Top-Selling Mercedes GLC Gets Complete Makeover

By Lee Pang Seng

IF YOU have been waiting for a completely new Mercedes-Benz GLC to come along, your wish is finally granted. Make no mistake, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has been a top seller here in its category with more than 12,000 vehicles sold since it landed on our shores in 2016. Globally, its numbers are even more impressive, chalking above two million vehicles sold.

Following the model update in 2019, Mercedes-Benz has decided that it was the time now to come up with a second-generation model. Its popularity in Malaysia is indeed clearly underlined with all imported models brought in for the launch already spoken for. And that’s with a price of under RM430,000 on the road without insurance. Well, prospective owners at the launch event could look forward to a cheaper price when the CKD (complete knock down) version is introduced, probably by the fourth quarter.

The latest GLC appeared to have shed some weight, mainly from the rear perspective, while retaining its elegance and poise as a midship SUV (sport utility vehicle) in its range. Mercedes says its ‘more dynamic and powerful appearance’ is enhanced with dimensional changes; the GLC is now 60mm longer at 4716mm but slightly lower by 4mm than the predecessor.

The track widths are increased front and rear - 6mm in front at 1627mm and wider at the rear by 23mm at 1640mm. This should contribute to the new GLC’s better dynamic quality when driven through winding roads as well as improve ride comfort. Mercedes adds that these dimensional changes benefit the wheelbase as well as front and rear overhang. The width is unchanged at 1890mm.

Another distinct improvement is the aerodynamic quality with the new GLC boasting of a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29 against 0.31 for the previous model. Mercedes believes this is a ‘notable advance for a conventional drive’ SUV. In practical terms, the GLC promises a quieter drive with a ‘serene sound signature and low rolling and wind noise’.

Mercedes says this is achieved with acoustic optimisation of the body shell and ‘sophisticated’ sound insulation. An example given is the acoustic membrane in the windscreen that comes as standard. Another is the ‘acoustically effective heat insulation glass’ that is said to meet higher comfort expectation.

Stepping inside the AMG Line model, the interior’s dynamic character is noted in the Artico leather upholstery, Microcut microfibre and AMG sports pedals. The 11.9-inch centre display stands out just as it did in the C-Class and is well complemented by the 12.3-inch high-resolution display screen in front of the driver.

Maintaining its high standards is the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system that is said to make it more digital and intelligent while being easy to use. And if you like lots of luggage space, the larger rear overhang has increased the volume by a significant 70 litres over the preceding model at 620 litres. A sign of the times is no spare wheel but there is added storage space below the luggage floor.

Power-wise, the new GLC 300 comes as a mild hybrid with 48-volt technology and a second-generation integrated starter-generator. The 1999cc turbocharged engine is rated at 190kW (258hp) at 5800rpm and 400Nm torque that is available from 2000rpm to 3200rpm. The electric motor has a rated output of 17kW and 200Nm torque. It accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds while top speed is capped at 240km/h; strong performance that belies its 1925kg kerb weight.

The latest GLC has a new four-link suspension in front and a multi-link independent rear mounted to a subframe. Mercedes says the Agility Control suspension system provides optimum road holding without compromising road comfort. The passive selective damping system is said to ensure a ‘superior driving experience’ on any road surface as it automatically optimises the ride characteristics, damping effect and stabilisation.

It also comes with the latest safety and assistance systems including the Guard 360-degree Protection, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist with Parktronic. Given the good response, the latest GLC with all the latest equipment and mild hybrid power should easily maintain its strong following in the Malaysian market.