Well-Rounded Compact SUV with A Sporty Demeanor
Price From $44,250 – To $74,950
by SUViews Editor | Jan 18, 2022
When it comes to comfort and luxury, Mercedes doesn’t need any introduction. This Mercedes Benz GLC Class 2021 review is going to analyze the new baby on the block– is it worth the hype? Let’s find out.
Almost forty years ago, the 190 E sedan introduced Mercedes-Benz to a crucial market segment, the border between luxury and generalist. Strong sales warranted a conversion to the C-Class some years later, four generations afterward, and another opportunity to innovate in 2015. The maker decided to expand its emerging SUV lineup by associating it with one of its most successful models and, some months later, giving it a stylish flair with the Coupé variation.
Nowadays, the GLC has become a strong contender among compact SUVs by offering the premium character with a decision to make: either you get essential equipment at a reasonable price, or you spring for the best Mercedes-Benz has to offer. Whether in the standard 300 or the two available AMG variations, the GLC is capable of meeting the respective expectations in almost all aspects and delivering you and up to four passengers a wonderful experience.
Performance, Engine, and Comfort
Solid build quality, pleasant decoration, and attractive equipment list are standard features here. However, the GLC 300 is definitely tailored to be the typical family car; if you want more emotion, you definitely have to get yourself the AMG treatment. In that case, the company responds with not one, but two versions thirsty for a good highway or a twisty road.
The GLC 63 AMG may be very expensive compared to the others, but delivers every extra dollar you pay in dynamic excellence. Nevertheless, if you prefer something more affordable without giving up on driving verve, the GLC 43 is far from disappointing.
Engine & Performance
A beautiful case of double personality. The GLC 300 is poised and neutral to suit families seeking a comfortable car with which to run errands. The GLC 63 AMG, on the other hand, begs to be taken to a track and show how fast it can be. Last but not least, the GLC 43 AMG maintains the perfect balance between them.
Engine and gear
The standard engine displaces 2.0 liters and uses a turbocharger and four cylinders to reach 255 hp of power and 273 lb-ft of torque. If you want more performance, the GLC 43 AMG employs a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V6 to offer 385 hp and 384 lb-ft. Finally, the GLC 63 AMG gets you a 4.0-liter V8 to make 469 hp and 479 lb-ft. All of them use a nine-speed automatic transmission, but the AMG models add sporty tuning to it.
The standard version offers well-rounded dynamic behavior but leaves all the enthusiasm to the AMG versions. On the other hand, these may feel too stiff especially compared to the typical Mercedes-Benz standard.
Handling & Ride
The GLC 300 offers appropriate handling for a family car: smooth and quiet, with no surprises. Any emotion Mercedes could offer was restricted to the 43 and 63 AMG versions, which are even more precise to the point of ignoring the added weight compared to a sedan or a coupé.
Vibration is quite low on all variations; the base GLC rides smoothly enough to fulfill daily errands without being uncomfortable. The AMG versions may not deserve the same compliments in that case because their stiffer ride is more appropriate for high-speed driving.
Safety & Reliability
Nothing to complain about on this topic. The GLC does a good job keeping up with the category’s standards, which means focusing on a long list of driving assists. This SUV is prepared to prevent accidents and to protect you in case they happen. As you can imagine, there are more standard items on the AMG versions.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC offers automated emergency braking as standard. Even though all trims use excellent systems, the base 300 gets extra help to stop from the standard all-season tires.
Just like every Mercedes-Benz car, the GLC offers several electronic assists to help its safety-related physical items, such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control. While the base version leaves many of them on the options list, the AMG siblings come with a much longer standard list.
The infotainment system is compatible with the MBUX interface, which accepts voice commands among other functions. You can also operate it through the 10.25” touchscreen, touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, or a touchpad on the central console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, but premium audio and wireless charging are optional.
While the headlights stay at the same level as the competition, what really stands out in the illumination department is the available ambient lighting made with LEDs. They can shine in up to 64 colors, which you can choose according to your mood, have fun with multicolor themes, and do all that using only voice commands if you prefer.
The 4Matic all-wheel drive system works continuously on all wheels to detect each one’s conditions. That way, the system can divide the available torque and deliver the specific amount each one needs at the moment to deliver the best performance.
Working for efficiency has definitely paid off here. Mercedes-Benz has used several technologies on a family of small engines to extract high performance without sacrificing fuel consumption and the result is that all of them are above average – you can even opt for the AMG versions without guilt.
Mercedes-Benz is a big fan of giving 500-cc of displacement to each cylinder and you can see that clearly here: the GLC 300 uses four cylinders and 2.0 liters, the GLC 43 AMG increases that count to six cylinders and 3.0 liters, and the GLC 63 AMG goes to eight cylinders and – you guessed it – 4.0 liters. One turbocharger in the first and two in the others.
Gas per mileage consumption
Official numbers for the GLC 300 are 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway; opting for the all-wheel-drive lowers both figures by 1 mpg. Fortunately, the AMG versions are not worse by much: the GLC 43 is good for 18/24 mpg, respectively, while the GLC 63 makes 16/22 mpg.
Just like its competitors, Mercedes-Benz gave the GLC two body styles in order to give them very distinctive characters. The regular SUV is focused on family use, so you can expect great overall quality but not particularly a breath-taking design. The infotainment central and the cargo areas will surely impress, although not in the same way.
Power-adjustable seat with heating, excellent build quality, soft-touch surfaces, plenty of room– it is difficult for the driver to find something bad in this car. Potential drawbacks would be the options list, which has many expensive items, and the limited storage areas.
While the MBUX infotainment central comes as standard equipment, the instrument cluster may be upgraded with a fully digital version if you want. There are also heads-up displays and voice command options for you to operate everything as easily as possible – the automaker even uses a “Hey, Mercedes!” opening line to make things more intuitive.
Passenger seats and extras
The premium feel is extended to a total of five people. The long and straight roof helps provide space for everyone’s head, but the limited length caps the trunk space especially when the GLC is compared to its direct rivals. Dual-zone climate control is an interesting addition.
Overall height and space
With an overall height of 65.5 inches, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has 102 cubic feet available to up to five passengers.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC offers 19 cubic feet of cargo space.
Price and Extras
Because this is such a competitive segment, it is natural for all automakers to offer similar features at similar prices. As a result, anything slightly different may be a valuable chance to stand out. Sadly, the lack of a complimentary maintenance plan does so for Mercedes-Benz in a negative way.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC is available with the following trims:
|GLC 43 AMG
|GLC 63 AMG
The 300 version is your typical family SUV. The 63 AMG, on the other hand, is prepared to offer you the best performance a vehicle of its size can offer. Now, if you cannot make up your mind, the 43 AMG can bring you the best of both worlds.
The GLC 300 comes with rear-wheel drive as standard but can be upgraded for AWD if you want (it costs US$ 1,945). Both AMG versions use the all-wheel drive as standard.
GLC offers limited powertrain coverage set for four years or 50,000 miles, whatever comes first. While those figures are similar to what all direct competitors offer, Mercedes-Benz fails to follow BMW and Jaguar at offering a complimentary maintenance plan.
Once again, you have a decision to make. The base version offers you the gist of what is a Mercedes-Benz but leaves some of the desirable items on the options list. If you want a complete experience, the AMG versions will definitely reward you. Either way, once you know what you want, rest assured that you will have a great car either way.