The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-class is the company's best-selling model because it combines the style and versatility that consumers want. Mercedes-Benz's compact crossover pampers passengers with a luxurious interior and provides more space than most sedan trunks. Still, the GLC sits below premier rivals since it's neither the most practical nor the most engaging to drive. Its standard powertrain is dutiful albeit unremarkable, and there's a plug-in hybrid model for increased efficiency. The lineup offers a smorgasbord of cutting-edge infotainment content as well as advanced driver-assistance technology. While the 2020 GLC-class casts a wide net for crossover shoppers, it won't catch those seeking a more capacious and exciting SUV.
Even in Coupé form and sporting AMG Line trim, the Mercedes-Benz GLC excels in refinement over dynamism, particularly thanks to its well-equipped, luxurious interior. That should suit this latest GLC300 4Matic model, which features an on-trend EQ Boost mild hybrid powertrain with a 14bhp 48V belt-driven starter-generator to aid the 255bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. It promises a boost in fuel economy, the ability for engine-off coasting and a bit of extra propulsion under acceleration - and a small step into electrification for the GLC ahead of the 300e plug-in hybrid.
The new GLC has also gained the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system and a number of new driver assistance features. Notably, the large 10.3in touchscreen is clear and the MBUX operating system is intuitive and easy to use. That’s helped by your ability to control it via the touchscreen, steering wheel-mounted controls, a trackpad and surprisingly effective voice control.
Initial impressions of the mild-hybrid powertrain are good too. The two motors are well integrated and the electric unit does a good job of smoothing out the acceleration of the combustion engine at low speeds. On the motorway, the engine-off coasting is virtually seamless when it cuts in, enabling progress with a calm comfort that befits the interior. The downside of this calm demeanour is that the powertrain isn’t particularly dynamic or engaging and on occasion not the most responsive. With the GLC’s relative heft, the shortage of torque compared with the GLC300d diesel can be felt.
And while the mild-hybridisation does aid fuel economy and emissions, the GLC300 still isn't particularly economical, with an official fuel economy starting from 12.5km/l on the WLTP cycle.
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