The latest newcomer from Mercedes-Benz to arrive on the Irish market is the all-new GLC SUV. Said by Mercedes-Benz to be ‘the most dynamic model in their SUV family’, the new GLC will be available only as a hybrid: as a plug-in hybrid or as a mild hybrid with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator. Plug-in hybrids offer a range of more than 129 kilometres (WLTP) which Mercedes says is ‘perfect for predominantly electric everyday driving’.
Launched six years ago, the GLC has achieved global sales of 2.6 million units in addition to which it has been the best-selling model in the Mercedes-Benz range for the past two years. At home on any terrain – whether on or off road – in its latest form, it scores with features that include 4MATIC all-wheel-drive and purely electric off-road driving in plug-in models. New rear-axle steering makes it even more manoeuvrable and safe.
Power is provided by four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines – four mild-hybrid units with a 48-volt electrical system, and three plug-in hybrid variants which include an all-electric driving mode with a range of more than 129kms (WLTP). Output ranges up to 190 kW and 400 Nm of torque in the petrol models, and up to 195 kW and 550 Nm in diesel models – both with up to 17 kW and 200 Nm of electrical support from the integrated starter-generator. To control emissions, diesels also come equipped with a series of exhaust after-treatment components. It has a towing capacity of 2.5 tonnes.
Designed to create a balance between elegance and off-road capability, its defining highlights include muscular wheel arches, wide track and flush wheels in 18-to-20-inch size. A new chrome-embellished radiator grille with ‘star’ pattern, and redesigned front end with headlamps that connect to the radiator grille, emphasise its width. The ‘star’ pattern detail is repeated on its sleek, new taillight lenses.
Standard equipment has been significantly upgraded with a specification value increase of €16,703 compared to the previous GLC model, in addition to which, an extensive choice of optional extras is offered, one being a panoramic sunroof.
Inside, features include the latest generation MBUX infotainment system, now more digital and intelligent, and ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistance with dialogue and learning ability. A modern, sporty luxury feeling is set-off by its multi-function steering wheel and clearly structured dashboard. A high-resolution screen appears to float before the driver with a central display that rises from the centre console. Ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours and ergonomic seats with plush stitched covering, redesigned backrests and head restraints are amongst its other notable features.
Compared to the outgoing model, the new GLC comes with a longer body at 1,890 mm (+60mm) with increased track widths. Thanks to its larger rear overhang, boot capacity has increased significantly to 620 litres (+70 litres). Tailgate opens and closes at the touch of a button. Its 0.29 Cd value is marginally better than its predecessor, an improvement viewed as a notable advance for an SUV with conventional drive. Prices start at €80,310 for the new GLC 220 D 4MATIC AMG Line Plus with the GLC 300e PHEV 4MATIC AMG Line Plus starting at €91,510.
Regarded as ‘pleasantly quiet’ to drive, it has what Mercedes-Benz calls: ‘a serene sound signature and low rolling and wind noise due to acoustic optimisation of the bodyshell and sophisticated sound insulation.’
Comfort appointments include a mix of standard and optional items new to the GLC, not least of which are ‘air-balance’ and ‘air-control’ systems. What Mercedes calls ‘an individual, subtle interior ‘fragrancing’ experience’ is fed to the cabin through three dash-centred vents, to deliver improved air quality and a greater sense of well-being, all adjustable according to personal preference and mood.’