The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC has been revealed, featuring marginally larger dimensions, a more luxurious interior, and a new range of engine options, including three new plug-in hybrid drivetrains – all claimed to provide it with an electric range of over 62 miles.
Since the first generation of the luxury SUV was launched in 2015, Mercedes-Benz has seen global sales of the GLC grow to almost 2 million - one of the German car maker’s strongest selling models.
Developed alongside the latest C-class, with which it shares a large part of its mechanical package and engine line-up, the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-pace rival is based on the latest incarnation of Mercedes-Benz’s MRA platform. It supports a more advanced electrical architecture than the platform used by its predecessor, providing the basis for a range of new features, including optional rear-wheel steering for the first time as well as the latest generation of driver assistance systems.
The styling of the new GLC is more evolutionary than revolutionary, with an appearance that updates the original with smoother surfacing and new detailing without straying too far from its predecessor.
As before, the new model will be offered with the choice of two bodystyles: the initial GLC SUV pictured here and a successor to the sportier Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, due out in 2023.
Key exterior cues include a larger grille and a more prominent three-pointed star up front. The headlamps (optional with Mercedes-Benz’s Digital Light function) are also reshaped, while the bumper gets greater structure than before.
The rear receives slimmer tail lamps with LED graphics. They are joined in the middle by a trim element to add greater emphasis to the width of the tailgate. Wheels range from a standard 18-inch up to optional 20-inch on early versions of the Mercedes-Benz SUV.
Buyers can choose between the standard styling and an optional AMG line styling package, as featured on the model pictured here.
At 4716mm in length, 2075mm in width and 1650mm in height, the new GLC is 60mm longer, 21mm narrower and 4mm lower than its predecessor. It also receives a 15mm longer wheelbase at 2888mm.
A long-wheelbase version of the new model is once again planned for the Chinese market, though details of its dimensions are yet to be revealed.
The new GLC, codenamed X254, will initially be produced with two four-cylinder engines across six different models – all featuring standard 4Matic four-wheel drive.
Included are the GLC200 and GLC300. They run a mild-hybrid version of Mercedes-Benz’s M254 designated turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine developing a respective 201bhp and 255bhp, with an added 23bhp from a 48-volt integrated starter motor.
Traditionally popular in the UK, the GLC220d receives the new OM654M turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine, which develops 194bhp in combination with the same integrated starter motor as its petrol siblings.
The second-generation SUV also receives three new standard plug-in hybrid drivetrains.
The petrol-electric GLC300e and GLC400e build off the GLC200 and GLC300 with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine developing 201bhp and 248bhp. A gearbox mounted electric motor also provides 134bhp, giving them a respective system output of 308bhp and 375bhp.
The diesel-electric GLC300de receives the same turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine as the GLC220d with 194bhp in combination with the same gearbox mounted electric with 134bhp as the GLC300e and GLC400e, giving it total reserves of 329bhp.
The new plug-in hybrid models achieve a pure electric range between 65 and 75 miles (GLC300e and GLC400e) and 63 to 73 miles (GLC300de). Charging can be achieved at up to 11kW on an AC system or at up to 60kW on a DC system – the latter claimed to provide a full charge in less than 30mins.
Also planned for launch in 2023 are two four-cylinder AMG badged models. They include a new 402bhp GLC43 with the same mild-hybrid turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine as the recently unveiled Mercedes-AMG C43. Positioned above it will be a 500bhp plus successor to today’s GLC63 with a newly developed petrol-electric plug-in drivetrain based around the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and rear axle-mounted electric motor of the upcoming new Mercedes-AMG C63.
The new GLC is underpinned by the same four-link front and multi-link rear suspension as the fifth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Unlike the C-class, though, it receives an optional Airmatic air suspension, which is standard on the plug-in hybrid models, with variable damping control.
There’s an optional off-road suspension, which increases ground clearance by 20mm over standard GLC models. As before, a sports suspension with firmer springs and dampers can also be specified.
Inside, the 2022 model year GLC leans heavily on the latest C-class design. Included is a 12.3-in instrument display and 11.9-inch portrait style centre display together with a multi-function steering wheel and newly styled air vents.
Mercedes-Benz says it has provided the new SUV with higher quality materials in a conscious bid to raise perceived luxury and comfort.
Boot capacity has grown by 50-litres to a nominal 600-litres underneath the cargo blind at the rear. Mercedes-Benz’s Easy Pack one-touch opening of the tailgate is included as standard.
Among the options is a new head-up display unit, panorama glass roof and 710-watt Burmester surround sound system with 15 speakers.