From £40,8207
Mild-hybrid power and refreshed looks give this SUV a new lease of life
James Attwood, digital editor
14 February 2020

What is it?

Even in swoopy (or ‘mesmerising’, as Mercedes describes it) Coupé form and sporting AMG Line trim, the Mercedes-Benz GLC excels in refinement over dynamism, particularly thanks to its well-equipped, luxurious interior.

That should suit this latest 300 4Matic model, which features an on-trend mild hybrid powertrain with a 14bhp 48V belt-driven starter-generator to aid the 255bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. It promises a boost in fuel economy, the ability for engine-off coasting and a bit of extra propulsion under acceleration - and a small step into electrification for the GLC ahead of the 300e plug-in hybrid.

The reworked engine ties in with a general mid-life facelift for the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 rival, and while the exterior updates are subtle, particular attention has been paid to upgrading the on-board technology. The GLC has gained the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system and a number of new driver assistance features. 

But are those tweaks enough to make the GLC 300 a more compelling choice than before in the crowded premium family SUV market?

What's it like?

As we’ve found with other versions of the refreshed GLC, the general updates ensure the interior remains a comfortable and relaxing place to spend time. The controls are well laid out, visibility is good (aided by the all-round cameras and sensors) and it all feels as premium as you’d expect from a Mercedes SUV of this size.

Notably, the large 10.3in touchscreen is clear and the MBUX operating system is intuitive and easy to use. That’s helped by your ability to control it via the touchscreen, steering wheel-mounted controls, a trackpad and surprisingly effective voice control.

Initial impressions of the mild-hybrid powertrain are good too. The two motors are well integrated and the electric unit does a good job of smoothing out the acceleration of the combustion engine at low speeds. On the motorway, the engine-off coasting is virtually seamless when it cuts in, enabling progress with a calm comfort that befits the interior.

The downside of this calm demeanour is that the powertrain isn’t particularly dynamic or engaging and on occasion not the most responsive. With the GLC’s relative heft, the shortage of torque compared with the 300d diesel can be felt.

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And while the mild-hybridisation does aid fuel economy and emissions, the 300 still isn't particularly economical, with an official fuel economy starting from 29.4mpg on the WLTP cycle.

Should I buy one?

The refreshments made to the GLC continue to make it a compelling choice for those seeking a premium SUV of this size. Whether you should opt for this 300 version likely depends on how and where you’re planning to use it.

If your time is likely to be spent on longer journeys on motorways and A-roads (and depending on your view on buying a diesel), the similarly priced 300d offers better performance at a lower cost. And if you’re really seeking to make a step into the world of electrification, it would be worth looking at the plug-in hybrid 300e.

On top of that, we still question why you would pay a premium for the Coupé bodystyle over the more practical and spacious regular SUV.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupé 4Matic specification

Where Surrey, UK Price £46,860  On sale Now Engine 4cyls, 1991cc, turbocharged, petrol Power 255bhp at 5800-6100rpm, plus 14bhp electric motor Torque 273lb ft at 1800-4000rpm Gearbox 9-spd automatic Kerb weight 1805kg Top speed 149mph 0-62mph 6.2sec Fuel economy 29.4-34.4mpg CO2 170g/km Rivals Audi Q5BMW X3

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Comments
7
Add a comment…
Krg1222 15 February 2020

GLC beware crabbing

Just google "GLC crabbing" before spending your money. 

jer 14 February 2020

Hardly compelling more compromised

I cannot see anything either in the mild hybrid petrol motor or the whole concept that is compelling. They will sell on cheap lease deals. 

The Apprentice 14 February 2020

When you think before WLTP

When you think before WLTP they used to claim these only put out a tax friendly 128g/km CO2. Pity it was only VW that got held up to account for 'creative' emission numbers. The now 170g/km is a bit more honest, Execs scared of doing prison time I guess.

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