2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC - Performance, Price and Photos
Mercedes updates its best-seller with refreshed styling, a swanky new interior, and hybrid-powertrainsby Khris Bharath, on
This is the all-new second-generation 2023 Mercedes Benz GLC. Based on the MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform shared with the current C Class and S Class sedans, this latest iteration of the GLC brings a host of updates to its design, technology, and powertrains with an emphasis on sustainable mobility.
In a market that’s gone crazy about crossovers and SUVs, it should come as no surprise that the Mercedes Benz GLC is the German brand’s best-selling model globally, shifting 2.6 million copies if you include the old GLK Class.
If you recall, the brand from Stuttgart was one of the early adopters of the compact luxury crossover form with the boxy GLK back in 2008. Once that trend began to gain traction, Mercedes decided to create an all-new model based on the immensely successful C Class to create the GLC.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC and Capability
Given how popular the GLC is, Mercedes had to tread carefully with how to go about tweaking this successful recipe
The first generation GLC debuted back in 2015. It offered a perfect blend of size, performance, and the snob value that comes with a three-pointed star. With a range of engines and two body styles to choose from (traditional SUV and Coupe SUV), there was a GLC for everyone. Let’s take a look at what’s changed in this latest generation of the GLC. Known internally as the ’X 254’ new Merceded GLC follows the same path as its predecessor and borrows a lot from the latest C Class.
Available Trims at Launch
- GLC 300
- GLC 300 4Matic
Let’s start with powertrains. Regardless of the trim you choose, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque is your new base. All-new GLCs will feature a mild hybrid coupled to a 48-volt system with an integrated starter motor (ISG) or a plug-in hybrid. The ISG adds an additional 23 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. 0-62 mph comes up in 6.2 seconds and with the top speed at 130 mph.
In keeping with the times, Mercedes is doing away with V8s altogether for the GLC, however, high-revving four-cylinder AMG engines will soon follow suit. The base GLC 300 has RWD while the GLC 300 4Matic as the name suggests packs AWD, with a nine-speed automatic transmission doing duty on both. Unfortunately, key new features like rear-wheel steering (up to 4.5 degrees) and air suspension won’t be available in the United States.
|GLC 300||GLC 300 4 Matic|
|Engine Displacement||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
|Horsepower||255 hp||255 hp|
|Torque [lb-ft]||295 lb-ft||295 lb-ft|
|Transmission||9-Speed Automatic||9-Speed Automatic|
|Top Speed||130 mph||130 mph|
|Towing Capacity||3,500 lbs||3,500 lbs|
The exterior design of the new GLC is more evolutionary than revolutionary making it instantly recognizable
One look at the new GLC and it’s almost instantly recognizable. The overall form factor remains familiar. However, this is no facelift as every single panel is all-new with none of the bodywork carried over from the old car. Also, the 2023 GLC has grown in size, 2.4-inches in length, and 0.6 inches in wheelbase compared to the 2022 GLC. The new GLC also has a lower drag coefficient than before, just 0.29 compared to 0.31 of the previous generation.
Coming to the styling, the bumper design and grille will change depending on the trim you choose. Upfront, the grille has grown slightly larger and you have sleeker LED lights that connect through to the grille. You can upgrade to digital lights which have the ability to project auxiliary markings onto the road.
The AMG line has unique three-pointed studs along with sporty black finishes, while the AVANTGARDE line has vertical stripes with chrome. You have a single horizontal strip now along with a giant three-pointed star in the middle.
On the sides, you’ll find two new pronounced creases over the wheels along with a new slimmer running/footboard. Speaking of wheels, sizes range between 18 and 20-inches. You’ll also notice that the rising window line and the rearview mirrors are now mounted further down on the door. Models that are AMG-line and up, will come with body-colored wheel arches instead of plastic.
Finally, at the rear, the new GLC has an all-new design for the taillights, which now adopts the singular light-bar-like arrangement that we’ve seen on other recent Mercedes Crossovers. But perhaps the biggest sore point is the inclusion of chrome finishers lower down in the bumper, made to look like exhausts.
|Ground Clearance||5.9 in|
Interior Quality and Technology
While the changes to the exterior of the new GLC aren't as dramatic, the new cabin has undergone a complete transformation and overhauled extensively
One area where the old GLC was starting to fall behind its competitors was its aging cabin and tech. But now Mercedes has given it a much-needed upgrade both in terms of design as well as technology. As the GLC Mercedes SUV is a derivative of the C-Class, it borrows the same dashboard seen on the compact luxury sedan.
The design is a far cry as compared to the outgoing model and is modern and uncluttered, thanks in part to fewer buttons on the dash and those swanky new aircraft-inspired air vents. You’ll also notice a step up in the quality of materials used though out this cabin, with MB-Tex upholstered seats coming as default. Leather seats are optional.
The same goes for the new steering wheel, which also features touch-sensitive buttons. The AMG line will get you a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel. As standard, all GLCs will come with heated front seats with lumbar support, a power-operated sunroof, and 64-color ambient lighting, which totally elevates the ambiance of the cabin. You can spec up your GLC with a slew of optional extras including a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats, and illuminated door sills.
You also have some big-tech upgrades in terms of a highly configurable 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a new portrait 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen that now takes center stage. It comes loaded with Mercedes’ latest generation of MBUX 2, with support for over-the-air updates and its feature set is frankly vast.
The screen is slightly tilted toward the driver and does everything from climate and radio to the in-dash navigation with augmented reality, available as an optional extra. Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto along with voice commands come as standard.
Notable optional extras include the full-color head-up display and a 710 watts 15 speaker Burmester audio system. A unique feature new to the GLC is the invisible hood, which makes use of the 360-degree camera system to display what’s underneath the car in real-time. The longer wheelbase translates to more rear-seat leg room and the cargo compartment, 21.2 cubic feet. A powered tailgate now comes as standard across the range.
|Headroom (front)||39 in|
|Headroom (rear)||38 in|
|Legroom (front)||40.8 in|
|Legroom (rear)||37.2 in|
|Shoulder room (front)||57 in|
|Shoulder room (rear)||57 in|
|Cargo Room||18 cu-ft|
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC Price and Availability
Pricing for the 2023 Mercedes Benz GLC isn’t out yet, but considering this is an all-new generation, expect a slight bump in price. The GLC 300 could come in at $45,000 (est) while for the GLC 300 4Matic could start at $47,000 (est). For your reference, the current GLC range starts at $43,850 and tops out at $66,500 for the AMG GLC 43. As for availability and release date, the U.S. launch is set for late 2022 with arrival at dealerships sometime in early 2023.
Mercedes Benz as an automaker is a pioneer of safety technologies and the GLC is a beneficiary of that facet. It should see improvements over the previous-gen GLC, which fared well in the NHTSA and IIHS crash safety tests. On the 2023 GLC, Pre-Safe Front and Rear collision preparation technologies, autonomous emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring come as standard.
You can further enhance the safety of your GLC with two additional safety packages. The Driver Assistance Package adds adaptive cruise control, Active steering assist i.e lane-keeping and centering assist, and Traffic Sign Assist which has the ability to detect red lights, stop signs, and overhead signs.
The competition in the compact to mid-size luxury crossover space is rife and the new GLC has to battle it out against some seriously competent rivals. European competitors include the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Land Rover Discovery Sport, and the Volvo XC60. From Asia, you’ve got cars like the Lexus RX and the Genesis GV70.
Here’s how the base trims of the competition priced in the mid-$40,000 range stack up in terms of power against the new GLC. As you can see from the chart above, the Genesis GV70 tops this list, for sheer power at 300 horsepower. But if it’s cargo room you’re after the Land Rover Discovery Sport as it has 32.7 cubic feet. The Lexus and Volvo both pack hybrid-tech.
To summarize, the 2023 GLC is a massive improvement over its predecessor and closes the gap to its rivals. The new model will ensure that it retains a strong foothold in this fiercely fought segment. With the right pricing, Mercedes could trump the competition with the level of standard kit and technology on offer, right from the base AVANTGARDE line.