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With notable improvements in equipment, quality and overall refinement, the facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is now a proper premium SUV.

30 Dec 2019


When it was launched back in 2016, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class was the baby of the brand's premium SUV family. And, it sure felt like it. It may have the necessary badging and styling and what not, but the car never really felt like a 'proper' Mercedes.

Fast forward a couple of years, and the GLC-Class has now been updated to breathe in new life to the model. Is it a properly premium Mercedes now?

So what's changed? 

LED High-Performance head lights come as standard
Visually, the GLC hasn't undergone major changes. There are new chrome elements, standard LED High-Performance head lights, as well as a new radiator grille design. There's also a redesigned rear bumper with integrated tailpipe elements.

The changes don't fundamentally affect the way the car looks. It's not the prettiest SUV in the world, but it does come across as quite rugged and tough-looking.

Inside, the changes are much more significant. The major update is most evident from the driver's seat - the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system, accessed via 12.3-inch all-digital instrument display and the 10.25-inch touchscreen central media display.

The GLC now runs the latest MBUX system, which can be seamlessly operated via the 10.25-inch touchscreen central media display
There's also a new multifunction steering wheel with the very useful Touch Control buttons, as well as a flat and wide multifunction touchpad that's much easier to use than the previous generation one. You can also operate the infotainment system using voice control by saying 'Hey Mercedes'.

All in all, these technology and equipment updates help to really elevate the sense of quality and luxury within the cabin. This feels like a properly premium Mercedes now. 

Does it drive any better? 

The new 2.0-litre engine is notably more refined and smooth to operate
The GLC-Class now also feels thoroughly more refined to drive. In this GLC300 configuration, a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine sends 254bhp and 370Nm of torque to all four wheels. The engine is notably more refined than before - it's smoother to operate, and doesn't sound as strained when worked hard.

The suspension also feels more well-sorted and sophisticated than before. The car is more compliant over bumps, and doesn't bounce up and down as much as it used to. This creates a much more relaxing and measured ride.

With improved quality and equipment, the cabin now feels properly luxurious and premium
Generally, driving the GLC-Class feels very relaxing and insulated from the world outside (something we couldn't say about the pre-facelift model). It's reasonably luxurious and has more than a whiff of E-Class about it.

Issues? The steering and pedal feel still feels artificial and rubbery all around. And, fuel economy is pretty dismal - we only managed about 8.2km/L, some way off the listed 12.5km/L figure.

So it's a proper Merc? 

The facelifted GLC-Class features a host of improvements that elevate the refinement and quality of the car
The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class has never been an easy car to love. It's neither got the all-terrain prowess of a 'proper' SUV, nor the delicacy and on-road manners of a 'proper' Mercedes.  

With this latest iteration, Mercedes has made the GLC-Class much more luxurious and comfortable for day-to-day use. It's still not much of a 'proper' SUV (which modern crossover actually is?), but it's certainly a properly premium and luxurious Mercedes now. That's a big win in our eyes.
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Car Information

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Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC300 4MATIC (A)
Rate it

Price

: $241,888

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1991cc

Horsepower

:

190kW (255 bhp) / 5800 rpm

Torque

:

370 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.2sec

Top Speed

:

240km/h

Fuel consumption

:

12.5 km/L

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mercedes  mercedes-benz  glc  glc-class  mercedes glc  premium suv  suv