New 2022 Mercedes GLC SUV unveiled
Three plug-in hybrid models with up to 62 miles electric range from launch for the all-new Mercedes GLC
- New platform for Mercedes best seller
- Latest infotainment and technology
- Electrification tech features on all models
The new Mercedes GLC SUV showcases a car that is 6cm longer than before and packed with Mercedes’ latest technology. A brand new interior replaces the older look in the retired model, although the new GLC has remained loyal to the previous exterior styling . All models will be fitted with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and an electrified engine with either mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid options available at launch.
The new GLC has been built on the new MRA2 platform that underpins the latest Mercedes C-Class. The GLC has adopted a front end that is in line with Mercedes’ latest styling language, with different headlights that blend in with a new front grille. A chrome edge will be fitted to the front of most GLC models, although the higher end AMG Line offers sportier looking details.
The rear of the new GLC will be familiar to owners of the current models, as the current styling has been refreshed yet retains similar proportions. Along the sides, a new contour line is featured, along with the choice of body coloured wheel arches – a first for the GLC. A range of options will be available, including wheel sizes ranging from 18-inches to 20-inches, plus a night exterior pack on AMG Line models that adds black detailing.
Mercedes has also incorporated a rear spoiler and vent behind the rear wheels that has become a common feature on newer models.
A new interior will bring the GLC up to date with the latest range of Mercedes vehicles, and includes the latest MBUX infotainment and touch controls. A fingerprint scanner lets you keep your preferred settings stored by the car by setting up a personal profile. Over-the-air updates will keep the new GLC up to date with the latest Mercedes software and owners will be able to purchase additional features in the Mercedes Me app.
Inside, the old interior has made way for a complete refresh that has a similar look to that of the new Mercedes C-Class, with the same 12.3-inch screen for instruments access and a 11.9-inch portrait display screen in the centre of the dashboard for infotainment access. ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice controls and augmented reality systems will give buyers the very latest technology and connectivity. Optional extras to help off-road driving include an ‘invisible bonnet’ that allows the driver to see a virtual image of the ground ahead of the vehicle.
Mercedes says that a key part of testing was the new safety kit the car will use. The adaptive cruise control, steering assist, traffic sign recognition, intelligent parking systems and trailer assist technology were all tested in winter conditions for consistency.
All of the petrol and diesel models will be 2.0 litre four cylinders at launch and feature electrification of some kind. Most will have 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, which uses a small motor to boost efficiency. Three plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models will offer a greater pure electric range than the current generation.
By sharing parts with the C-Class, the GLC has improved practicality, with the 600-litre boot around 50 litres bigger than its predecessor’s. A longer rear overhang has also added 6cm to the overall length of the new SUV. All models will feature a power assisted tailgate.
The new GLC will borrow from the Mercedes S-Class in terms of look and feel, despite costing half the price. Mercedes will hope that helps sway buyers away from rivals like the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Lexus NX. The GLC won’t be short of competitors, as other cars like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jaguar F-Pace are also vying for the business of customers looking for upmarket SUVs.
The two petrol offerings from launch will be the GLC 200 4MATIC and GLC 300 4MATIC, offering 201bhp and 254bhp respectively. Fuel economy is claimed to be 32.2mpg by Mercedes for both models. The diesel model achieves 45.2mpg and will be available as the GLC 220 d 4MATIC. All three versions are boosted by the latest mild hybrid technology from Mercedes, which can add 23bhp boost to power if needed and reduces the strain on the engine but cannot operate in full electric mode.
All three of the above engines will also feature as plug-in hybrids where the engine from the GLC 200 4MATIC is dubbed the GLC 300e 4MATIC, and the GLC 300 4MATIC becomes the GLC 400 e 4MATIC. Rated power jumps to 309bhp and 376bhp respectively, while emissions drop drastically to as low as 14g/km. All Plug-in models will be capable of up to 62 miles of electric range thanks to a larger 23kWh battery – a noticeable gain from the existing plug-in models’ 13.5 kWh battery.
The diesel will also be offered as a plug-in hybrid, becoming the GLC 300 de 4MATIC with 242bhp. This drops the CO2 rating to 13g/km and achieves an official fuel efficiency test cycle of 564.9mpg, showing how much a battery can impact overall fuel efficiency. Although it is unlikely you will ever achieve such a figure on the road, it is clear that the plug-in models will be far more efficient than the mild-hybrid models.
Pricing has not yet been confirmed; however we expect the new GLC to start around £46,000 for the GLC 200 4MATIC and rise from there. Expect to see the new Mercedes GLC appear in dealerships during the second half of 2022.
Mercedes GLC prototype review
Diesel still has a place in the Mercedes GLC, but sometimes you wouldn’t know the engine is there at all. That’s partly due to the effectiveness of the 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, which allows the engine to smoothly cut out to allow the car to coast on electric power alone. Additional sound proofing and the availability of double glazing further helps the car feel serene on the move.
Comfort was the order of the day - the last GLC majored in this aspect, and it looks like the new one will continue that trend. However, the new car also adds extra agility to the mix, with less body roll and a greater feeling of stability than the original
In fact, stability was a key focus of the car’s development, which has led to rear-wheel steering being offered for the first time on the GLC. The rear wheels turn up to 4.5 degrees - in the opposite direction to the fronts at low speeds, and face the same way at higher speeds. This not only allows a sharper turn-in in tight corners and greater manoeuvrability around town, it delivers more security in high speed corners.
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