Bold new Mercedes-Benz GLC breaks cover
Mercedes-Benz this week revealed its second-generation GLC compact crossover SUV.
Compared to its predecessor this all-new model sports a more dynamic and powerful appearance. It's also 60mm longer and 4mm lower, while the front and rear tracks have been increased by 6mm and 23mm respectively. In the interests of efficiency Mercedes-Benz worked hard to make the new GLC sleeker than ever and as such it boasts an impressive drag-coefficient of 0.29cd (a nice little pub fact for all you anoraks out there).
Of course these increased dimensions are a real boon to the car's interior space with a boot that now packs 620l of capacity — 70l more than the old model. Complementing this extra utility is a standard “Easy-Pack” tailgate that opens and closes at the touch of a button.
As with the Lexus RX that was also launched this week, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC adopts an evolutionary approach in terms of exterior styling. Which, given how many of these things the German car maker has sold since it was first launched in 2015, is totally understandable — you certainly don't want to mess with what's obviously a winning recipe.
As such the second-generation model builds on the successes of its predecessor with a redesigned front end that sports headlamps that connect directly to the radiator grille to emphasise the vehicle’s width. Avantgarde specification is now standard across the range, meaning that the radiator grille is finished with a chrome surround and a louvre in matte grey. Chrome window surrounds also feature as does a chrome-look front skid plate.
Muscular wheel arches (now available with liners in body-colour from the AMG Line upwards for the first time) are home to standard 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels with larger 19- and 20-inch wheels available as an option. Meanwhile, the aft-end of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC is characterised by two-section tail light clusters with a three-dimensional look. As with the front bumper the rear also has a chrome-look skid plate.
The interior of the new GLC is a veritable tech fest with a standard “floating” 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD screen placed smack bang in front of the driver. This is of course complemented by a similarly floaty 11.9-inch touchscreen that rises seamlessly from the centre console. The latter is used to control the firm's latest MBUX infotainment system. The number of standard creature comforts has also been ramped up and customers can look forward to heated front seats, inductive charging and smartphone integration.
On the active safety front an updated Driving Assistance package contains improved functionality with Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, the new Parking package with 360-degree camera and Trailer Manoeuvring Assist.
And what of the oily bits? Well from global launch the new Mercedes-Benz GLC will be made available with a choice of both 48v mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power trains. In the mild-hybrid ranks you can look forward to the 150kW/320Nm GLC 200 4Matic, 190kW/400Nm GLC 300 4Matic and diesel-burning 145kW/440Nm GLC 220d 4Matic. The plug-in hybrid range consists of the 230kW/550Nm GLC 300e 4Matic, 280kW/650Nm GLC 400e 4Matic and the diesel-powered 245kW/750Nm GLC 300 de 4Matic. According to Mercedes-Benz all three have a maximum electric range of between 104km and 120km.
All derivatives are paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission that sends drive to all four wheels. A new four-link front and multi-link rear suspension setup is standard and adaptive air suspension is optional — as is rear-wheel steering, which is a first on the GLC. Specify the “off-road engineering” pack and you gain an extra 20mm of ground clearance.
At the time of writing Mercedes-Benz is yet to confirm when the new GLC will touch down in SA. However, we expect it to arrive either at the end of 2022 or early in 2023.