Like the BMW X1, the Mercedes GLC is entering the third round. And like the Bavarians, the Stuttgart-based company is also sending the new edition of their bestseller to customers in the fall. But while BMW offers all drive types, Mercedes is limited here. But there are a few other things that set the competitors apart.
Almost at the same time as the new BMW X1, Mercedes is rolling out the GLC in its third edition in autumn. The most striking visual changes to the mid-size SUV, which has grown by six centimeters to 4.71 meters, are the new radiator grille and the narrower rear lights. In addition, there is a modified side line in the sheet metal, which significantly stretches the GLC.
Only four-wheel drive, only hybrid
When it comes to drives, Mercedes relies exclusively on 4Matic models, i.e. vehicles with all-wheel drive. When the GLC is launched in September, it will initially be delivered with a four-cylinder petrol engine with two output levels, 204 and 258 hp, and with a four-cylinder diesel with 197 hp. All engine variants are equipped with a second-generation integrated starter generator (ISG) and a 48-volt electrical system. This not only means that there is now a “gliding function”, i.e. the possibility of coasting with the engine switched off, but also that the ISG can contribute a boost of up to 23 hp and an additional torque of up to 200 Newton meters.
Of course, the GLC will also be available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It will come at the end of the year in a combination of two petrol engines and one diesel. The power band ranges from 313 to 381 hp. An AMG version is also planned, but Mercedes has not yet revealed exact dates. And of course the coupe variant will remain. The PHV battery of the SUV, internally known as the X254, is larger and more powerful than its predecessor at 31.2 kWh. A purely electric range of up to 100 kilometers is promised.
If the battery is completely empty, recharging should be completed in just under 30 minutes thanks to optional 60 kW DC technology on a corresponding power connection. Apart from that, the plug-in hybrid is equipped for three-phase charging with 11 kW on the home wall box. Unlike the BMW X1, the Mercedes GLC will not be available as a purely battery-powered variant. The Stuttgart-based company relies entirely on its EQ series and thus on the EQC.
More space for luggage in the combustion engine
However, if you opt for the plug-in hybrid, you have to calculate less space in the trunk for well-known reasons. Instead of the lavish 600 liters for the combustion engines, only 460 liters remain here, and the battery eats 140 liters. However, there are no differences in the interior. The driver finds himself in a workplace that is akin to that of the C-Class (W206). In front of the driver is a high-resolution LCD screen with a screen diagonal of 31.2 centimeters. The central display is in portrait format, slightly inclined towards the driver, and seems to be growing out of the center console. If you want, you can also get a colored head-up display for an additional charge and on request.
Potential customers must also tick the right box in the option list if they want rear-axle steering for the GLC. The technology package that is then supplied also contains the air spring system with infinitely adjustable damping for rebound and compression stages. And if you think you have to drive your GLC, which costs more than 50,000 euros, you can of course also order an off-road package. This then offers two centimeters more ground clearance, front underride protection and underbody protection. However, the wishes add up and consider that even the basic model of the new GLC is 6000 euros more expensive than its predecessor.
Best with a hanger
Incidentally, the price jump is justified in Stuttgart with more extensive standard equipment. Above all, Mercedes argues, things that most buyers would order anyway have been included in the basic equipment from the now significantly shortened option list. The extent to which the further developed assistance systems are part of this can only be determined when the exact data on the equipment lines, which are now limited to avant-garde and an AMG line that is subject to a surcharge, are known.
In any case, the extended trailer maneuvering assistant is not one of them. A must for trailer drivers. The system now independently regulates the steering angle of the towing vehicle up to a speed of 5 km/h and a gradient of up to 15 percent. In addition, for the first time, freely adjustable cornering up to 90 degrees can be carried out without the driver having to intervene.
The team route planner is also brand new. Using sensors, the system not only recognizes the type of trailer, but also its axle load and, based on this, recommends routes that take clearance widths and heights into account, for example. And something else: the trailer load is 2.4 tons for the two petrol engines, the diesel can even take 2.5 tons on the hook. The plug-in hybrids only weigh 2 tons.