2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is Beautifully Evolved But Slow to Market

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is by far one of the German automaker’s most popular vehicles globally as well as in Canada. Unfortunately, the new generation introduced today will not come to our shores until the spring of 2023.

What’s more, a single model will be available at first, namely the GLC 300 4MATIC. Its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine continues to generate 255 hp, but peak torque is increased from 273 lb-ft. to 295 lb-ft. A 48V mild hybrid system can provide an extra 148 lb-ft. while easing the burden on the combustion engine in certain situations for improved fuel economy.

The nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive system are still part of the mix, of course, but there’s a new four-link front suspension along with amplitude-dependent shock absorbers. No word yet on future AMG models, so we’ll have to be even more patient. Same thing when it comes to a plug-in hybrid variant.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Gorgeous Interior

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is 60mm longer (including 15mm of extra wheelbase) and boasts wider front and rear tracks. Emphasizing its new stance are a number of cosmetic revisions especially the grille, lighting units and lower-body cladding. The silhouette is slightly more aerodynamic, which contributes to a quieter driving experience along with improved noise insulation and new wheel designs (19-20 inches).

The evolution of the GLC is much more striking inside, from the new-look air vents at the top of the dashboard to the driver-oriented, portrait-style 11.9-inch touchscreen to the more modern 12.3-inch digital information display. Overall, the cabin is superbly laid out and finished, elevating the GLC to the top of the compact luxury SUV segment.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Smarter and Safer

The latest generation of the MBUX infotainment system makes the interior even more digital and intelligent. The voice assistant "Hey, Mercedes" is now more capable of dialogue and learning, while the MBUX Smart Home function turns the GLC into a mobile control centre for the home. Also, augmented reality for navigation is available as an option. A camera registers the surroundings in front of the vehicle, and the centre display shows the moving images while superimposing virtual objects, information and markers.

In the safety department, the available new 360-degree camera system and digital light technology are notable additions. In off-road mode, the former offers a "transparent engine hood” where the centre display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle, including the front wheels and their steering position, helping drivers recognize obstacles such as large stones or deep potholes. It’s basically the same thing as Land Rover’s Clearsight Ground View.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

What else? The seats in the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC are redesigned for maximum comfort and support. Music lovers will rave about the optional 15-speaker 710W Burmester surround sound system, while anyone that has to load items into the trunk will appreciate the extra room—up from 550 L to 600 L. A power liftgate comes standard.

By the way, Mercedes-Benz says it has significantly expanded standard content and simplified packaging logic to reduce the effort of choosing from numerous individual options, so that’s good news. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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