The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV will be more spacious, more efficient and more electrified

The second generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV debuted this week, showcasing a familiar profile, high-tech features and new levels of efficiency. Mercedes first showed the model as the base GLC 300, although many more versions of the two-row model are expected to be shown soon.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 features compact, compact luxury SUV proportions, a mild hybrid four-cylinder engine, more impressive off-road capability and the ability to stream music.

The new GLC 300 is 2.4 inches longer and 0.16 inches lower than its predecessor. The track widths were increased at the front and rear. Overall width is the same, but buyers get an additional 2.5 cubic feet of cargo space and a power tailgate over the previous generation.

The Mercedes designers have revised the body of the GLC for the new model year. It comes with a redesigned front fascia with headlights now directly connected to an AMG Line Mercedes star grille with matte gray slats. From the side, the GLC 300 has only a few character lines, the upper one of which meets new taillights that run across the rear. Wheel selection starts at 18 inches and ends at 20 inches, with multiple color and texture options.

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The 2023 GLC 300 uses its 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant to deliver 258 hp and 295 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque (up from 255 hp and 273 lb-ft in the previous generation). The EQ Boost mild hybrid system uses the battery and integrated starter/generator to deliver short bursts of 23 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque to enhance the overtaking and off-the-line experience.

A nine-speed automatic transmission remains standard, while rear- or all-wheel-drive layouts are offered. Regardless of the powertrain, the GLC 300 can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 6.2 seconds, en route to a limited top speed of 130 mph.

Once the pavement ends, the Mercedes-Benz GLC can use Hill Descent Control (called Downhill Speed ​​Reduction by the automaker) to direct its movement. Paired with multiple cameras offering a 360-degree view and a new “transparent hood” feature, the system shows a virtual view underneath the vehicle, including wheel location and position to help drivers avoid obstacles.

The all-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster displays incline, gradient, topographical elevation, geocoordinates and compass, as well as road and engine speed. The 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen shows the current position of the SUV off-road and the steering angle of the front wheels.

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Inside, the new GLC 300 features aircraft-inspired air vents and a dashboard structure that houses the dual displays and connects to the armrest. There is only one physical button the driver can press, the engine start/stop button on the dashboard. Everything else is controlled via the screen or with the steering wheel.

The door panels are simpler than before with seat controls sitting above a metal armrest with window switches. As with the previous model, ambient light strips are placed throughout the cabin. The GLC also has a new contoured, curved seat design with perforated leather and some new open-pore wood trim is offered.

A number of technology upgrades aim to increase the vehicle’s appeal. That includes smarter adaptive cruising that can react to stopped vehicles on the road at speeds up to 60mph (it was 30mph).

Mercedes says it’s made the standard parking system more user-friendly and added a new one. The parking package supplements the 360-degree camera and the Active Parking Assist with Parktronic. This system helps the driver see what is around them when parking. Alternatively, Mercedes technology takes over the wheel and parks itself.

Digital Light headlights can specifically control the light distribution. The driver can see what’s ahead with the high beams, while the light can block out even small parts to avoid dazzling drivers in other lanes. It can also highlight pedestrians standing near the road for further safe journeys.

The 2023 GLC will compete with the BMW X3 ($43,700), Audi Q5 ($43,300), and Lexus RX ($45,920 for the 2022 model year). Mercedes hasn’t announced the price yet, but it’s expected to stay close to its rivals. Only the Lexus still offered a V6, but the 2023 model will also drop it in place of a more efficient four-cylinder.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC will go on sale in the US in the first half of next year. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV will be more spacious, more efficient and more electrified

Rick Schindler

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