Mercedes GLC

Mercedes-Benz has a true gem in its lineup, the GLC SUV, which has garnered worldwide sales exceeding 26 lakh units since 2016. In India, the GLC has demonstrated its importance with approximately 13,000 units sold over the past seven years. 

The correlation between popularity and sales is undeniable, but in a fiercely competitive market, maintaining momentum is a continuous challenge. Enter the 2023 Mercedes GLC, an updated version poised to further enhance an already impressive package.

The world got a glimpse of the updated Mercedes GLC SUV in 2022, but it has taken some time for this refreshed model to make its way to Indian shores. 

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has been busy launching its top-end vehicles (TEVs), including the E53 Cabriolet, updated G-Wagon, and AMG GT 63 Performance earlier this year. However, while these TEVs showcase Mercedes’ confidence in the luxury vehicle segment, models like the GLC form the foundation of the company’s core business in India.

Sitting comfortably between the GLA and the GLS in Mercedes’ product portfolio, the GLC occupies a sweet spot in the market. Competition in this segment, including rivals like the BMW X5, Audi Q3, and Land Rover Discovery Sport, isn’t overly fierce. Does the GLC, a vehicle that has consistently delivered top-notch performance, have what it takes to maintain its dominance?

Exterior: Refining The 2023 Mercedes GLC

While the exterior updates on the 2023 Mercedes GLC may not be numerous, some are significant enough to give the vehicle a distinct visual identity compared to its predecessor. The large radiator grille remains a dominant feature, proudly showcasing the Mercedes tri-star logo at its centre. However, a notable change is the integration of sleek LED headlight units into the grille, while the lower underguard now gleams in chrome.

The side profile reveals a subtle extension in length, with a 60 mm increase to 4,716 mm, resulting in a 15 mm longer wheelbase now measuring 2,888 mm. This elongation is less conspicuous than the fresh design of the 19-inch alloy wheels, characterized by a sporty five-spoke pattern, which lends the model a renewed appeal.

At the rear, the GLC flaunts LED tail lights with a three-dimensional visual effect, complemented by a chrome underguard and a powered tailgate. Overall, the GLC retains its reputation as an exceptionally stylish vehicle, poised to captivate both discerning and passionate buyers who prioritize aesthetics. However, these updates may not instantly scream that this is the new GLC.

A Glimpse Inside The 2023 GLC

Interior updates on the 2023 GLC aren’t revolutionary, but Mercedes appears to embrace the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” As for the GLC’s cabin, it remains consistently upscale and spacious.

The new GLC offers three upholstery colour options: Sienna Brown, Black, and Macchiato Beige. Beyond aesthetics, the cabin boasts several tech-based highlights that are sure to delight both drivers and passengers.

The 11.9-inch vertically-oriented screen, carried over from previous iterations, retains its position as the best in the market in terms of positioning, resolution, and touch interface. Notably, the new GLC is the first Mercedes model to feature the updated MBUX: NTG7 telematics system.

A significant highlight here is the inclusion of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a departure from relying on the vehicle’s navigation system. Furthermore, the screen provides a feed from the 360-degree camera and offers a unique under-bonnet view when the off-road mode is engaged, revealing the terrain and potential obstacles like stones and rocks.

The feature list extends to a sizable sunroof, a 15-speaker Burmester sound system, an all-digital driver display, a three-spoke steering wheel with mounted controls, electronically adjustable front seats, and a robust air-purification system with two-stage purification. Air quality figures are conveniently displayed on the centre console.

The GLC caters to luxury connoisseurs with its ample space and plush seat cushioning. Rear passengers benefit from rear AC vents, and a central armrest enhances comfort. Large windows, complete with manual shades, elevate the overall interior experience. However, as is common in the luxury vehicle segment, the middle seat space is compromised due to the jutting centre console and a substantial floor hump.

In summary, the GLC’s cabin strikes a balance between luxury and technology, offering a pleasant environment for both bustling city commutes and leisurely highway journeys. While it may not aim to astonish existing owners of high-end luxury vehicles, it possesses sufficient charm to win their favour.

Performance And Ride Quality

The Mercedes GLC has long been praised for its mature yet spirited driving experience. While many GLC owners opt for chauffeurs, this SUV beckons to be driven, not just ridden in.

Mercedes offers the updated GLC in two variants: the GLC 300 4MATIC (petrol) and the GLC 220d 4MATIC. This review focuses on the former, which sprints to triple-digit speeds in 6.2 seconds, faster than the diesel model’s eight-second time. While the GLC isn’t designed for drag races, it packs ample power to bring a smile to the face of the casual enthusiast.

Multiple drive modes are available, but ‘Sport’ mode isn’t a necessity on open highways to experience ample power and responsiveness. One of the GLC’s enduring strengths is its quality of ride and handling. The suspension adeptly absorbs the challenges posed by Indian roads, providing a serene cabin environment irrespective of external commotion. While the petrol engine produces some exterior noise, it doesn’t infiltrate the cabin even during vigorous driving.

The GLC is equipped with a 48V Integrated Starter Generator technology, which marginally enhances power (258 hp) and torque (400 Nm) figures. Mercedes claims that this technology also contributes to improved mileage and reduced emissions compared to previous models.

An impressive highlight is the GLC’s newfound off-road capability, applicable to both variants. While this review doesn’t delve into this aspect in detail, the GLC handled challenging terrain with ease.

In short, the updated GLC retains its eagerness on the road while effortlessly managing daily tasks. While the updates may not be extensive, they preserve a well-engineered and aesthetically pleasing SUV that doesn’t need excessive stretching of boundaries for the sake of change.

The updates on the latest GLC may not be sweeping or extravagant, but they adhere to the principle of not fixing what isn’t broken. For existing Mercedes admirers, the GLC remains a compelling option. However, will it captivate a broader audience with its modest updates? Only time will reveal its true impact.

As we contemplate the 2023 GLC, it serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of a well-crafted and visually appealing SUV. In a world of constant change, sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to preserving the essence of a remarkable vehicle like the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

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