Mercedes-Benz GLC review 2020

Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz GLC in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

£36,355
Average price
Loading...
3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Well-priced
  • Good levels of practicality
  • Attractive styling

Cons

  • Questionable reliability
  • Pricy range-topping trim levels
  • Lacklustre drive
  • MPG

    26 - 53

  • CO2

    54 - 242 g/km

Model review

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is a mid-sized SUV that acts as a successor to the GLK-Class – a model the UK never received. Think of it as a C-Class SUV, as it’s based on the same platform and shares many components. It sits above the compact GLA and GLB models, and below the larger GLE. 

The GLC first arrived in 2015, keen to take on the rivals such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. It comes in two bodystyles, consisting of a regular SUV and an SUV coupe – the latter getting a sleeker, sloping roofline, as well as a higher base price.  

Although it’s still in its first generation, the GLC hasn’t been ignored during its years on the market – AMG has got its hands on the model and created the hot 43 and 63 versions. These two utilise a 362bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 and a 503bhp twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. 

Current model

As mentioned before, the GLC came about in 2015 and is still in its first generation. However, in saying that, the SUV has received a facelift for the 2020 model year – which is available now. The update brought mild design changes, upgraded tech and new engines. 

 The GLC now also features the manufacturer’s latest MBUX infotainment system. The software is a big step up and helps bring the SUV up to date. A seven-inch set of digital instruments are offered as standard, and a 10-inch version is available as an option. 

 Out on the road, the GLC is one of the most comfortable cars in its class, if not the most comfortable. The ride is pleasantly subtle and on par with some pricier options on sale. But, while it excels in this department, the model does lack quite a bit of fun when it comes to the driving experience. 

 Rivals such as the BMW X3 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio offer a more engaging driving experience, and those after an exciting driver’s car may be disappointed with the GLC – although the 43 and 63 are a whole other story. That being said, the points lost for a lacklustre drive are made back in comfort – so it comes down to personal preference. 

  

Value for money

New Mercedes-Benz GLC models are priced from £39,500, which is roughly in-line with rivals. For example, the Audi Q5 starts at £41,420, and the BMW X3 from £40,355. For the class, the GLC is well-priced. 

On the used market, there are some good deals to be had. Cheapest examples are often less than five years old and have low miles-on-the-clock – they can be had for as little as £16,000. Sure, it’ll be in a lower spec, but that’s a bargain. 

Looks and image

Whether the GLC looks good or not is a matter of personal opinion, but we think it’s one of the best-looking SUVs in its class. It’s handsome and, with help from the recent facelift, modern and sharp. The styling is also not too bold and outlandish, so it shouldn’t offensive on the eye.  

Admittedly, by playing it on the safe side and the model being almost five years old, the GLC is starting to look a tad dated. The facelift, as mentioned before, has helped breathe new life into the car’s design. However, the overall look doesn’t quite shine maybe as much it used to. 

Space and practicality

One of the advantages of opting for the GLC over its standard C-Class counterpart is an increase in practicality. Starting with boot space, there’s 550 litres of room, which is on par with rivals. What’s more, the opening is wide and the load space on offer is a simple shape, meaning loading items should be a doddle.  

The coupe model has a little less boot space – 80 litres less to be exact – but there’s still more than enough to work with. In terms of passenger room, we have no complaints. Even taller people should be able to get comfortable in the GLC’s cabin. 

  

Engines

With the facelift, a few new engines were added to the GLC’s arsenal, replacing some of the older motors. So now, the line-up consists of two diesels and one petrol – excluding the hot AMG versions. Beginning with the diesels, they’re both four-cylinder 2.0-litres badged 220d and 300d – 0-60mph takes 7.6 and 6.3 seconds respectively, meaning they’re relatively quick. 

For most buyers, one of the diesels will be the engine of choice, but for those wanting something on the petrol side; there’s one for you. Badged the 300, this powerplant produces 254bhp and uses mild-hybrid tech. 

Running costs

For the class, the GLC is a rather economical car. The SUV, in 220d guise, is said to get 47.9mpg, while emitting 137g.km of CO2, for instance. Fuel economy figures also shouldn’t stray too far from that as well, especially throughout its range of diesel powerplants. 

As of this being written, fuel economy numbers for the petrol 300 haven’t been released, but it’s safe to expect it won’t quite hit the same standards as its diesel counterparts. It most likely won’t be terrible, thanks to the mild-hybrid system, but what it lacks in low running costs it makes up for with 254bhp. 

Things to look out for

Unfortunately, the GLC hasn’t proven to be the most reliable SUV on the market. In the driver surveys, quite a few owners reported faults in the first year of ownership. Problems included issues with the engine, electrics and interior trim. Hopefully, with the recent facelift, Mercedes has sorted these issues, although only time will tell.   

 

Rivals

The mid-sized SUV market is a competitive one, and luckily the GLC has carved itself into the premium niche of the segment, narrowing down its list of rivals. Main ones to note include the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Porsche Macan – all of which are highly-coveted vehicles. So, while the GLC may not be an outright class leader, it’s definitely a strong contender. 

 

Depreciation

There are an equal amount of things going both for and against the GLC in terms of it holding value. On one side, it’s an upmarket product with a desirable badge. It’s also situated in a popular segment.  

 But on the other hand, it’s been around for quite a while now and has become commonplace. With this in mind, the model is bound to depreciate quite a bit, but not in worrying amounts. The facelifted version should hold its value quite well at the moment – while it’s still ‘new’.  

Which GLC to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

GLC 220d 4Matic AMG Line 5dr 9G-Tronic

Most MPG

GLC 220d 4Matic AMG Line 5dr 9G-Tronic

Fastest model (0-60)

GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Night Edition Premium Pls 5dr MCT Amg Special Edition

Trims explained

Excluding the rapid AMG performance versions, there are currently five trim levels to choose from – Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus, AMG Line Premium Plus Ultimate.

'Sport'

The base level trim is Sport. It comes with LED headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, a nappa leather multifunction steering wheel and 10.25-inch touchscreen.

Starts at £39,500

'AMG Line'

Step up to the AMG Line trim level, and the GLC is treated to AMG bodystyling, a black nappa leather sports steering wheel with chrome elements, AMG brushed stainless steel sports pedals and AMG floor mats.

Starts at £41,250

'AMG Line Premium'

Up next is the AMG Line Premium trim. It receives 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, running boards, AMG sports leather seats and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Starts from £44,750

'AMG Line Premium Plus'

Moving on to the AMG Line Premium Plus trim, it gets a panoramic glass sunroof, keyless go and a Burmester surround sound system.

Starts at £50,875,

'AMG Line Premium Plus Ultimate'

This is the range-topping trim level. It comes equipped with all the bells and whistles, including 20-inch AMG five-twin-spoke alloy wheels and body control air suspension.

Starts at £53,620

Summary

  1. The Mercedes-Benz GLC is an attractive mid-sized SUV
  2. It’s still in its first generation – the model arrived in 2015
  3. The car’s been facelifted for the 2020 model year
  4. Priced similarly to rivals
  5. More than ample range of engines offering a good blend of performance and economy
  6. Hasn’t got an amazing reputation when it comes to reliability, but that could change with the facelift
  7. The GLC is situated in a competitive segment, with plenty of keen rivals
  8. Good selection of trim levels
  9. New GLC models start at £39,500
  10. Used examples go for as little as £16,000

Related news

View Mercedes-Benz news archive
View all Motors.co.uk reviews