Just what did our time driving the GLC on icy roads and a giant frozen lake reveal about how it has been improved? To be honest, in unfamiliar conditions and without the old model against which to provide a comparison, it was nigh on impossible to pinpoint any change.
So, we can tell you that it's not greatly differentiated in character. Everything that has made the GLC a worthy rival to the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Porsche Macan since its introduction in 2015 remains.
“There has been some fine-tuning," explains Kolb, "but the chassis tuning is very similar in standard specification to before. What we have done is make the sports suspension that was previously available only on the GLC Coupé an option on the GLC, too. It brings a more direct steering system as well as firmer springs and dampers, giving it greater agility."
The new sports set-up, which uses steel springs, is among four different suspensions available for the reworked mid-sized SUV, including a lightly revised version of the optional air-sprung arrangement.
Our prototype was lightly camouflaged, but the redesigned bumpers, as well as the LED head and tail-lights, can easily be identified underneath the black wrap covering each end. Other stylistic changes include a chrome package, which was previously offered as an option.
Inside, the GLC adopts Mercedes' new MBUX operating system, launched on the fourth-generation A-Class last year. This combines with a 'floating' 10.3in central touchscreen to bring more contemporary infotainment and connectivity features.
Buyers can choose between standard analogue instrument dials or a new configurable 12.3in digital display, which is similar to that in the latest C-Class and the hydrogen-fuelled GLC Fuel Cell introduced to selected left-hand drive markets in 2018. Continuing with the upgrade, a touchpad replaces the rotary controller on the console between the front seats.
Also as part of its mid-life refresh, the GLC adopts a new range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as two new plug-in hybrid drivetrains. Plus, the old seven-speed torque converter automatic gearbox makes way for a more contemporary nine-speed unit.
The new engines include Mercedes’ latest turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, which comes combined with a belt-driven starter-generator and 48V electric system, making it a mild hybrid. It delivers 194bhp in the GLC 250 4Matic EQ Boost and 255bhp in the GLC 300 4Matic EQ Boost, each benefiting from an additional 14bhp under acceleration from the electric motor.
Other new features include a coast mode that idles the engine during periods of trailing throttle and more efficient stop/start characteristics. Together, these are claimed to attribute to a 15% reduction in consumption over the GLC's older four-cylinder petrol engine.
It’s a trio of turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels, though, that are expected to form the majority of UK sales. These make 161bhp, 192bhp and 242bhp in the GLC 250d 4Matic, GLC 300d 4Matic and GLC 350d 4Matic respectively. Also planned is a new GLC 400d 4Matic running Mercedes' new turbocharged 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder engine with 335bhp.