2022 Mercedes GLC replacement previewed

New version of big-selling GLC SUV will get styling and tech inspired by the S-Class

  • Next GLC spotted testing
  • Should get large touchscreen
  • Extra plug-in hybrid models expected

A new Mercedes GLC SUV is in the pipeline and our exclusive images suggest how the car might look. The overall shape will be quite similar to the current model, which is Mercedes’ best-selling SUV in the UK, but it’ll get the brand’s new styling touches, with angled headlights and a chrome grille.

Like the current car, it’ll share its underpinnings with the Mercedes C-Class but we expect the interior design to be influenced by the flagship Mercedes S-Class. The new GLC may not launch until early 2022.

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2022 Mercedes GLC prices, specs, release date and rivals

Full UK prices and specifications will be announced closer to the car’s release date, but it’s likely there will be an entry-level Sport trim and a host of increasingly well-equipped AMG Line models. The current car includes gadgetry such as a reversing camera, powered tailgate and keyless start as standard, and we’d expect that to continue on the new car.

As is often the case, prices will rise over the current model, which starts from just over £40,000, rising to nearly £60,000. Rivals will include the BMW X3, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC60, and electric cars like the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E and BMW iX3.

Styling

These spy shots make it look like the new GLC will be longer and lower than the version you can buy now, and it looks a bit more similar to the Mercedes C-Class Estate as a result. The front end will get pointy, slimmer new headlights (everything from the Mercedes A-Class to the S-Class is seemingly getting triangular units), although the big grille will remain - and it’ll have different inserts depending on the trim level. It’s hard to make out styling changes around the back but new bumpers and rear light clusters are expected.

Interior

The Mercedes GLC has been one of the few cars to miss out on the MBUX infotainment system with two dash-top screens but Mercedes is likely to move the game on further in the next couple of years. Leaked images of the 2020 Mercedes S-Class show a huge tablet-like touchscreen with far fewer buttons, and we expect the GLC to offer a version of this layout. The company’s man-made Artico leather upholstery should be fitted as standard.

Engines and performance

There’ll still be a range of petrol and diesel engines on offer in the next GLC. The current car features 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines, with luxuries like air suspension fitted as standard when the 3.0-litre units are chosen. We’d expect most of the new car’s engines to offer mild-hybrid technology, which should give the engines slightly better economy than the current GLC. High-performance Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 variants will still be offered.

The Mercedes GLC 300 e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has recently joined the range, and a couple of extra PHEV options are likely to be offered. The Mercedes E-Class, for example, gives buyers the choice of several plug-in powertrains, including petrol and diesel options. Mercedes will lean on plug-in hybrids in a bid to reduce its total emissions output. The Mercedes EQC may act as the fully electric GLC equivalent.

We’ve previously seen a hydrogen Mercedes GLC Fuel Cell, but it’s unlikely Mercedes will pursue it as a project given hydrogen is still not a viable alternative to battery-powered electric cars, in terms of infrastructure at least.

Read our guides to the best electric SUVs and best family SUVs.

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