The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC is here in all its glory. We give you the full rundown on Mercedes’ fresh medium-sized SUV with best-seller genes, standard 9-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive, a brand-new plug-in hybrid version and fully-fledged off-road abilities. LIVE on location.
The GLC marks a significant departure from its spartan looking predecessor. Signaling the move to the all-new MRA platform of C-Class fame, its fresh design exudes sheer elegance. An expression of pure aerodynamics and sportiness. As expected, Mercedes’ new SUV shares various cues with its conventional T-Modell sibling, complete with the trademark soft-nosed grille, teardrop shaped headlights and character side feature line. The shift to an all-new organic and fluent styling language is part of the German car maker design boss Gorden Wagener’s quest to rejuvenate Mercedes’ entire line-up with a sportier and cohesive look across the board.
Dimensions-wise, the GLC moves ahead of its GLC forebear with larger values all-around. At 4,656mm long, 1,890mm wide and 1,639mm tall, the new Mercedes-Benz SUV is 12 cm longer, 5 cm wider and 0.9 cm taller than the model it replaces. With a 2,873 mm wheelbase (plus 118 mm compared with the former GLK) the GLC closely mimicks the C-Class T-Modell, offering ample seating for up to five. Mercedes promise 57 mm more rear legroom and 57/34 mm more front/rear elbow room.
Using the MRA platform from the C-Class, the new GLC benefits also by the hybrid construction of the body. The new GLC is 80 kg lighter from which 50 kg were saved by the widespread use of aluminium for the body, all this despite the markedly larger outer dimensions.
As standard, GLC will be delivered with the Agility Control drive train with steel-sprung adaptive dampers and different settings for the steering, engine and gearbox as part of the DYNAMIC SELECT handling control system with five driving programs as standard, ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL. Clients will be able to specify one of three suspension options: comfort suspension, a sports suspension with harder springing, the Off-Road Engineering package featuring a 20 millimetre higher driving level as standard for added ground clearance or the AIR BODY CONTROL full-support multi-chamber air suspension system and the electronically controlled with continuously adjustable adaptive damping system ADS Plus. Air Body Control can raise the driving level by up to 50 mm and softer basic tuning together with automatic level control and lowering of the load compartment sill for convenient loading and unloading.
Proffessional Off-road Package
Apart from a robust Gemtex underride guard, in combination with AIR BODY CONTROL the Off-Road Engineering package offers the option of five distinct off-road oriented settings: Slippery (muddy surfaces, wet grassland, on slippery snow or ice and when using snow chains), Trailer (facilitates manoeuvring with a trailer), Off-road (easy terrain such as dirt roads, gravel or sand tracks, driving level is raised by 15 millimetres), Incline (better climbing capabilities, driving level is raised by 15 mm) and Rocking Assist (ground clearance is raised by 50 millimetres, Active up to 20 km/h for situations when the vehicle becomes stuck). Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) for controlled downhill driving is also standard.
GLC has a ground clearance of 181 millimeters in standard guise and reaches a maximum 227 millimeters for the Off-Road Engineering package equipped models with AIR BODY CONTROL suspensions. The maximum angles of approach and departure are 31 and 25 degrees respectively, while entry-level, steel-sprung models are rated with 22 and 23 degrees. Brakeover angle is 17, respectively 20 degrees for versions with pneumatic suspension and off-road package while fording depth is 300 millimeters for both versions.
The cabin styling and equipment levels also draw heavily on those of its brother. On first impression, fit and finish are essentialy the same with excellent material quality, well thought out ergonomy and intuitive, easy to use controls. Two infotainment systems are available: the Audio 20 USB with standard 7-inch colour display coupled to Bluetooth connectivity and navigation if specified with Garmin MAP PILOT and COMAND online with a 8,4-inch screen with higher resolution, audio/TV reception, fast hard-disc navigation, current traffic data via “Live Traffic Information”, a WLAN hotspot function and LINGUATRONIC voice control.
Boot space is also more generous and more accessible now thanks to a 550-litre loading area (plus 80-litres), a wider-opening hatch, less intrusive wheel-housings and a lower door lip. In C-Class T-Modell fashion, rear seats can easily fold flat in a practical 40/20/40 format at the push of a button – actually four levers, one each side of the boot and two more at the extremities of the bench. Once all seats are down, the boot can accomodate up to 1,600-litre of cargo, 50-litres more than the GLK.
What would a brand new model be without an arsenal of forward thinking gadgets? Mercedes quickly complies with a raft of assistance system lifted straight from its bigger brother, the S-Class, including COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist, Headlamp Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST are on board as standard. The Driving Assistance package Plus provides an even more comprehensive scope of active safety features, comprising DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS. Also new is the Head-up Display (HUD) which essentially projects all important information directly in the driver’s field of vision on the front windscreen – info ranging from speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from the DISTRONIC system.
Another trick function is the 360° camera, which is able to show the vehicle and its surroundings from different perspectives. The virtual bird’s-eye view shows an aerial view of the GLC and the surrounding area three metres to the front and rear and 2.5 metres to the sides of the vehicle with full support when travelling off-road in demanding and confusing terrain.
Four cylinder engines at the start plus Plug-In Hybrid
- GLC 220 d 4MATIC, diesel, 125 kW (170 hp)
- GLC 250 d 4MATIC, diesel, 150 kW (204 hp)
- GLC 250 4MATIC, petrol, 155 kW (211 hp)
- GLC 350 e 4MATIC, plug-in hybrid,
system output 155+85 kW (211+116 hp)
In therms of engine choice, the GLC features a familiar line-up complete with C-Class’ existing 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol in the GLC 250 (211 HP) and a 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel in the GLC 220d (170 HP) and GLC 250d (204 HP). All models comply with the EU6 emissions standard and offer a start/stop function.
|GLC 220 d 4MATIC||GLC 250d 4MATIC||GLC 250 4MATIC|
|Fuel consumption (l/100 km)||5.0 – 5.5(6.1 – 6.5)||5.0 – 5.5(6.1 – 6.6)||6.5 – 7.1(7.7 – 7.9)|
|∆ Consumption %||-19||-19||-16|
|CO2 g/km||129 – 143(159 – 169)||129 – 143(159 – 169)||152 – 166(176 – 180)|
|∆ CO2 g/km %||-19||-19||-16|
() Figures for the previous model
In a class first, all GLC versions will be fitted as standard with the state-of-the-art nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4Matic permanent four-wheel drive. Basic drive torque is split of 45% to 55% front to rear via a planetary differential while the single-stage transfer case is no longer integrated into the automatic transmission, but rather flange-mounted on the 9G-TRONIC as a separate system. The new all-wheel-drive powertrain offers 50 newton metres of pre-lock torque.
Greenpeace activists rejoice! As expected, Mercedes-Benz will offer a plug-in hybrid version right from the outset. Titled GLC 350e, the greenest GLC uses the same powertrain as the recently unveiled C 350e, with a 211 HP turbo four-cylinder petrol engine and 116 HP electric motor providing a combined 320 HP and four-wheel drive. Mixed consumption is rated at 2,6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions at only 60 g/km. Electric only range tops out at 34 kilometres. As with all hybrid models from Mercedes-Benz, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC is equipped with the latest version of 7G-TRONIC PLUS. The GLC 350 e 4MATIC offers four basic operating modes which are available in the DYNAMIC SELECT driving programs ECO and COMFORT:
• Hybrid: automatic switch between the various sources of propulsion with boost and energy recuperation functions deployed for optimum fuel efficiency.
• E-mode: all-electric driving
• E-Save: at the push of a button, current charge status of the battery is maintained
• Charge: charges the battery via the combustion engine while on the move.
The AMG version GLC 63 AMG was not confirmed officially, but as we heard at the official launch is only a matter of time until the 510 HP version powered by the new 4,0 litre V8 bi-turbo from the C 63 AMG will get green light. In 2016 will follow the GLC Coupe, presented as concept car this spring at Shanghai Auto Show.
The new GLC will arrive in Mercedes-Benz showrooms across the globe this September with the entry-level price set at 44.500 euros in Europe.