Mercedes-Benz has been selling the GLC-Class compact luxury SUV since 2016, the successor to the GLK-Class sold between the 2010 and 2015 model years. The GLC is sold in a traditional SUV shape as well as a "Coupe" version that offers an arguably sportier look with a sharper rake to the rear of its silhouette.
Not much is new for 2019, save the addition of standard heated front seats and a 115-volt power outlet.
Powertrain and specs
The GLC-Class offers four engine options. For starters, there's the GLC300's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that sends 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque to either the rear of all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Those power figures sit on the lower end of the segment. Fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway is about average, but not far from the class-leading BMW X3, which can achieve 23/30 mpg. The GLC300 4Matic Coupe is slightly less efficient at 21/27 mpg.
The GLC350e 4Matic augments the standard 2.0-liter engine with an 85-kilowatt electric motor and all-wheel drive. Total system output is 315 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, all of which is sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission. There's up to nine miles of available range in electric-only mode, which results in an EPA-estimated 56. The rest of the time, the GLC350e operates as a conventional hybrid, returning 25 mpg combined. That's 1 mpg more efficient than the standard GLC300. The GLC350e is not available in Coupe form.
Next is the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 with its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 pumping out 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque -- slightly more stout than the BMW X3 M40i's 355 ponies and 365 pound-feet. Mercedes routes the AMG GLC43's power through a nine-speed automatic transmission and offers the SUV exclusively with 4Matic all-wheel drive. Fuel economy sits at 18/24 city/highway mpg, but the X3 M40i does significantly better here, at 20/27 mpg. Like the GLC300, the AMG GLC43 is also available in Coupe guise.
The AMG GLC63 is equipped with a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 that's good for 469 horsepower and 479 pound feet of torque. That extra power drops fuel economy to 16/22 city/highway mpg, but vastly improves performance with its 3.8-second 0-60 time. Interestingly, that EPA estimate remains the same in the more powerful AMG GLC63 S Coupe, with 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Like its more upright, V8-powered SUV sibling, the AMG GLC63 S routes its power through all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic.
The GLC-Class offers enough space for up to five occupants. With the back seats folded, the GLC SUV can handle only 56.5 cubic feet of cargo, trailing the Acura RDX (58.9 cubic feet), Audi Q5 (60.4), BMW X3 (62.7) and Volvo XC60 (63.3). The GLC Coupe offers even less cargo space at 49.4 cubic feet. That's less, even, than the subcompact Honda Fit at 52.7 cubic feet.
A dearth of standard tech is still a common thread in this segment, unfortunately, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are optional equipment on the GLC. It does, however, come with HD radio and an SD card reader along with a seven-inch display managed through a controller on the center console. Available features include embedded navigation paired with an 8.4-inch screen, Wi-Fi, satellite radio, a head-up display and a 590-watt, 13-speaker Burmester .
Standard driver-assistance features include collision-mitigation braking, a driver-focus monitor and rain-sensing wipers. That's not much, but adaptive cruise control with steering assist, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree camera and autonomous parallel parking are available.
Options and pricing
Base prices for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC range from $40,700 to $81,800 plus $995 for destination. The base GLC300 comes with 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, push-button and remote start, dual-zone climate control, a 14-way power driver seat, heated front seats and power-folding rear seats. The $42,700 GLC300 4Matic and $47,300 GLC300 4Matic Coupe carry the same standard features but add all-wheel drive.
Pricing has yet to be announced for the 2019 GLC350e 4Matic, but the 2018 base price was $49,990. The plug-in hybrid GLC offers the same set of standard features as the models mentioned earlier.
In addition to the twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the $57,000 AMG GLC43 adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive air suspension, satellite radio, blind spot monitoring and keyless access. The AMG GLC43 Coupe is equipped the same and carries a $61,200 base price.
The V8-powered, $70,800 AMG GLC63 comes with LED headlights, a version of 4Matic that can fully vary its torque split front to rear and a heated steering wheel. The AMG GLC63 Coupe starts at $74,100, while the AMG GLC63 S Coupe with its extra 34 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque starts at $81,800.
Some versions of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class are on sale now, while others are expected to follow soon.