Mercedes-Benz India’s Number One Premium car maker has a long list of best selling models infact in the entire range of segments may it be sedans, SUV’s or performance models. The GLC is their highest seller SUV in its class and India will be getting its latest version which we drove around some amazing celestial roads around Hampi in Karnataka to get you this road test review loaded with all the needed information that you need and more.
Food for Thought
Mercedes-Benz introduced the GLC in 2015 with the X253, this model replaced the GLK then. The GLC is the SUV equivalent of the C Class where G stands for Geländewagen which means German for off-road vehicle. Mercedes also offers the GLC Coupe. The GLC is built in India along with Germany, China, Finland, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam. Designed by Michael Frei and Robert Lesnik the 5-door SUV uses the Mercedes-Benz MRA platform while the new GLC uses the MRA 2 platform that is shared with a long list of Mercedes models which include the S Class, C Class, E Class, CLS and the AMG GT Coupe too. 2019 saw the facelift Mercedes GLC at the Geneva Motor Show and the refreshed version in 2020. The latest generation GLC that has landed here in India is the 2nd Gen X254 which is the largest in dimensions ever and also the first ever Mild Hybrid model for its class.
First things first, what has changed or rather increased is the dimensions of the GLC. The SUV now stands at 4716mm which is 60mm more than the older model, 2888mm of wheelbase which is again up by 15mm over the older model. Width remains at 1890mm, height at 1640mm. In terms of looks the New GLC comes with a new face that sports an bold Mercedes-Benz family grille with a into your face Star logo and chrome surrounds with vertical slats in black making up for the Avantgrade face. Headlights get new design that now fuses with the griller and gets new DRL styling with intelligent high performance LED headlamps. The front bumper is also all new with thick chrome skid plates that kind of define the front profile. They also house the wide air-dam, fog lamps have no place here going with the current trend. The bonnet comes with soft character lines and the so important Mercedes-Benz monogram plunked in the middle nose area.
The side profile retains the original GLC look more or less with soft character lines, chrome surrounds around the glass area, large meaty door handles. What has changed is the wing mirrors that now fits on the doors giving more style and adding to the aerodynamics, the step board also is all new that now gets a curved design more lenient towards the rear. The 19 inch tyres mounted on multi spoke alloys finished in dualtone finish is also all new. Wheel arches come with slim fiber cladding inserts while the roof gets an all glass panaromic top along with brushed metal finished roof rails. The SUV has a overall ground clearance of 201mm.
The rear profile comes with new style elements that include a all new 3D styled tail lamps that have a soft rounded edge design with sharp running lines that mate into the rear garnish that connects them. The rear also gets a large spoiler along with an all new rear bumper with blacked out area and a large chrome skid plate that also houses the twin exhausts.
Step inside the New GLC and a fresh new latest generation cabin welcomes you. All new dashboard made tastefully using soft touch material also has hand stitching on it. The mid section of the dash board gets a neat premium looking metal insert while the lower section gets a fresh design with multiple vertical lines crash pad area that is finished with a thick metal surrounds. AC vents- two on the corners and three in the middle get typical Mercedes metal treatment and adorn the satisfying click noise when shut. The key highlight here is the all new twin display screens- a 12. Inch all color full HD screen which is the instrument display that shows you everything in super rich, crisp and sharp readouts.
You can customize this screen as per the drive mode or also toggle between the preset themes. The second display is the vertically placed 11.9 inch display unit which again is in full HD and all color and is tilted towards the driver by 6 degrees. This is the latest generation unit running on the latest generation MBUX with NTG7 making this the first SUV on the Mercedes Benz lineup to get this system. You get all the connectivity options which include wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth telephony, FM, voice commands, GPS Navigation, and lots more including biometric login, voice recognition, over the air updates etc. he audio system comes with 15 premium Brumester speakers with surround sound hitting out 710 watt of rich audio.
The steering is again a all new 3-spoke design with premium leather wrapping, loads of brushed metal inserts and capacitive touch type MFD buttons on it. You get electric adjust for height and reach and also paddle shifters. What the new vertically placed AVN system has done is that it has made the track pad, climate control buttons, palm rest etc that were placed on the centre console all vanish. All these functions can now be controlled from the AVN system itself making the centre console clean as a whistle. You get a closable storage place with carbon fiber masking. Wireless phone charging in placed inside here and so are the USB C charge ports. The proprietary closable arm rest with storage space inside is in place and all this with premium metal surrounds.
The seats are finished in dark tan on the GLC we drove; you also get light beige option for the cabin. Front Seats get full electric adjust and also get all new adjustable headrests that you also see on the New C Class which can be adjusted back and in front as per your comfort. Rear seats get three adjustable headrests, foldable arm rest with tons of leg room thanks to the extended wheelbase and length, excellent head room, shoulder room with superb seating angle thanks to the seat padding and shape. The rear passengers get USB C charge ports and AC vents. Rear seat passengers get manual adjustable side and rear sun blinds adding to privacy and sun protection. The overall cabin feels super spacious and premium in typical Mercedes-Benz levels of quality and appointment.
You get a boot space of 620 liters on the New GLC which is 70 liters more over the older model, you also get a powered tailgate.
Engine – Suspension – Drive
Powering the New Mercedes GLC are two engine options to choose from, both are new motors with mild hybrid technology on them. The GLC 300 4MATIC is the petrol version that comes powered with the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder unit making 258hp and 400Nm of torque. The ISG mild hybrid unit adds 23hp and 200Nm of torque to this. The GLC 220d 4MATIC is the diesel version powered with the 2.0 litre 4-cylinder motor making 197hp and 440Nm of torque. Here the ISG unit adds 23hp and 200Nm of torque. Both of these engines come mated to the 9G TRONIC automatic transmission.
We drove the GLC 300 4MATIC so here is how it is to drive it. When you start the GLC 300 the engine comes to life with a super refined manner with nearly zero sound or vibrations felt. Shift to the drive mode and the SUV chugs ahead in typical Mercedes style. The ride quality is super premium and highly comforting. Power delivery is excellent and the SUV feels always in command and control. You get the various drive modes to toggle between which include – Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. Drive modes alter the power delivery, steering feedback, suspension and chassis dynamics. You also have the paddle shifters to play with if you want some more fun. The new AVN unit lets you into the Off Road setting where you can monitor the overall SUV angles, compass with GPS location, down hill speed regulation etc on a special screen only for this mode. You also get an extra 20mm of ground clearance for off roading.
The key highlight or aid for off roading is the Transparent Bonnet feature that shows you live feed from under the hood in transparent form so that the terrain that you are driving on becomes visible with live tyre position. This is very handy and helpful while going on tricky terrains.
Safety & ADAS
The New Mercedes GLC gets 7 Air Bags, Active Parking Assist, 360 degree customizable camera, Pre-Safe, Attention assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keep Assist and Blind Spot Assist. Needless to say all the features are of Mercedes safety standards and reassuring.
The New Mercedes-Benz GLC goes up against the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Lexus NX in its segment.
GLC has always been the King of the segment, high in demand and always leading the pack. With this the 2nd Gen GLC the dominance will surely be taken ahead in a large way. The extended dimensions only add to the overall comfort. Premium comfort, top class safety, New engines with Mild Hybrid tech add to the power output and the overall appeal of the SUV. If you are looking out for a Premium SUV, look no further. This is for you and only a Mercedes is a Mercedes – The Best or Nothing.
Words – Ritesh Madhok
Video & Edit – Bhushan Joshi