The Mercedes-Benz GLC had an unenviable start to life, having to replace the (left-hand-drive-only) GLK, which had amassed a cult following thanks to its cool, chiselled design. Mercedes took a gamble with a sleek new appearance – but happily it paid off.
Based on the C-Class saloon, the GLC sits between the GLA and GLE and was the only full-sized Mercedes SUV in Europe at the time of its launch in 2015. Its dynamic abilities meant it had no trouble handling British B-roads and sweeping corners so it was an attractive buy here from day one – and it’s even more tempting now as a used car.
The GLC is more than just a jacked-up C-Class, too. It offers more practicality than its executive counterpart, therefore serving up an ideal combination of space and pace. It comfortably competes with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace, but what it really has over some of those rivals is low used prices, which start at £20,000.
At launch, customers could choose from a range of efficient oil-burners and powerful petrols. Two four-cylinder diesels were on sale: the 169bhp 220d and the 250d, which upped proceedings to 201bhp. The range was topped by the V6 350d, with 321bhp and a thumping 516lb ft of torque.
All of the GLC’s petrol engines were fine-tuned by Mercedes’ AMG performance division, starting with the 43, driven by a 361bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6. The 63 packed a V8 with 462bhp and 479lb ft, while the 63 S, the peak of the GLC range, would leave most cars in the dust, with 496bhp and 516lb ft giving it a 0-62mph time of 3.7sec.
Power in every model was managed by a nine-speed automatic gearbox and Mercedes’ 4Matic or 4Matic+ four-wheel drive system.
A 2018 update introduced a more conservative 208bhp four-cylinder petrol engine in the 250. Then the range was adjusted further in 2019 with a significant facelift.
From here, the GLC was offered with two four-cylinder diesels (the 220d and 300d), a four-cylinder petrol with a 48V mild-hybrid system and two plug-in hybrids: the petrol 300e, with 315bhp and an electric-only range of 26 miles, and the diesel 300de, with 302bhp and 27 miles.