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.