On a technical level the new SUV clearly makes its mark with the excellent standard of safety that is a brand hallmark, featuring state-of-the-art assistance systems and outstanding energy efficiency. Fuel consumption has been cut by up to 19 per cent in comparison to the previous model. At the same time, the AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension that is without parallel in this segment, the extended range of DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic transmission modes and the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive increase not only the ride comfort, but also the vehicle’s sporty agility – whatever surface it is driving on. Visually, the body follows the clear and sensual design idiom which was demonstrated so successfully by the GLC Coupé showcar concept in the spring, and which serves as the standard for future SUV families.
The design philosophy behind the new GLC essentially favours sensual purity and a modern aesthetic over the classic off-road look. The dynamic design exudes emotional appeal while also employing purist forms. Surfaces embodying a degree of tension and precise lines cite the clear design line followed by all state-of-the-art SUVs from Mercedes-Benz. The GLC only represents a departure from its progenitor – the G-Class – in terms of appearance, however. On a technical level it sets new benchmarks in all disciplines – the mid-size SUV’s off-road capabilities remain as outstanding as ever.
The characteristic SUV front with a short, succinct overhang, upright, three-dimensional radiator grille with a twin louvre and centrally positioned brand star follows the successful new design line. Striking headlamps, optionally available as LED High Performance lamps, lend the GLC a self-confident look which is further emphasised by their distinctive night design. The bumpers with integrated underguard come in three variants: in addition to the base version there is a version optimised for off-road use with a larger angle of approach/departure, plus a particularly sporty AMG variant.
The side view showcases the almost coupé-like greenhouse, which together with the 118 millimetres larger wheelbase lends the GLC an elegant long profile. This impression is further reinforced by the gently sloping dropping line which is a hallmark of the brand and by the powerful shoulders. The rising lower feature line also enlivens the vehicle’s side view. Matt black cladding in the wings, wheels up to a size of 50.8 cm (20 inches) and the optional side running board provide clear indications of the GLC’s off-road credentials.
The rear is characterised by the broad, muscular shoulders, the horizontal orientation of the contour lines and the split LED rear lamps featuring a distinctive night design. As on the front, the different bumper variants are available here as well. By integrating all the antennae into the exterior mirrors and the roof spoiler, it has been possible to do away with the fin which has featured on the roof to date.
The paradigm shift in the area of design affects not only the outside appearance. The model change also signals a marked upgrade for the interior. A modern setting prevails which is quite in keeping with the standard set by its bigger brother, the GLE. The new design idiom combines sensual purity with dynamic sportiness and embodies a new interpretation of modern luxury. The GLC’s interior conjures up the feel-good atmosphere which is a brand hallmark courtesy of high-class materials featuring a hand-crafted character, such as nappa leather or open-pore wood trim, meticulously finished details and an appealing overall touch and feel. Last but not least, substantially more space is available for occupants and luggage. The optional large-area panoramic glass roof further enhances the light and airy feel inside.
A key focus of the totally new interior design is the dashboard and the centre console with its flowing lines, with a large, one-piece console panel performing an elegant sweep from the centre air vents to the armrest. These clear-cut lines create a feeling of open space and establish a purist, modern vibe. The newly developed innovative touchpad in the handrest over the rotary pushbutton nestles ergonomically in the centre console. As on a smartphone, this provides for very simple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting – in any language supported by Audio 20 or COMAND Online. A centrally positioned media display is partially integrated above the centre console. Five round air outlets with metallic “cool touch” effect lend the dashboard a sporty air and create an interesting contrast to the warm look of the other materials.