Mercedes GLC review 2023 | Auto Express

​The Mercedes GLC is one of the most hi-tech cars in the premium mid-size SUV class, and features a fantastic, luxurious interior that ensures it looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. If you’re looking for a family SUV with a focus on luxury, the GLC should definitely be on your shortlist. The plug-in hybrid models are also impressively efficient, making them particularly appealing to company car buyers.

However, the Mercedes GLC simply isn’t as good to drive as rivals from BMW and Jaguar, and models on larger alloy wheels at the top of the range ride quite harshly over bumps. The GLC is far more expensive than its closest rivals, too.

About the Mercedes GLC

The Mercedes GLC is now in its third generation, although this is the second version available in the UK. It remains in the same spot in the Mercedes range – above the GLA and GLB SUVs but below the GLE and GLS in both size and price. The letters in the name also hint at its link to the C-Class saloon and estate, which was itself refreshed with similar tech and engines to the GLC.

The latest GLC doesn’t look all that different from the previous model on the outside, but the interior has had a makeover and now features the latest MBUX infotainment system using an 11.9-inch portrait touchscreen display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the wheel. It looks fantastic and means the GLC has one of the most modern-looking interiors around.

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The engine range starts with the GLC 220 d, a 2.0-litre diesel engine with mild-hybrid tech to boost efficiency, and the GLC 300 d, a more powerful version of the same engine. There’s also a GLC 300 petrol with a 2.0-litre turbo engine. In fact, there are no GLC models in the new range that have more than four cylinders yet.

The more expensive and powerful models in the regular GLC lineup are both plug-in hybrids – great for company car drivers, who benefit a lot from the low Benefit-in-Kind tax costs on these models. There’s a petrol GLC 300 e and a diesel GLC 300 de, both using a 2.0-litre engine combined with electric motors and a 31kWh battery capable of delivering about 80 miles of pure-electric driving on a single charge.

Mercedes’ AMG division has already got its hands on the latest GLC. The GLC 43 produces 415bhp from its four-pot petrol engine, while the GLC 63 S E Performance pumps out an even more generous 671bhp and 1,050Nm. The GLC 63 S is technically a plug-in hybrid, but its battery pack is directly derived from tech used by AMG’s F1 team, so the 6.1kWh unit is designed for rapid delivery and recuperation, not for lengthy journeys. Both AMG versions of the GLC are expected to arrive sometime in 2023.

It’s a similar engine lineup to the old model and like before, there’s also a GLC Coupe that features pretty much all the same equipment but with a slightly different roofline for a sportier look. The normal GLC SUV we’re reviewing here has more boot space than before, which is very welcome -–and it hasn’t come at the expense of passenger space either, so it’s still a roomy family car.

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Rivals for the GLC include the BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace, plus the Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5. These models all have their strong points – the BMW and Jag are better to drive than the Mercedes, while the Volvo and Audi are a bit more comfortable. None have the interior luxury or tech of the Mercedes, though.

There are three trim levels for now: AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus. All come with four-wheel drive, 19-inch alloys, LED lights, climate control, heated seats and twin infotainment screens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, plus wireless charging.

Used and nearly new

The latest Mercedes GLC has only just arrived, so on the second-hand market your only options right now are models that are a few months old or dealer stock with no previous owners. These can make canny buys for the right person, but you may also want to consider waiting a bit longer for examples with more miles to appear at a significant discount.

Used Mercedes GLC - front action

Mercedes GLC: 2015-2022

The Mercedes GLC of 2015 onwards looks very similar to the current model on the outside, so it still feels very modern. The interior isn’t as good as the latest car’s but this GLC still has plenty of tech and is well-built. It was also less expensive to buy when new than the current version and so makes a great used buy, especially since depreciation has kicked in.

You can read more about a used Mercedes GLC in our full buying guide here. Note that while the 2015 GLC is considered a ‘Mk 1’ in the UK, it was actually the second-generation of the GLK-Class model that appeared in other markets, so you may also see it referred to as the ‘Mk2’.

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