2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC One-Ups old GLK in Every Way
19 Juin 2015 - Autoblog
Meet the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, the latest in the automaker's increasingly impressive run of new or significantly updated (and occasionally renamed) vehicles that's included the immensely good C- and S-Class, and the upcoming GLE-Class – formerly known as the M-Class crossover.
Unlike the GLE, which you'll be reading our First Drive on shortly, the GLC is much more than a mid-cycle refresh, representing the second-generation of Mercedes' compact crossover.
While it represents a more significant update to the former GLK than the GLE does to the ML, the new GLC shares its looks with the larger vehicle. It's a handsome take on Mercedes' latest design language, featuring a similar rectangular, two-slat grille in the fascia. The greenhouse has hints of C- and S-Class in it, and is the best way of viewing the 4.6-inch stretch to the wheelbase. The taillights, meanwhile, take their inspiration from the S-Class Coupe and AMG GT.
The C-Class and S-Class also serve as inspiration for what is a remarkably attractive cabin. While Audi has long served as the standard for interior design, with the C, S, and now the GLC, Mercedes can stake a claim to Ingolstadt's crown. Like the C-Class, the center stack is a wide, curving design that terminates in the controller for the infotainment system, while a tablet-like display sits up high. Leather, wood, and aluminum cover most every surface we can see in the initial batch of photos, while cool, blue accent lighting adds an extra dose of style.
The new cabin isn't just prettier, it's more spacious, too. Thanks to the longer wheelbase, there's an extra 2.2 inches of space for second-row passengers. There's more room for cargo, too. Mercedes claims 20.5 cubic feet – non-SAE, it should be noted – behind the second row, up from 16.5 in the current GLK.
While the GLC will be offered with a range of gas and diesel powertrains, US consumers will be offered the GLC300 first. Counterintuitively and like the C300, the entry level CUV uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. While we expect 4Matic to be the popular option, Mercedes will also offer a rear-drive-only model. There's no mention of additional powertrains beyond the launch model, although we'd expect the GLC to follow the C-Class' example and add a GLC400 powered by a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. A diesel-powered GLC250 BlueTec also seems likely, and Mercedes' penchant for AMG-ing all the things may finally filter down to the compact CUV.
For those seeking a more refined ride, GLC owners can ditch the standard suspension and its variable damper system and opt for a segment-exclusive air suspension with adaptive, adjustable dampers. Owners will be able to select just how firm a ride they want through the Dynamic Select system, choosing from Comfort, Sport, or Sport+. More than just adjusting the damper firmness, Sport and Sport+ actually lower the suspension as well, dropping up to 0.8 inches in the most aggressive mode.
Speaking of the Dynamic Select system, it will also offer drivers an Eco mode for improved fuel economy, as well as an Individual mode that gives drivers complete control over the GLC's adjustable systems.