Mercedes-Benz is getting serious about the luxury crossover market.
Gone is the GLK, replaced with the new 2016 GLC300. Mercedes is renaming their cars to better reflect their platforms, in this case the C-class, hence the “C” in GLC. It is not an abbreviation for “Good Little Car.”
Since the GLC is based on the C-class, it shares that car’s engine. The 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder makes 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The power is routed to either the rear wheels or all wheels through a nine speed transmission. Mercedes claims that the new setup is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the GLK’s V-6.
Outside, the GLC is longer and wider than the GLK, with a lot of that room in the back. There is more rear seat room and more cargo room than before. The styling has been improved as well, as the GLK’s odd proportions have been replaced with a more stylish, slightly more masculine body shape. It isn’t coincidence that the front end has a passing resemblance to the C-class sedan.
Inside, the GLC has the same interior style as the C-class, with the same iPad-like top mounted infotainment screen. The interior is stylish and very well made, with high-quality materials without a hint of cost cutting.
It does, however, also share the C’s confusing interface that combines a touchpad with a rotary knob that are redundant – they both control the menus on the screen, and both of them are a distraction to the driver. In TFLcar’s review of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300, the rotary knob was easier to use than the touchpad, but neither one is an optimal interface.
The 2016 GLC300 starts at just about $39,000 for rear wheel drive, but the test car topped out at $58,400. Like all Mercedes offerings, the available technology packages can drive the price up quickly. The test car had all of the driver assistance gadgets, which add a lot to the bottom line. If optioned conservatively, however, the GLC can be price competitive.
Speaking of competitors, the GLC competes against the Lexus RX, the sales champ of the midsize luxury crossover segment, along with others like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the Acura RDX.
Check out the full video below for everything you ever wanted to know about the new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC: