Following on from last year’s launch of the new C-Class saloon, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the high-riding GLC SUV built on the same platform.
The new GLC will go on sale in the UK later this year and is marginally larger than the previous version. It will be available with three plug-in hybrid powertrain choices and features a new interior that follows the dashboard layout seen in the S-Class and C-Class models.
Externally, the new GLC follows the styling themes of the larger GLE and GLS models. Most obvious is a larger grille, flanked by more powerful LED headlights, while at the rear you’ll find narrower LED tail lights running the full width of the tailgate.
Mercedes-Benz says the new GLC is more aerodynamic than the last, creating less drag to hopefully save you a few pennies at the pumps.
The tailgate is electrically powered as standard across the range, which opens to reveal a boot with 50 litres more load volume than the previous version, giving a total of 600 litres with the rear seats up.
Inside the cabin, the new GLC has had a dramatic interior transformation to bring it in line with the brand’s latest models. The thick centre console between the driver and front passenger curves up to meet the floating 12-inch portrait-orientated infotainment touchscreen, just as it does on the new C-Class.
A fully digital instrument display sits behind a new-look steering wheel, while a head-up display that projects information onto the windscreen is optional.
The infotainment console, which can be updated with new features while sitting on your driveway thanks to over-the-air updates, has a fingerprint scanner to select your personalised driver profile. In addition, the new GLC has wireless smartphone charging and heated seats as standard.
Like the latest C-Class range, the entry-level petrol and diesel GLC models are equipped with a four-cylinder mild hybrid petrol engine. All models come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel drive is also standard.
Three plug-in hybrid powertrains are available – two petrol and diesel, all using the same 31kWh battery. Mercedes-Benz claims that these plug-in models can travel more than 62 miles on electric power. There’s also a a new off-road driving mode to improve the GLC’s performance away from the tarmac.
There’s no news on UK pricing or specification yet, but we expect these to be announced in coming weeks ahead of the GLC’s UK arrival later this year.
Mercedes-Benz will be hoping that the new GLC represents enough of a step forward over the previous model to improve its ratings from UK reviewers. The current model has an Expert Rating of 68%, which falls short of most of its key rivals in the medium SUV segment – like the Volvo XC60 (77%), BMW X3 (75%), Lexus NX (75%), Audi Q5 (72%), Jaguar F-Pace (72%) and Range Rover Velar (72%).