The automotive market has seen many transitions since the flat-bed farming trucks of the 1940s and one of the newest transitions is the movement towards SUVs. These sport utility vehicles combine the roominess of a minivan or family sedan with a performance more befitting of a Jeep. Capable of driving through slush, snow, and mud with little effort, they’ve become a hugely popular style of vehicle in the last few decades.
Mercedes-Benz has a history of excellence and their 2019 GLC class is no exception. Starting at $40,700, this line introduces a variety of trims and performance packages for a more luxurious ride, but even the base model is a work demanding further examination.
Keeping in line with the versatility of SUVs as a whole, there are a lot of choices available for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC. The standard GLC 300 moves with 241-horsepower carried by a 2.0-liter four-stroke engine, providing ample power for daily commutes and for standard travel. For those who are looking for slightly more upscale performance, you can find it with options like the 362-horsepower GLC 43 or the roaring 503-horsepower of the GLC 63S’ V8.
In pretty much every trim, you’ll find that your GLC moves adequately on the road and with fairly responsive handling. The engines for every non-hybrid trim are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission praised for smooth shifting and easy acceleration. The hybrid 350e trim comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Rear-wheel-drive comes standard, although all-wheel-drive is an optional upgrade for all trims. You’ll also benefit from the ability to alter your vehicle’s handling from sport to comfort settings, allowing you to save gasoline in the city even whilst you handle expertly on the highway.
One of the main advantages of SUVs as a family vehicle is that they’re fairly efficient, boasting mileages that benefit larger families and commuters. The Mercedes-Benz GLC performs adequately in this area but not exceptional as the standard model offering 22 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. This is about average for the rest of the year’s offerings in this class.
The environmentally conscious may be interested in the GLC 350e, a hybrid variant that uses a combination of a plug-in electric motor and a 2.0-liter gasoline engine. These two components combine for 315 horsepower and offer superior mileage, estimated by the EPA as 25 mpg in the city.
Safety and Entertainment Features
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC hasn’t yet been rated by the IIHS, so we’ll have to use 2018’s numbers to assess safety expectations for 2019. In 2018, the Mercedes-Benz GLC was named a Top Safety Pick and received top marks in every section of testing. Similarly, the NHTSA gave the GLC five out of five possible stars. From these results, we can infer that the 2019 Mercedes-Benz will demonstrate the same standards of excellence.
While the safety ratings are still unknown, we actually do know about the features. Standard safety features include a driver drowsiness sensor and rearview cameras. It also carries Pre-Safe, a computerized system that prepares the vehicle for collisions by executing protective measures like closing the windows to avoid being thrown from the vehicle. At higher trims, you’ll experience benefits like adaptive high beams and a 360-degree camera used for parking.
The standard GLC comes with a suite of infotainment features including a seven-inch touchscreen, HD Radio, and two USB ports. In more expensive trims, the seven-inch screen is expanded to 8.4-inches and more options become available. These options include a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and a 13-speaker surround-sound system.
The GLC’s interior is where it truly shines, demonstrating Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to creating a comfortable and luxurious ride. This vehicle comes with some of the most elite standard offerings of the class, boasting both wood trim and heated front seats along with a 13-point adjustable driver’s seat. Even more luxurious options are available, ranging from ventilated seats to heated steering wheels for the royally minded.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
The SUV market is competitive, so it’s no surprise that the GLC’s competition is stiff. But for true luxury, Mercedes-Benz is the only option.
For sportiness, the BMW X3 takes the slight edge with more responsive handling and a higher amount of cargo space. It’s worth noting, however, that the BMW X3 lacks power over the GLC’s more powerful trims. Plus, the ride in a GLC is typically smoother and quieter — making it the true choice for drivers seeking luxury.
The GLC’s other competitor comes from Audi, where the Q5 boasts higher pricing but more standard features. The standardized all-wheel drive is a nice touch and the cabin almost approaches the GLC’s finery. When it comes to these two automotive manufacturers, which SUV is superior comes down to a matter of taste since they’re roughly equivalent in advantages and disadvantages.
- Luxurious Cabin: This is where the GLC truly shines. If you’re looking to improve upon a cramped or shabby interior, you’ll find that there’s no better SUV in 2019 to meet your needs.
- Plenty of Options: Although the standard options are more than adequate across the board, the wealth of available options makes this vehicle endlessly customizable and gives it greater potential than it would otherwise boast.
- Affordability: Sitting just above $40,000 for the standard base model, the GLC is priced fairly for the class and even undercuts some of the competition.
- Average Gas Mileage: The gas mileage is only average, which can be a problem for those who regularly go on long drives.