2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 first drive

Meet the quickly-to-be greatest-promoting Mercedes-Benz

What’s it?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC will quickly be Mercedes’ finest-promoting SUV, and perhaps even one of the best-promoting Mercedes, interval.

OK. That assertion is ours, prognosticating, nevertheless it does not seem to be a stretch. The 2016 GLC dusts the SUV it replaces — the 2015 GLK — in nearly each respect. The GLC is larger, extra strong, extra comfy and extra environment friendly than the GLK, and doubtless higher wanting. It makes a a lot stronger declare to greatest in a really aggressive class of compact, luxurious-model SUVs.

The brand new GLC swaps the Ok in GLK (Kompakt, auf Deutch) for a C to match Mercedes’ compact C-Class sedan. Henceforth, all Mercedes unibody SUVs will be designated GL, with a 3rd letter distinguishing dimension or market section: GLA (subcompact), GLC, GLE (mid-measurement) and GLS (massive). The unique, 36-yr-previous physique-on-body G-class (for geländewagen) will proceed in its personal, rarified world.

Within the GLC’s case, not less than, the SUV has one thing in frequent with its sedan counterpart. It begins with similar rear-drive basis as the new C-class, stretched ever so barely. The GLC’s 113.1 inch wheelbase will increase four.6 inches in comparison with the GLK, and its size, four.7 inches. Its size, width and peak match opponents just like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Lexus NX inside a fraction of an in inch.

I2 Mercedes-Benz GLC rear 3/4

 

Though it’s labeled the GLC300, Mercedes’ new SUV joins the two.zero-liter turbo membership (Q5X3NX, the Range Rover Evoque and Lincoln MKC are already members). Its 1,991cc inline-4 is shared with the CLA- and C-class sedans, and tuned to 241 hp at 5,500 rpm, 273 lb-ft of torque at 1,300. That’s extra horsepower and torque than any of the GLC’s 2.zero-liter rivals.

The transmission is Mercedes’ nine-speed 9G-Tronic torque-convertor automated. The category normal stays six-speeds, and just one competitor provides 9. The optionally available 4Matic all-wheel drive is reconfigured, with an influence take-off and separate multi-clutch heart differential, slightly than a switch case built-in into the transmission, as on the GLK. Mercedes says the brand new packaging reduces weight and wasted vitality. The default torque cut up is forty five % entrance, fifty five rear.

The GLC will come customary with metal springs, just like the GLK, but it surely provides electronically managed adaptive shocks. It additionally presents a phase first: elective air suspension, with further-mild, fiber-strengthened plastic air springs.

The GLC is lighter throughout the board than the GLK, regardless of is bigger, extra voluminous shell. With extra liberal use of aluminum and excessive-energy steels within the unibody, and aluminum entrance fenders and hood, the physique-in-white sheds a hundred and ten kilos. There are aluminum suspension bits, the lighter 4Matic system and a magnesium case for the transmission. There are additionally a number of NVH enhancements in comparison with the GLK, beginning with acoustic glass and improved engine mounts, but the bigger GLC sheds practically a hundred and eighty kilos of curb weight, in line with Mercedes, with an identically sized gas tank.

I3 Mercedes-Benz GLC in the air

 

The GLC additionally slips extra subtly by way of the air. Mercedes claims finest-in-class aero effectivity, with a worldwide Cd of zero.31 (GLK, zero.34) and complete aerodynamic drag of .seventy nine (GLK, zero.87).

Total, Mercedes sub-divides the effectivity enhancements this fashion: 18 % attributable to weight discount, 12 p.c to aero enhancements, thirteen % to the brand new all-wheel drive system, 18 p.c to the turbo-4, 32 % to the 9-velocity trans and seven % to much less rolling resistance. The entire impact? Gas economic system improves as much as 19 p.c in comparison with the GLK, based on Mercedes, with a corresponding discount in CO2 emissions.

As for the look—properly, it’s higher than the GLK’s. The GLC follows the extra trendy aesthetic established by the unique GL and carried via the brand new GLE, reasonably than the pseudo-rugged, off-highway tack of the GLK. On the down facet, the GLC might be much less distinctive. It’s extra generic, and more durable to differentiate from the present Q5/X3/and many others., pack.

I4 Mercedes-Benz GLC interior wide

 

Stuff? There’s greater than ever, with a variety of gizmos and choices approaching S-class grade, together with ventilated seats and an digital air ionizer and perfume vaporizer. Commonplace gear now contains driver’s seat reminiscence, energy tailgate, rearview digicam, Crosswind Stabilization and Collision Prevention Help with autonomous braking. Mercedes’ Pre-Secure system provides rear safety, with radar evaluation of impending rear-enders, a barrage of sunshine flashes for the offending driver, and brake software to finest handle influence drive. There can be one other dozen lively security and crash-avoidance methods provided.

The GLC300 hits dealerships in November at $39,875, together with the $925 vacation spot cost, with MB-Tex vinyl seats and a traditional key. All-wheel drive provides $2,000. Key stand-alone choices embody the air suspension ($1,610), head-up show ($990) and plus-two 19-inch wheels ($500), however the full experience will simply raise the GLC300 previous $60,000.

Subsequent up for North America will probably be a diesel-powered GLC with a 2.1-liter 4 rated at 204 hp and 368 lb-ft — most definitely for the 2017 mannequin 12 months. The GLC350 e plug-in, which debuts elsewhere by the tip of this 12 months, is predicted in the US as a 2018. It’s basically the identical package deal as the brand new GLE plug-in: an electrical motor including 114 hp and 251 lb-ft, an eight.eight-kw lithium-ion battery and a standard seven-velocity computerized. Within the GLC, it can enhance system output to 335 hp and 524 lb-ft and ship 20 miles of electrical-solely vary, in accordance with Mercedes.

Mercedes has bought greater than 650,000 GLKs since that SUV was launched in 2008. It’s nothing to scoff at, however in the US the GLK has constantly trailed the M-class in gross sales (35,000 GLKs to forty six,seven hundred Ms in 2014, for instance). But because the M-class offers technique to the 2016 GLE (essentially an updated M-class), there’s a reputable probability that the roomier, extra substantial GLK substitute will shut the hole to the significantly costlier GLE.

If the present development continues — increasingly luxurious patrons ditching sedans for SUVS, with development concentrated towards the smaller finish of the dimensions — it’s conceivable that the a lot-improved GLC would possibly ultimately overtake the C-class as the best-selling Mercedes of all.

I5 Mercedes-Benz GLC on track front 3/4

 

What’s it wish to drive?

We drove much less highly effective, Euro-spec GLCs and that complicates issues. All indicators are optimistic, nonetheless.

The 2016 GLC most likely received’t be as fast because the GLK350 — no less than till the hybrid arrives in a few years. Precisely how in all probability is tough to say with conviction, as a result of the GLCs in North America can have a minimum of 30 horsepower and 25 lb-ft greater than the Euro fashions Mercedes supplied for analysis. And whereas the lower in full-throttle acceleration fee counts for one thing, it’s the one place the ’15 GLK has any form of an edge on the brand new GLC.

Bear in mind: Mercedes expects a 15-20 % improve in mileage rankings when the GLC debuts on this facet of the Atlantic, in comparison with the GLK, and most braked towing capability remains to be a considerable 5,300 kilos. Nor are we suggesting the two.zero-liter turbo is disappointing. It’s much less meaty than the GLK’s three.5-liter V6, and never as clean when it’s wound up, however it’s vigorous sufficient in a car approaching four,000 kilos. Peak torque ought to match the GLK V6. All 273 lb-ft can be found over a mid-vary swath of practically three,000 rpm, and the 9-pace automated takes full benefit.

I6 Mercedes-Benz offroad rear

 

The 4-cylinder turbodiesel following in a 12 months is a little bit torque monster. By the noise contained in the GLC, you’ll be able to by no means be certain if it’s a diesel or not. The one technique to know is standing subsequent to the car when it’s idling. It’s an amazing engine for simply getting round, and with the 9-velocity tuned for brief shifts, surprisingly responsive. Mercedes appears to be sorting the 9G-Tronic extra completely because it goes, by way of gear choice or throttle response. There are particular, helpful adjustments in operation when the management program is switched from eco to sport.

The identical applies all through the automobile. Wheel damping companies up and steering thickens in sport or sport-plus, and the experience/dealing with commerce-off is extra successfully managed than within the typical-suspension GLK. The elective air suspension goes even additional by higher managing physique roll with out considerably stiffening the experience. It additionally lowers the GLC for simpler boarding and loading when it’s parked

All that’s good, however crucial distinction between the GLC and GLK could be extra refined. The GLC is extra strong and substantial — with out including weight and with fewer creaks or rattles and fewer hum. It looks like a major improve on the GLK virtually throughout the board. It’s extra a car that deserves a luxurious label.

I7 Mercedes-Benz screen

 

That’s apparent inside. There’s Mercedes’ present factor for video shows that appear to be an iPad suction-cupped to the sprint, sure, however the design is mostly engaging and the format efficient. Most importantly, the end is approach, means nicer than the GLK’s, following the trail taken by the brand new C-class versus cheaped-out CLA/GLA. All three of its wooden trims look wealthy and genuine, and the non-obligatory stitched MB-Tex overlaying the sprint and higher door panels virtually looks like S-class territory.

The GLC’s further size and wheelbase make extra usable inside area — particularly in again. There’s significantly extra rear legroom and bigger rear doorways. The rear seat may be adjusted so as to add cargo area with out folding the seat (on the expense of rear-passenger consolation). Most cargo capability will increase to fifty six.5 cubic toes, and the load flooring is almost 6 inches wider.

The GLC’s off-highway functionality is enhanced, too. It’s virtually superb what some strategically positioned skid plates, adjustable experience peak and appropriately coded digital administration can do, even with a single-pace heart differential. Sadly, the Off-Highway Engineering Bundle that provides the skid plates and off-street/hill-descent administration modes received’t be supplied in the US, in anticipation of an inconsequential take charge. Extra-aggressive-wanting “sport” bumpers that improve the GLC’s method and departure angles 5 levels will probably be coming — as normal gear.

I8 Mercedes-Benz GLC inside

 

Do I need it?

When you had your eye on a GLK, you then need the GLC two-fold, until you had been drawn virtually solely by the GLK’s uncommon look.

The 2016 GLC is a extra vital departure from the GLK than the brand new GLE is from the M-class. The GLC is probably not notably thrilling from the fanatic driver’s perspective, however driving pleasure wouldn’t appear to be among the many high causes individuals purchase compact luxurious-model SUVs.

The GLC is rarely sedating, both. It’s as much as no matter any driver is prone to ask of it, and it’s a significantly better transportation equipment than the GLK. It places Mercedes-Benz on significantly better footing in a booming, extremely aggressive class.

 

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