I like nice shock. Like if you guessed each reply on a take a look at and nonetheless managed to clear a B-. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 is my newest nice shock as a result of I didn’t anticipate a lot from the entry-level SUV however discovered myself enamored with it by week’s finish.
OK certain, the brand new inside and infotainment have been fully baffling for the primary few miles of use, and, from the surface, it simply form of seems to be like Generic Automobile Quantity 22, however the brand new GLC is hiding one thing inside. That one thing is an honest-to-god understanding of what a luxurious automotive ought to be. It’s serene, enjoyable, and tailorable to anyone that drives it.
It would truthfully be one of many few precise isolating and soft luxurious vehicles I’ve pushed shortly. This factor is sweet, of us. And I believe it’s an entry-level luxurious cut price.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Specs
- Base worth (as examined): $47,100 ($54,100)
- Powertrain: 2.0-liter inline-four | nine-speed computerized transmission | rear-wheel drive
- Horsepower: 255
- Torque: 295 lb-ft
- Seating capability: 5
- Curb weight: 3,968 kilos
- Cargo Quantity: 21.9 cubic toes behind second row | 59.3 cubic toes behind first row
- EPA estimated gasoline economic system: 25 mpg metropolis | 32 freeway | 28 mixed
- Fast take: Environment friendly household transportation with some luxurious sprinkled in.
- Rating: 8.5/10
Redesigned for 2023, the GLC300 stays the compact alternative within the Mercedes vary of SUVs because the high-riding equal of the C-Class sedan however has grown considerably, including 2.4 inches of total size and a couple of.5 cubic toes extra cargo house. Together with that enhance in house, the inside has been modified considerably to Mercedes’ new look with the portrait-oriented 11.9-inch MBUX infotainment display and single-minded devotion to deleting bodily buttons.
However even with the brand new ergonomics (which I’ll focus on within the driving section), the within of the brand new GLC seems to be and feels gorgeous. Upon nearer scrutiny, a number of the supplies and options really feel cheaper, just like the flip sign stalks, the motion of the cupholder door, and a few basic creakiness within the overhead console. But the large, high-quality, excessive refresh price screens dominate the cabin and are framed with excellently chosen textures and surfaces. The MB-Tex artificial leather-based seats really feel convincingly actual and are supple with nearly zero sensation of stress factors.
I’ll provide that it’s an affordable gimmick, however ambient lighting has an actual knack for sprucing up an inside. No, I don’t care that different visitors (or my neighbors watching me take a look at the really glorious Burmester stereo at night time) can see me wherever I’m going. The additional lighting is finished fantastically on this Benz with a well-judged mixture of oblique lighting and neon-like accent lighting, and a full-color spectrum plus mixed-color themes to select from. You possibly can’t combine colours by yourself, however you may regulate brightness in three separate lighting zones. Low cost gimmick, however I’m shopping for it and loving it.
Probably the most contentious a part of the house is the infotainment show. It’s Mercedes’ latest system that can finally function in all of its vehicles. Whereas stationary, it’s responsive and clear however it frankly wants a tutorial to stand up to hurry with it earlier than your first drive. Over time with the GLC I discovered the shortcut buttons to get to the most important capabilities, however should you don’t know what you’re doing, put together to do some severe menu looking. My first drive was downright harmful, however extra on that later.
Beneath the aggressively regular sheet metallic are a small array of mechanical modifications from the earlier GLC300. Notably, the GLC retains a spare tire, which is an incredibly uncommon commodity in luxurious vehicles now. However Mercedes has put real effort into the unseen elements of the SUV, with a reconfigured 48-volt gentle hybrid system now sandwiched throughout the transmission as an alternative of working off the engine accent drive, adaptive dampers, and a critically spectacular 0.29 coefficient of drag. Powering all of it is a four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Merc additionally went to city in quieting the GLC down, utilizing acoustic movie and sound deadening all through the underfloor, acoustic dampers below the hood, and elective acoustic glass. For all of this effort, Mercedes says that the GLC is now quieter than the C-Class however gained’t say by how a lot. Spoiler alert: the GLC is insanely quiet for the cash. And it occurs to drive fairly properly.
Driving the Mercedes-Benz GLC300
Okay, it’s no driver’s automotive. However it’s imminently simple to grasp: luxurious and serenity over all the things else. Properly, aside from the infotainment.
There’s no avoiding it–the infotainment is most certainly going to be a catastrophe for everybody initially. Even with my Zoomer palms and mind manipulating the Benz, I needed to take one first rate drive round city to get all the things configured to an appropriate state. With all methods on, which incorporates lane centering, lane preserve, and auto stop-start, the automotive felt prefer it needed to drive itself however solely typically, and it principally tried to veer off the highway within the wide-open two-lane desert roads I’m used to. Paired with the haptic steering wheel buttons, you needed to recalibrate to grasp the factor.
Whereas most vehicles provide a one-touch button to show the methods off, the GLC forces you to both know MBUX properly or menu hunt like an fool for the primary few miles. I’m going to avoid wasting you time with this tip: hit the button with the automotive on it. That’s the shortcut for driving capabilities. However I nonetheless shouldn’t have to commit to 2 actions whereas driving. You can even swipe from the highest of the display down like an iPhone to disclose different capabilities.
Look, when you perceive MBUX, it’s fairly usable and nice. However I can’t deny my preliminary expertise with the automotive being annoying. I needed to develop into the GLC and perceive it, and that’s the least luxurious factor about it. Every little thing else is damned gorgeous.
It’s deafeningly apparent that the GLC is likely one of the quietest vehicles I’ve been in for some time as a result of all I might hear was my tinnitus. At 80 mph, you might really whisper to your front-seat passenger. It’s not an entire isolation chamber, however it’s extra like placing in a very first rate set of earplugs. Highway and wind noise have been just about non-existent, even in a 20-mph crosswind. It’s a large trump card for this in any other case unassuming SUV.
And with a tall, commanding seating place with glorious visibility and cabin airiness, the very best factor I might say is that I might do virtually indefinite miles within the automotive with supreme consolation. I braved a 2.5-hour drive from the very northern a part of Los Angeles County all the way down to its southern coastlined extremity and felt decently refreshed once I received out.
That complicated infotainment and confused ADAS fades away shortly on the freeway. Then, the methods grow to be superb. The lane preserve was functionally seamless and simply as easy as a human driver on well-marked highways. Computerized lane altering appears like a gimmick till I skilled this one (and the BMW i5’s), the place it’s really easy and protected. Adaptive cruise labored properly however was the weakest hyperlink within the ADAS chain. It wasn’t aggressive sufficient in maintaining and accelerating with visitors however was far too aggressive in approaching slower visitors, taking till the final “Oh god, this robotic is gonna rear-end a Porsche” second to decelerate.
The stereo is likely one of the greatest I’ve heard in an extended whereas, solely bested by the absurd Naim stereo that Bentley shoehorns into its vehicles. I’m useless severe. It’s crisp however wealthy, with an exquisite tonal heat that flatters any piece of music that you simply stream by it. The three-channel equalizer works properly in small changes indicating some high quality behind the scenes. Blended with the quiet cabin, it turns into a rolling reference-quality studio monitor. And that isn’t simply me, as a result of I introduced knowledgeable musician pal alongside to check it and he corroborated my claims.
In the case of driving the GLC, there isn’t a lot to say. It’s all clearly engineered to be forgettable and simple, with medium-weight doughy steering, an extended and delicate brake pedal, glorious trip high quality over bigger bumps, first rate isolation of cracks and potholes, and a barely unusual powertrain. Whereas the engine is easy, it is a gasoline engine that sounds nearly precisely like a diesel. It has an unrefined tone however is remoted extraordinarily properly. And the nine-speed computerized transmission within reason easy however simple to confuse right into a tough shift and sluggish to reply to guide instructions. It’s not nice to really drive, however it’s nice at breezily ferrying you round at your suggestion.
The Highs and Lows
What you actually pay for within the GLC is the quietness, the wow issue of the inside, the stereo, and the trip high quality. And for the $54,100 as-tested worth, it’s a true luxurious cut price. It is aware of what it’s at its core: a snug SUV.
However there are some lows. Notably within the refinement of the drivetrain and MBUX. Whereas MBUX grows on you, you by no means cease wanting for a less complicated system. The engine and gearbox additionally deliver the occasion down just a little bit. They’re tuned to be forgotten however positively don’t dwell as much as the luxurious customary that the GLC300 is promoting.
Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Options, Choices, and Competitors
The section that the GLC competes in is likely one of the hottest within the enterprise. It’s up towards some affordable competitors within the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Jaguar E-Tempo, and Volvo XC60. All of those vehicles begin within the low-$40,000 to low-$50,000 vary in comparable spec.
Whereas the GLC300 is the one present trim of the 2023 GLC, there’ll seemingly be a future AMG mannequin that competes increased upmarket. For now, the GLC300 is out there in rear-wheel-drive or 4Matic all-wheel-drive and has loads of elective extras. My tester had the $1,950 Driver Help Bundle and the $2,250 Unique Trim that features encompass view, Burmester stereo, enhanced ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, and satellite tv for pc navigation. Different choices have been the $350 MB-Tex artificial leather-based dashboard, $1,500 panoramic sunroof, and $600 elective wheels.
In any other case, the GLC comes loaded up as customary with the identical MBUX system, ambient lighting, keyless entry and go, MB-Tex seats and inside panels, blind spot monitoring, heated entrance seats, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive dampers, and a sunroof.
Gas Economic system
Rated for 25 mpg within the metropolis, 32 mpg on the freeway, and 28 mpg mixed, the GLC300 is forward of the section when it comes to gasoline economic system with most different automobiles within the section touchdown a few mpg behind the Benz.
Noticed economic system was 30.2 mpg over 380 miles, with principally freeway, 50 miles of metropolis visitors, and a few canyon driving combined in.
Worth and Verdict
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 is de facto fairly beautiful. It’s no fanatic machine however does have its priorities straight. It doesn’t try to be a sporty compact SUV, it focuses on the true prize of being snug and enjoyable to drive every single day. Positive, it has some wow-factor gimmicks, however the fact is that the majority of them are executed rather well.
It appears like a dearer automotive than it’s and has the substance to again it up. Whisper quiet, fuel-sipping, and isolating, the GLC is splendidly uncorrupted from the mission of passenger consolation. And sure, MBUX makes about as a lot sense as doing your personal taxes for the primary time however does fade into the background after some expertise.
It values consolation above all else and delivers on the serenity it guarantees. At $54,100 the GLC300 is a severe luxurious cut price.