As its emblem’s best-seller, the all-new 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Magnificence is a very powerful fashion. Much more in order that the small luxurious SUV section is heating up with new and ambitious entries such because the Genesis GV70. Whilst the previous-generation wowed when it used to be offered seven years in the past and remained a powerful selection all the way through its lifestyles, we’re afraid its substitute does no longer carry out an encore act. Whilst the brand new GLC good points the appointments of pricier Mercedes fashions, there are a lot of capability irritations and unrefined riding manners that lead to an SUV that lands in the midst of the pack somewhat than main it.
The brand new GLC does not glance specifically other, regardless of just a little extra width, and tweaked lighting fixtures and grille. That implies it does not stand out as a lot in a carpark because the GV70 does, however for somebody short of a tried-and-true glance that is not overly flashy, it is not dangerous. And its rear-drive proportions that correspond with the longitudinal engine and driveshaft down the center assist it glance extra chic and stately than some competition.
Within is a far other tale, the place the inner is mainly a scaled-down model of what used to be offered in the flagship S-Magnificence and EQS fashions. No, you’ll’t have the Hyperscreen, however that is wonderful. You continue to get an enormous 11.9-inch infotainment display and a 12.3-inch software panel. It is sexy and responsive, regardless that just a little gradual to completely come to lifestyles at birth up. However again to the loss of Hyperscreen: with out it you get a good looking waterfall sprint and a collection of trim, which in our tester used to be black-stained open-pore picket veneer with aluminum pinstripes. That is not all, the detailed air vents, technicolor dream ambient lighting fixtures, and fabric maximum puts the place that picket is not (with the exception of for the fairly low-rent plastic heart console), the GLC’s design is most commonly very sumptuous. Most commonly.
What sours the GLC’s inside, similar to different Mercedes fashions, is the insistence on the usage of touch-sensitive buttons in all places. Automotive consumers is also wowed via those in a showroom, however they’ll temporarily bitter on them when they in reality use them. They are at the guidance wheel, beneath the touchscreen and at the door-mounted seat controls: massive unmarried plastic buttons that depend on contact sensors to grasp the place your finger is and your required variety. The plastic feels reasonable to start with contact, and the squishy, mild actuation when pushing tougher is ugly. The guidance wheel buttons are worse, as they depend on obscure swiping for purposes similar to quantity. It is the entire extra aggravating when previous-generation Mercedes had nice standard buttons, knobs and scroll wheels as an alternative.
Proceeding within, the entrance seating lodging are once more a irritating combine of excellent and dangerous. The seats themselves are supportive, specifically with the bolsters, and feature excellent adjustability for the thigh extensions and lumbar. However the riding place has various issues. Maximum notable is the cramped knee room, specifically from the middle stack and transmission tunnel. There may be simply no room to lean your proper leg over to the appropriate. Moreover, the guidance wheel and software panel are specifically low, and there is not adequate adjustment to convey it up. Head and shoulder room are wonderful, and you’ll regulate to the strange place, however that does not appear affordable when purchasing a luxurious SUV.
The again seats are in reality higher. There may be a variety of room in all instructions, and the seats are just a little stiff, however not anything odd. The loss of seatback recline is unlucky, as SUVs part the associated fee have that, however unfortunately no longer odd for the luxurious section. And for shipment area, that is wonderful, too at 21.9 cubic ft at the back of the rear seat. That is an growth of two.5 cubic ft over the outdated one, however Mercedes has additionally been recognized to short-change its exact shipment area, so it will not be as below-average because the numbers make it appear. With the seat folded, it has a much more aggressive 59.3 cubic ft, plus there may be in reality a spare tire at the back of the GLC, a quite unusual characteristic in this day and age.
The development does not substitute when it is time to in reality pressure the GLC. There’s just one engine possibility for now (AMG variations are without a doubt simply across the nook), an up to date turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, very similar to prior to. New is a 48-volt gentle hybrid help for smoother engine start-stop that may stay the engine off quicker and longer. In Eco mode, it will probably even close off whilst coasting for sessions of time, seamlessly bringing again the engine as wanted. The powertrain may be just a little stronger, with 3 extra ponies at 258 horsepower and 22 extra pound-feet of torque at 295 general. This a part of the auto is completely wonderful with excellent torque and ambitious smoothness. You’ll be able to listen it just a little beneath sturdy acceleration, however that smoothness helps to keep it from being aggravating. The digital engine sound added in Recreation mode, however, is nasally and worsening (Mercedes actually must paintings on its faux powertrain noises). Thankfully you’ll transfer that off within the Person mode, and it is not provide within the Eco or Convenience modes.
The nine-speed automated transmission is the place issues birth getting worse. It is easy adequate, however it is slightly gradual on shifts, particularly downshifts. Recreation mode wakes it up just a little, however no longer a lot. Handbook moving is an possibility, nevertheless it may not keep in guide mode except you choose that within the settings menu from the touchscreen And should you do this, it may not return to automated except you turn it again your self. It is an OK-enough transmission for sluggish cruising, however just a little aggravating whilst you call for extra hustle.
The stiff-and bouncy suspension is the true sore spot of the riding revel in, alternatively. Mercedes notes that the non-adjustable multi-link unbiased setup at each and every finish has been totally redesigned, however reputedly no longer for the simpler. Even over small bumps and dips, it is all the time transferring round, by no means feeling settled except cruising over pristine pavement. It feels adore it wishes some revised damping to calm the frame down. The tires clippity-clop over bumps, too, intruding at the in a different way quiet cabin. That may be a results of the bigger 20-inch wheels suited for our check automotive, and the usual 18s it will be quieter, to not point out extra comfy. The dealing with doesn’t make up for the trip high quality. It leans greater than it will have to and feels heavy. There is not any converting the suspension both, because it does not have adjustability. The guidance is mild and correct, however has no feeling in anyway, so there is not any redemption, both. And whilst it sort of feels we are harping in this, it must be higher, as a result of there are each sportier and extra comfy choices on this magnificence.
In the end, we come to worth. The GLC 300 is among the most costly fashions within the section. The bottom, rear-wheel-drive model begins at $48,250, and all-wheel-drive bumps it to $50,250. With choices, our check GLC broke $60,000. The Genesis GV70, one in all our absolute favourite small luxurious SUVs, is available in just below $45,000 to start out, and you’ll get one with the beastly twin-turbo V6 for lower than our GLC as-tested. The Volvo XC60 is some other compelling selection for much less cash, and likewise gives a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Lincoln Corsair and Acura RDX are different sturdy price performs. Exact automotive consumers are almost definitely much more likely to cross-shop the GLC with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, however the ones have their very own problems. We’d suggest the above choices as an alternative.
By itself, the GLC 300 is ok, nevertheless it merely isn’t sturdy adequate in mild of an increasingly more aggressive magnificence. It is pricey, mediocre to pressure, and has an inside that, whilst lovely, has some strange compromises. None of that used to be the case when the previous-generation debuted to common accolades. Time and a brand new era have modified issues: This Merc is just for the three-pointed megastar die-hards.