2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300: Small changes, big improvement
When last call myself behind the wheel of a Mercedes GLC class I really only wanted one small change and that was better tech in the dashboard.
Well here we are in the 2020 Mercedes Benz GLC 300 4Matic.
And while it seems like I've gotten my wish, this is a mid cycle refresh with exterior design massage, new LED headlamps, new LED tail lights, a little bit more power, but it's basically the same GLC that debuted back in 2016.
However the devil is in the details and a lot of small changes add up to a really big difference for this model.
You Here most importantly being the new MBU x infotainment, the dashboard and a few new driver a technology.
So let's pull over and have a look at those first
For 2020 it's Out with the old eight and a half inch command infotainment and and with a new 10 and a quarter inch Mercedes Benz User Experience or MBUX.
And yeah, it's still sort of a tablety thing that's tacked on to the top of the dashboard like a bit of an afterthought and the bezels are pretty chunky.
But this new screen is higher resolution, the wide screen aspect ratio is a much better use of visual space.
It doesn't stick up with much, I don't think.
But the new interface is a lot easier to use.
It's a lot better organized.
It's more customizable and a lot more consistent than the old command set up.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, our standard for 2020.
But my USB type C port here is busted.
And yeah, there are other ports in the car, but this is the only one that sends data to the dashboard.
So I can't exactly demonstrate those features which sucks, but it does mean that I've got to spend a lot of time with the OEM navigation software which is actually, Quite good.
They're really useful features like web connected destination search, and one of my favorite features is the augmented reality turn by turn navigation.
You'll see that when you're rolling as you approach a turn in your navigation, the camera feed up here shows the road ahead on the screen and it overlays an arrow with the street name, indicating where you're supposed to turn on to that camera feed.
And yeah, it's a little frivolous.
But if you live in an area that doesn't have great signage, or in an area that has a lot of complex intersections where more than two roads meet up, it's definitely comes in handy.
Another cool feature is really strong voice recognition with always listening hot word recognition.
So you can just say, hey, Mercedes, give me directions to the nearest gas station.
And you'll be on your way in just a couple of moments.
Of course if like me you're the kind of person who says Mercedes a lot while you're in your Mercedes you're probably gonna want to turn that feature off the avoid a lot of false positives.
Fortunately the rest of the input methods are also really good.
You've got of course the touch screen interface that I've been using here.
There is a touch pad at the bottom which allows you to haptic swipe through various parts of the interface.
And there's also a touchpad on the steering wheel that you can control with your thumb that allows you to access every single part of the interface without ever taking your hands off of the wheel.
That's really nice.
And because all of these input methods are some derivation of tapping, or swiping the learning curve is actually really shallow so you don't have to relearn three different interfaces.
Unfortunately, there still doesn't appear to be any way to skip audio tracks.
Once you've left the media screen without at least two clicks, you have to tap this button here and then come up to the screen and tap skip.
And that's really annoying and no, I didn't expect them to completely redesign command with this mid cycle refresh.
But I think if I keep complaining about it, they'll eventually fix it.
Next new on the list is in front of me.
It's a 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster, which is similar to the big rectangular units that you'll find on the F class, the CLA and the new A class but it's not nearly as customizable.
But you can still control a lot of what you see using another touchpad on the left side of the steering wheel.
And on some level I think that the way this integrates into the shape of the dashboard is actually a better looking setup than the big goofy rectangle that you'll find on higher end Mercedes vehicles.
Rounding out the new features are Wi Fi hotspot connectivity that'll allow you to give internet access to a number of devices that you have in the vehicle.
And a wireless charging port here in the dashboard that allows me to wirelessly charge my phone.
I've been using that a lot because a USB ports busted.
And I've been nitpicking that a lot but I've been in a lot of Mercedes Benz vehicles and that's the first time I've had a busted USB port.
Let's just really hope that's a one off issue.
But enough about dashboard technology for now I'm hankering to get back on the road.
So let's fire it up.
Now under the hood, we have a new generation Two liter turbocharged four cylinder engine making 255 horsepower and around 273 pound feet of torque, which is 14 more horsepower than last year.
Not a huge difference but a different style welcome.
It still made it to a nine 9 Speed g tronic automatic transmission and either rear wheel drive or all wheel drive depending on whether you opt for the formatic model like we've got here.
Now, it doesn't feel dramatically different from last year.
It's like 14 more horsepower.
Power after all, and the ride is still tuned for more comfort oriented driving experience.
The nine feet transmission is still a very smooth and imperceptible shifter and the acceleration off the line is quite good.
Now of course there are Sport and Sport Plus driving modes to help amp up the acceleration a little bit more but they say no GLC 63 Yes, you definitely want to take you Easy in this car.>> Fuel economy is unchanged for 2020 remaining at 24 miles per gallon combined, but the breakdown is a little bit different.
You step down to 21 miles per gallon city and up to 28 miles per gallon on the highway, a change of one mile per gallon in either direction.
And it doesn't matter if you get formatic or rear wheel drive you still average out to 24 miles per gallon combined.
I'm averaging around 22 for my week.
I really would've liked more of a fuel economy gain with this new generation four banger, but it's just a mid-cycle refresh, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.
And there is still potential for gains on the plugin hybrid model, which gets a new battery pack, but that's a discussion for another day when we finally get some seat time in that later this year.
There are two new drive raid features for 2020.
The first being a distronic adaptive cruise control system that works in stop and go traffic now and can automatically adjust the set speed.
For things like the posted speed limit traffic on your route or the geography of the road.
Things like strong bins will cause it slow down.
Personally, I like my speed to stay where I set it.
So I don't really use that feature.
But if you live in an area where speed limits are policed a little bit more aggressively than here, it's probably a really good feature to have.
Plus it does make cruise control a lot more relaxing when you're not diving into corners, faster.
Than the cars comfortable with.
The next feature is gonna be a new Lane Keeping Assist system that centers the vehicle in its lane rather than ping pong off the markers and integrates the lane change assist that'll actually give you a little bit of electronic steering torque input when you activate your turn signal for a lane change but 50 miles per hour.
But it's so smooth and so imperceptible that you probably won't even notice it happened.
Otherwise, this is still the GLC that I knew.
And like last year, it's still a very comfortable and quiet car.
It's still got a very spacious front and second row.
And the interior, despite being a couple of years old actually responds well to this new design update, it's got really good bones and I think this classic look is gonna remain trendy.
For a number of years, whereas other things that maybe go a little more avant garde go out of fashion.
Now, it's a little bit more expensive than some of the vehicles in its class but the GLC here still has really good legs and is a solid choice in this compact luxury SUV class.
Starts at around 42,400 bucks for the GLC 300.
However, stepping up to formatic all wheel drive like we've got here bump that price up to $44,500.
But we didn't stop there.
We've got a ton of options like 22 grand worth of options.
On here, everything from driver aid features to cabin tech upgrades to luxury amenities to our designer red paint and Napa leather interior.
It seems a bit like nickel and diamond but that's just how it works when you're specking out a German vehicle and it illustrates the breadth of luxury amenities that you have available at this class.
S Testa will [UNKNOWN] At around 64,600 Bucks which is a lot.
There's a sweet spot somewhere around 50 grand which still isn't cheap, but it's a hell of a lot better than $64,000 let me tell you that.
Now it faces some still really good competition in this class.
Models that I mentioned like Audi's Q5 or BMW's X3.
Now I'm more of a Q5 kind of guy because I value dashboard tech more than anything else at this comfort oriented class.
But to my bad I the Mercedes is probably the better performer and probably a little bit more comfortable of a ride.
So depending on what you value more is gonna be where you come down on that ranking, and it was a really tough choice not giving this the top pick Now when we're talking about competitors, I gotta mention the Lincoln Coursera which is a bit of a dark horse in this class.
With really good performance, really good technology, maybe not as good of a fit and finish on the interior but for a lot less money than anything else in this class.
It's definitely not to be discounted.
I mean figuratively if you can get a discount ticket.
The GLC was already a pretty solid choice for this class and Benz took a light touch with this new cycle refresh, which a lot of times can feel like reheated leftovers.
But in this case, they've done a really good job of fixing the issues we had the previous generation and leaving those things that we liked intact.
Enhancing the nameplate for years to come.
I really like the previous GLC.
But I love it now,
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