2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 01

What you see here is Stuttgart’s latest offering that goes by the name of Mercedes-Benz GLC. Previewed by the Concept GLC Coupe two months ago in Shanghai, the vehicle fills the role of the old GLK in the mid-range SUV segment and brings the fight to the likes of Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Based on the same platform that underpins the latest C-Class, the GLC measures 4.6 m in length, 1.8 m in width and 1.6 m high. Compared to the predecessor, the GLC’s wheelbase has been extended by 118 mm, resulting in more spacious cabin and cargo areas. Load capacity behind the rear bench increases to 580 litres and a total of 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down. Despite the increase in size, the SUV is actually 80 kg lighter than the GLK.

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In terms of design, the automaker says the GLC leans more toward “sensual purity” and “modern aesthetics” over the “classic off-road look” of the GLK. We think it looks like most present-day Mercedes anyway, with striking headlights flanking a twin-bar grille, dramatic sloping roofline with matte black claddings on the sides, and a broad rear section with wide LED tail lights.

There are four drivetrain options available at launch. Two of them are diesel variants, badged GLC 220d and 250d. Both are powered by the same 2.1-litre turbodiesel engine but the former gets 170 hp and 400 Nm while the latter boasts 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Petrol engine comes in the form of GLC 250, which enjoys 211 hp and 350 Nm thanks to a 2.0-litre turbo engine. All variants get a nine-speed automatic gearbox that sends the output to all four wheels.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 07

The lineup is joined by the GLC 350 e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid, which deploys a combination of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a total system output of 323 hp and 559 Nm of torque. Equipped with a seven-speed auto transmission and all-wheel-drive system, the hybrid SUV is able to reach 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds while returning a fuel consumption of 2.6 litres per 100 km.

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Although no full-fledged AMG model has been confirmed yet, a performance model badged GLC 450 AMG Sport is said to be in the works. Instead of a beefy V8, the sport variant, which is slated for launch next year, will be powered by a twin-turbo V6 packing around 360 hp.

New for the SUV is the Dynamic Select that offers five standard driving programs:  Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Owners who plan to take the GLC for a bit of adventure off the tarmac may opt for the Off-Road Package, which adds five more driving programs: Slippery, Off-Road, Incline, Rocking Assist as well as Trailer.

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The GLC is equipped with steel springs and variable damping system as standard while an optional air suspension package enables the driver to lower the car by 15 mm or raise it by up to 50 mm. Unlike the GLK, the GLC will be available in both left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive forms, with 45:55 and 31:69 front-to-rear power distribution, respectively.





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