If new evidence was needed of the growing dominance of SUVs in the market, to the detriment of sedans in particular, for two years now the Mercedes GLC has been the firm’s best-selling model with the star. Since the manufacturer’s arrival in this segment in 2008 with the GLK, 2.6 million copies of its mid-range crossover have found grips. But there is no shortage of competition between the BMW X3, the Audi Q5, the Volvo XC60 and others. So, at the moment of the change of generation, it is not a question of breaking this dynamic with radical options. The new Mercedes GLC evolves smoothly in terms of style, while benefiting from a significant technological improvement over its predecessor. Its range of motors is fully electrified.
A more familiar Mercedes GLC
The second Mercedes GLC of the name receives the technical base of the C-Class. In terms of appearance, it retains almost the same appearance as its predecessor, but is easily distinguished from the front by its lights that they are reduced inwards to reach the grate. A trained eye will also notice that the mirrors have been thrown back at the doors and are now “feathered”. The rear lights are stretched and close to those of the brand’s compact models.
This conservative style hides increased dimensions, as the new GLC is 4.72 m long (+ 6 cm), including 2.89 m wheelbase (+ 1.5 cm), for an unaltered width of 1.89 m and an almost identical height d 1.64 m (-4 mm). The overhangs have been lengthened, 1.5 cm at the front and 3 cm at the rear, where the trunk gains 50 l to show 600 l capacity. Its tailgate is motorized (by button) as standard. The rims range from 18 to 20 inches in diameter. The basic Avantgarde finish is distinguished by the touches of chrome, especially on the grille and the lower protection plates. However, they are only decorative, like the fictitious exhaust pipes of the rear bumper. The aerodynamics have been taken care of with a drag coefficient lowered to 0.29 in the most favorable configuration, compared to 0.31 previously, in favor of consumption and soundproofing.
A unique interior design
If the exterior changes little, the interior of the GLC evolves much further. A 12.3-inch digital dashboard without a cap and an 11.9-inch “floating” center touch screen, placed vertically and facing the driver, are standard. A color front screen is available as an option; allows you to integrate augmented reality into the navigation system. The air intakes are now oblong, and those in the center sit on top of the entertainment information monitor. As for storm doors, they now accommodate horizontal armrests along their entire length. Mercedes has also redesigned the design of the front seats to give them a light and enveloping look. Please note that they are heated from the entry level. The MBUX infotainment system finally promises to be much more efficient, especially when it comes to the voice assistant. And the car is automatically equipped with a wireless charger.
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An SUV that reads the road and writes it
The new GLC also receives a multitude of driving aids, which its predecessor could not claim. Some have recently been deployed by the competition. Thus, adaptive cruise control can detect a vehicle parked downstream at a speed of 100 km / h, compared to the previous 60 km / h. Lane maintenance assistance works up to 210 km / h and is, according to Mercedes, much more accurate on the secondary network. Panel recognition has been extended to top signs and certain site signs. Going through the catalog of options allows you to take advantage of a “transparent hood” view that is very useful for maneuvering. In addition, new towing aids are appearing, such as a route planner that allows you to optimize the route according to the trailer (lane width, height of bridges and tunnels, etc.) and semi-autonomous maneuvers up to 5 km / h. .
Another great novelty, whose functionality depends on national regulations, is the digital light available as an option. These can project directions on the ground in front of the car. This can be to indicate the presence of a pedestrian or to warn of a wrong direction, for example. The GLC includes standard LED headlights.
A fully electrified range
The second-generation Mercedes GLC is only offered with 2.0-turbo four-cylinder (biturbo diesel) engines combined with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. The range includes three microhybrid models, including the 48 V starter alternator integrated in the gearbox that offers a “boost” of 23 hp and 200 Nm of torque.
- GLC 200 4Matic (petrol, 204 hp and 320 Nm thermal)
- GLC 300 4Matic (petrol, 258 hp and 400 Nm thermal)
- GLC 220 d 4Matic (diesel, 197 hp and 440 Nm thermal)
There are also three plug-in hybrids on the menu. They have in common a 136 hp and 440 Nm electric motor powered by a 31.2 kWh battery that gives them a range of “zero emissions” of more than 100 km in the combined cycle WLTP, with a speed then limited to 140 km / h.
- GLC 300 and 4Matic (petrol, 313 hp and 550 Nm combined)
- GLC 400 and 4Matic (petrol, 381 hp and 650 Nm combined)
- 4Matic GLC 300 (diesel, 335 hp and 750 Nm combined)
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The GLC on and off the road
The size, equipment, electrification and pollution control systems of the Mercedes GLC lead to a very high weight, ranging from 1,925 kg (MHEV petrol) to 2,415 kg (PHEV diesel) in order. running, excluding options. In order to support this mass, the Stuttgart firm opted for a multi-link suspension at the front and rear. Pneumatic damping is offered at an additional cost in microhybrids; is standard in plug-in hybrid. The AMG Line finish includes a “sporty” suspension. The optional Technique Offroad package offers a 20 mm higher ground clearance and functional protection below the body. Another option is the steering of the rear wheels allows you to reduce the turning diameter by 90 cm (up to 10.9 m), make the SUV more maneuverable at low speeds and improve its stability at high speeds.
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The specifics of the GLC range for the French market have yet to be detailed. Like the previous one, the new model will be produced in Bremen (Germany) as well as in Beijing (China). The German plant in Sindelfingen will be added to these sites to mount the SUV as well. The launch of the vehicle in Europe is announced for the autumn of 2022.