Mercedes’ mid-size SUV promises more of everything, and this may spell trouble for BMW X3 and Audi Q5by Dim Angelov, on
The Mercedes GLC is already six years old. Despite going through a facelift in 2019, the mid-size SUV, internally dubbed X253, is due to be replaced. With this in mind, the next-generation GLC was recently spied testing. In fact, the two heavily camouflaged prototypes seem to be in the early stages of development, which means the current GLC will be around at least for another year. That said, even with all the camouflage, we noticed some important details.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC - The C-Class-based Crossover That Could Prove To Be A Worthy All-Rounder
The current X253 generation of the GLC is based on the C-Class. Since we already know a new C-Class is on the way, we can expect the upcoming GLC to share a platform with it. Moreover, the next GLC might even get the same version of the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system as the 2023 Mercedes C-Class All-Terrain.
One of the two GLC prototypes is definitely a hybrid or an EV, as its number plate finishes with the letter “E” – a designation used for hybrid and fully electric prototype vehicles, in Germany.
On the outside, the next GLC seems to have grown up in size, compared to the current model. The shape, however, remains very similar to what we already know from the X253 GLC. We also spot mirrors that are located on the doors instead of the window edges, which is in tune with the latest design trends. As with other Mercedes models, it seems the 2023 GLC will score a thinner headlight and taillight design.
On one of the prototypes there are side steps, but the sign “do not step on” gives away that they are most likely part of the camouflage and will not make it on the production model.
The increase in size could mean that third-row seats could be an option available on the GLC. The current GLB, which is smaller, can already be had as a seven-seater, even though the vehicle is clearly more utilitarian in its design, compared to the bigger GLC. In any case, the ability to spec a seven-seater GLC will definitely make the model more versatile.
The interior is expected to be a complete carry-over from the C-Class, with some minor changes. Of course, the GLC is expected to also feature the full and latest arsenal of passive and active safety, with most of it coming as standard.
In terms of powertrain, the upcoming Mercedes GLC will mirror the C-Class engine options. This includes a variety of gasoline and diesel engines, all of which will be aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, as well as one diesel and one petrol PHEV option. All engines will be turbocharged inline-four units and will work with the nine-speed automatic transmission. Later on, at least two AMG versions are expected to come out, which will most likely be powered by turbocharged inline-four engines. One of the AMG versions could also be an FHEV or PHEV.
The next-generation Mercedes GLC is expected to debut late in 2022, as a 2023 model, with a GLC Coupe following a year later. The GLC has already proven a worthy alternative to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and this one looks like it will offer more of everything.