What is it?
It's Mercedes’ hot selling mid-segment luxury SUV which has just received a facelift among other things. Let’s take a closer look at what all has changed in the new and updated GLC.
The front gets quite a bit of rework with revised bumpers, a new twin-slatted grille which looks quite bold and new slim headlamps. The sides remain identical barring the inclusion of the newly designed 19-inch alloy wheels which come in a dual tone shade and further accentuate its broad shoulder line. And finally, the new LED tail lights along with the integrated tailpipe trim bring to perfection the already good looking package.
How is it on the inside?
The biggest changes though are on the inside. It still feels all Mercedes and I mean that in a good way with the downward flowing centre console remaining the same. But the biggest addition is the new 10.25-inch ‘touch screen’ infotainment system. The important word here is ‘touch’ because this is the advent of touch screen in a Mercedes-Benz and what a splendid debut it is. It’s sharp, intuitive and very good to respond and additionally comes with Apple CarPlay along with navigation which makes it so much more convenient for the user. But that’s not all, the GLC also debuts the famed MBUX operating system which is essentially a voice assistant feature. Just like you say ‘Hey Siri’ in an iPhone, its ‘Hey Mercedes’ in the GLC and you can change ambient lighting and search a destination among a host of other things. The embedded SIM enables a lot of connected car features too like pre-cooling and remote locking.
Getting in the driver’s seat, you know this is something special. The chunky flat bottom steering wheel feels nice and gets the usual array of swipe pads and buttons on it. The information display looks great with vibrant colours and all the info one could ask for. Also available now is wireless charging, adding to the convenience. You also get a new open-pore walnut wood finish on the centre console and not only does that feel good to read but feels great to touch as well. Details in the interiors are top notch and the GLC definitely pampers well.
The seats in the front feel great and really offer very good support but we do miss the memory function. Like with most Mercedes, the rear seats are very important considering the high percentage of chauffeur driven owners. Space remains unchanged and you have a decent amount of legroom. You also get rear air-con vents and two USB ports.
How does it drive?
With the facelift, we lose the choice of an interesting engine option. The brilliant 300d is not available in the GLC. What remains is the GLC 200 petrol and the one we drove, the 220d, four-cylinder diesel which remains unchanged. The 194bhp and 400Nm of torque are sent to all four wheels via the nine-speed 9G-Tronic gearbox. While the numbers aren’t going to give any goosebumps, the driving modes do pep things up. You get to choose between Individual, Sport, Comfort and Eco modes. The busy roads of Bangalore meant we were in comfort mode for most of the time and it’s a fine balance of power and economy.
The gearbox seems to be a tad bit slow at times but it’s only when you really hurry it that it feels so. The engine on the other hand is extremely refined and relaxed at highway speeds making it an effortless highway muncher. But even then, we still feel that the 300d was the ideal engine for the GLC.
What cannot be argued about though is the ride quality. The GLC soaks in bumps and bad sections like it was born to. Ride quality is a typical Mercedes magic carpet ride and the GLC just glides over everything you throw at it.
A soft suspension setup will invite body roll and the GLC does roll a bit when you really push it, but nothing alarming thanks to the barrage of electronics that it packs in. The steering in sports mode does dial in some weight but even then there isn’t enough to call it a driver’s car. But in other words the GLC for most owners will be a driver’s car (chauffeur driven) so there isn’t much to complain about.
Should I buy one?
The GLC is already one of the highest selling Merc’s and this update which includes the introduction of the MBUX system and the connected car tech will only add to its appeal. With fresher looks, top notch interiors and an amazing ride quality, one really can’t go wrong with the new GLC unless of course you are looking for some more driving enjoyment for which we will point you towards the BMW X3. The GLC is priced at Rs. 57.75 lakhs for this diesel variant and it is on par with its competition excluding only the Audi Q5 which is the lowest priced vehicle in the bunch.
Where does it fit in?
Photography by Kapil Angane