The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is in a great place. This tall-sided C-Class analogue finds itself in a market that is hungry for high quality luxurious autos and much more hungry for crossovers, and its gross sales have grown steadily since its debut in late 2015.Five-ish years is a very long time to attend for a midcycle refresh, however on this occasion, time is irrelevant. The GLC was a superb SUV from the beginning, and now, it is even higher because of some clutch updates that may greater than sustain with the Joneses when it hits the US later this 12 months.The GLC blends in a lot better than its forebear, the block-bodied GLK — till you progress as much as the AMG mannequin, by which case it stands out like one of the best type of sore thumb.
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What’s new with you?Refreshes could be all around the map, and the GLC’s modifications err extra towards gentle than wild. Style-wise, the SUV provides a bit extra character by the use of svelte headlights, a brand new grille and tweaks to the entrance and rear bumpers. It nonetheless toes the social gathering line, although, carrying various aesthetic touches which are harking back to different new Mercedes SUVs just like the GLE-Class — and that features each the standard long-roof GLC-Class SUV and the sportier, rakish fastback of the Coupe variant. It would not look too totally different, however that is fantastic, as a result of the automobile was loads good-looking to start with. LED headlights and taillights at the moment are commonplace, too.The modifications proceed inside the place, once more, not a lot has modified. There’s a brand new steering wheel nicked from different Mercs that provides touchpads for each thumbs, and it strikes the cruise-control and driver-assist capabilities from a stalk to a extra outstanding (and simpler to entry) cluster of switches on the left facet of the wheel. The normal vibe hasn’t shifted an excessive amount of, although — it is nonetheless a cushty, elegant place to be, whether or not the dashboard is roofed in supple leather-based (GLC63) or a cheaper, extra sturdy materials (GLC300).Spec your GLC the precise manner, and you will be staring down two totally different screens: a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that replaces the gauge cluster, and a 10.25-inch display “floating” atop the middle console. The most main a part of the GLC’s refresh lives there; MBUX, Mercedes-Benz’s newest infotainment system, builds upon the previous COMAND telematics setup by including brisker graphics, higher responsiveness and a digital assistant that springs to life every time it hears, “Hey, Mercedes.” MBUX could be very, superb, however the one downside is the voice recognition usually tends to kick in each time it hears “Mercedes” with out the “Hey,” resulting in awkward shouts of “Cancel!” each time I attempted to speak in regards to the automobile or the automaker whereas seated within the cabin.MBUX is likely one of the finest new luxury-car infotainment programs in the marketplace, up there with Audi’s MMI Touch Response.
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GLC300: The plenty rejoiceThe GLC300 is accessible in each rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, however the engine beneath the hood is similar it doesn’t matter what. The SUV’s 2.0-liter inline-4 places out 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, enhancements of 14 and 0, respectively, over the pre-refresh GLC. A nine-speed automated transmission is the one cog-swapper on supply.My time with the GLC300 is spent on sinewy forest roads round Frankfurt, Germany. The revised powertrain affords up loads of usable around-town torque, though a few of that comes from the EQ Boost 48-volt gentle hybrid system that is accessible on European GLC300 fashions, however not US-spec variants, which is a disgrace, as a result of that little little bit of electrification does go a good distance. On unrestricted parts of the autobahn, this twee engine has no downside hanging out at greater speeds for prolonged stretches of time, but it surely does take a little bit of effort to get there; that is an engine that likes to dwell in a extra environment friendly a part of the rev vary. It’ll be greater than sufficient engine for a majority of the SUV’s target market.My tester is supplied with elective air suspension, and hoo boy, it makes for fairly the chilliness existence. Whether tough or easy, the street’s annoyances are all however eradicated, leaving the cabin feeling like a pillow floating down the street. It’s not so mushy that it feels floaty or in any other case aloof, but it surely’s probably the greatest rides I’ve skilled on this section.Like earlier than, the GLC300 is accessible in each commonplace SUV and the fastback Coupe variants, with the latter commanding a bit more cash for vogue whereas consuming into cargo house. On a drive across the Frankfurt space, the one GLC300 variant on supply was the “regular” one, which I favor. Not solely does it maintain that conventional long-roof form, it affords superior rearward visibility and barely extra cargo house, which is clutch for lengthy journeys with mates or household. The further rear-seat headroom is a boon for my 6-foot body, too.Modern SUVs won’t all the time have ruggedness in thoughts, however the GLC300 packs a stunning quantity of functionality off the overwhelmed path. Mercedes-Benz put collectively a reasonably sophisticated off-road course, and even with the inventory all-season tires outfitted, the GLC proved extra succesful than most patrons will ever want. Equipped with the elective off-road package deal and air suspension, the ute will present as much as 9.6 inches of journey peak, though greater suspension ranges are restricted to speeds beneath about 12 miles per hour. It can deal with 35-degree banks and 70% grades, competently crawling via filth and dirt at angles that left me questioning if at present could be the day I lastly tip over a utility automobile. For a little bit of gamification, MBUX affords a selected off-road display that exhibits particular person wheel articulation, slope and tilt angles and throttle place. Suffice it to say, it is greater than most patrons will ever want.
GLC63: Dopamine dispenserFor those that favor their luxurious with an added kick to the tooth, there’s the Mercedes-AMG GLC63. This dangerous boy is obtainable in two flavors. The commonplace GLC63 rocks a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, good for 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, and it is accessible in each SUV and Coupe variants. The Coupe will get an additional tier of oomph, nevertheless, by the use of the GLC63 S, which bumps output to a meaty 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both variants look considerably extra aggressive, and Coupe variants come outfitted with a foolish rear spoiler that appears just like the automotive equal of a flat-bill baseball cap with the sticker nonetheless on it.The timber are rather a lot blurrier behind the wheel of this one. The normal really feel is similar because the GLC300, as a result of it is nonetheless the identical SUV beneath, however the sense of urgency is a lot greater. Its nine-speed transmission makes use of a number of clutches as a substitute of a torque converter, and whereas it is a bit clunkier at low speeds, the shifts are fast and painless at pace, including numbers to the speedometer in a vogue often reserved for low, lithe sports activities automobiles. Adjustability is the secret on the GLC63. While the same old buttons to regulate suspension, transmission and engine traits hang around close to the touchpad on the middle console, there’s additionally a pair of intelligent little dials on the steering wheel that supply simpler entry to this configurability whereas driving — consider it just like the “manettino” on Ferrari’s automobiles, however with screens inside every pod. The commonplace air suspension is finest left in its most snug mode, absorbing a good quantity of street nastiness regardless of low-profile tires and massive ol’ alloy wheels, however the engine could be turned as much as Sport or Sport+ with none detriment to livability. An energetic exhaust system can be commonplace, and heaven provide help to when you do not depart the pipes uncorked as typically as attainable; the sound is simply too good to muffle.While my GLC300 tester rocked the “standard” SUV form, the GLC63 S I drove got here within the shapelier Coupe variant. Adding that further vogue has few downsides: There’s nonetheless ample headroom within the second row for a 6-foot-tall passenger, and the marginally smaller cargo space will not even be observed until you are usually stuffing the factor to the gills. Rearward visibility, or the dearth thereof, is a small sticking level, however that is about it. If you need the full-fat AMG S variant, you are going to have to love the fastback.
Down to brass tacksThe 2020 GLC begins out comparatively reasonably priced, however as all the time, issues can get uncontrolled in a rush. The GLC300 begins at $43,495 (together with vacation spot) for rear-wheel drive, and including two extra pushed wheels solely provides $2,000 to the underside line. The GLC Coupe is a smidge costlier at $50,995, however AWD can be commonplace there. The Mercedes-AMG GLC63, alternatively, is far dearer at $74,745 for the SUV and $77,495 for the Coupe. The whole-hog GLC63 S Coupe will set you again a whopping $85,095.The Mercedes-Benz GLC’s section is thick with high quality competitors, whether or not it is the BMW X3 and X4, the Audi Q5 or the Volvo XC60. The Merc has been in a knock-down, drag-out battle for the highest spot, and whereas its opponents do supply stable blends of luxurious and sport, none do it in addition to the GLC-Class. With these modifications for the 2020 mannequin 12 months, it is more durable than ever to suggest the rest.Editors’ be aware: Travel prices associated to this characteristic have been lined by the producer. This is widespread within the auto trade, as it is extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multi-day automobile loans from producers in an effort to present scored editorial evaluations, all scored automobile evaluations are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial staff are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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