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New GLC SUV continues a Mercedes-Benz ‘success story’

Mercedes-Benz has updated its popular GLC SUV - and while cosmetic changes are subtle, there’s a wealth of updates to boost both comfort levels and the overall driving experience.

The GLC has been around since 2015 and slots into the Mercedes-Benz range as a mid-sized SUV between the smaller GLB and the larger GLE.

This latest refresh sees the GLC growing in size slightly, resulting in a more purposeful stance on the road as well as getting a larger 600 litre - some 50 litres bigger than the one in the outgoing model.

Meanwhile improvements to both the hybrid technology employed in the engines, as well as how the GLC performs both on and off the road, should make driving one even more engaging.

Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, says: 

“With the new GLC, we are continuing a success story into the future: Since its introduction, 2.6 million customers have decided in favour of a model in this popular SUV series. As the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in the last two years, it is one of the most important vehicles in our product portfolio.”

So, let’s have a look at some of the most important changes.

Firstly, the GLC now comes with the ‘Avantgarde’ exterior package as standard, which includes lashings of chrome. There’s a redesigned front end made to make the GLC appear wider than before and there’s also a new radiator grille.

The GLC is 60mm longer than its predecessor and sits on a wider track - though the actual width of the vehicle hasn’t grown, which is good news for those who wince at the thought of supermarket car park spaces.

The standard spec for the interior has also been improved. That means larger digital displays than before, better smartphone integration, wireless charging and heated front seats.

As with the previous GLC, the new model is available as a hybrid only - either mild-hybrid, full hybrid or plug-in hybrid. And the hybrid tech has been significantly improved.

Both the plug-in and full hybrid powertrains are capable of propelling you for around 62 miles using electricity alone

And a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson says of the plug-in GLC: 

“The improved hybrid driving mode provides electric driving mode for the most appropriate sections of the route. Electric driving is prioritised on longer journeys in urban areas, for example. Whether with one of the two petrol engines or the diesel: as plug-in hybrids, they are not only very efficient but also extremely dynamic on the road.”

The 31.2 kWh battery can be recharged from flat to full in just 30 minutes when using the optional 60 kW DC charger. You can read more about how that translates in our guide explaining what kW and kWh really means.

There’s new four-link suspension to provide a more comfortable, cosseting ride, while the super-plush ‘AIRMATIC’ air suspension and rear-axle steering is also available as an option with the ‘Engineering’ package.

The GLC should also be exceptionally safe thanks to a new suite of driver assistance systems.

The ‘Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC’ tech, for example, can now react to stationary vehicles on the road at speeds of up to 62mph. Traffic Sign Assist also now recognises the numbers on overhead gantries and roadworks signs, in addition to typical speed limit signposts.

Meanwhile Mercedes-Benz is once again shouting about how great the all-wheel-drive GLC is off-road.

Standard equipment includes an off-road driving mode and Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) system. The plug-in models of the GLC should be even more adept on the tough stuff, thanks to 440 Nm of torque from the electric motor that’s available to utilise as soon as you turn a wheel.

Lease customers who are planning to use the GLC for towing are also catered for, thanks to a new sat-nav system that calculates a route depending on whether you’re lugging a caravan, horsebox or just a bike carrier.

Prices for the new GLC will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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