants well insulated from the noise and harshness of the outside world. The ride quality is impressively smooth and composed over rough surfaces. The 20-inch wheels transmit some unwanted jolts into the cabin, so for the best ride quality stick with the standard setup.
The four-cylinder engine packs plenty of power, yielding confident acceleration and authoritative passing power. The selectable drive modes alter the GLC's personality from leisurely to sporty by changing the throttle response and transmission shift points. The optional air suspension takes it a step further by softening the ride for luxurious comfort or stiffening it for athletic handling. This range of adjustability gives the GLC a broad appeal for a variety of drivers.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class' interior is nearly identical to that of the C-Class sedan on which it is based, and that's a very good thing. The modern design features a graceful center stack wrapped in a single wood veneer as it transitions into the center console. The quality of materials and solid construction are excellent. Only essential buttons and knobs are present, with supporting systems controlled through the infotainment system.
The driver interface system employs a dial controller, much like the ones found in Audi and BMW rivals, but it does take a bit longer for new users to get used to how the menus are organized and operated. Once acclimated, it becomes second nature. The Premium 2 package adds a touchpad controller that hovers above the dial and accepts smartphone-like gestures (pinch-to-zoom and swipes) as well as alphanumeric fingertip traces. It's an intriguing concept, but it requires a very steady hand and quite a bit of patience. The good thing is you can still control everything through the dial as well.
Despite having a compact SUV footprint, the GLC interior is remarkably spacious and comfortable. The front seats are optimally shaped and padded for hours of touring, and the rear seats easily accommodate 6-foot-tall passengers. Cargo capacity is smaller than competing luxury SUVs, with 20.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 56.5 cubic feet with them folded flat. Though smaller, the cargo space is still very useful and likely enough for your needs. The standard power-folding rear seats and available hands-free liftgate are especially convenient when loading bulky objects.
Edmunds expert 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.