The new GLC makes for a desirable luxury SUV that combines style, quality, performance, ride, economy, practicality and off-road ability.
What is it?
The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC, which rivals the likes of the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, has been tested by our sister publication, Autocar UK. The predecessor to the GLC, the square-edged GLK, was never produced in a right-hand-drive guise owing to difficulties in packaging the driveshaft for the front axle. As a result, the German carmaker has been unrepresented in the segment in RHD markets.
The arrival of the GLC fills this void in Mercedes' line-up. This smart-looking SUV is based on the same platform as the latest C-class, but receives a 33mm longer wheelbase than its sedan sibling. The tracks have been widened by 31mm at the front and 47mm at the rear over the new C-class.Although it is larger than its predecessor, Mercedes says the GLC is 80kg lighter than the GLK. This has been achieved through the use of hot-formed high-strength steel in the body structure, and aluminium for the front wings, bonnet and roof. The GLC 250d tested here weighs 1,770kg.
The GLC 250d uses Merc’s turbocharged 2.1-litre four-cylinder powerplant that makes 201bhp and 51kgm of torque. It’s mated to a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox with the latest fuel-saving functions, including automatic stop-start and brake energy recuperation. It also gets the 4Matic four-wheel drive system as standard.
The GLC rides on a four-link front and five-link rear suspension set-up featuring adaptive damping. It is offered as part of a standard Dynamic Select system that gives the driver the choice between Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual modes. The suspension system, which is claimed to be 5kg lighter than that used by the GLK, also comes with optional Air Body Control rear air springs. The air springs feature a new three-chamber design and can be combined with a so-called Off-Road Engineering package, which offers five off-road driving modes – Slippery, Trailer, Off-road, Incline and Rocking Assist. It also adds hill descent control, underbody protection and adjustable ride height.