2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC

By KBB.com

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class really accentuates the “premium” in premium-compact-crossover SUV. Even among illustrious rivals like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, the luxury factor of the GLC-Class puts it in its own little niche. Using the current C-Class platform as its foundation, the GLC-Class benefits from that built-in refinement, then seals the deal with a plush cabin and unruffled ride. In this review, we’re concentrating on the GLC300/GLC300 4Matic and the GLC350e plug-in hybrid. They’re the least expensive, but far from basic. The wider 2019 GLC-Class range also incorporates the AMG GLC43, GLC63 and 4-door “coupe” variants that forsake some practicality in the service of style, but those have separate reviews.

Driving the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC

Easy. That’s how the GLC-Class feels to drive. It seems smaller than it really is, because turning and maneuvering are accomplished with light and quick steering that’s nevertheless quite precise. The GLC300’s engine might be even more powerful than its 241-horsepower rating. It’s certainly strong and linear in its delivery, with plenty in reserve for overtaking or uphill stretches. The 9-speed automatic transmission complements the engine with a similar smoothness. Among the driving modes (known collectively as Dynamic Select) are Sport and Sport+ settings. These have more noticeable shift actions, which is how it should be. The fuel-saving engine stop/start feature could be less apparent, and less wind noise around the side mirrors at freeway speeds would be welcome, but overall, the GLC is agreeable enough.

Favorite Features

These are a set of driving modes that cover Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. That last one is left open for the driver to customize. They tailor the responses of the engine, transmission, steering and (where applicable) the suspension, effectively changing the character of the GLC-Class. Dynamic Select is standard throughout.

It would be deeply upsetting and probably quite expensive to put a dent in a lovely new 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Among a comprehensive array of active- and passive-safety systems, this clever feature brings a 360-degree picture and a bird’s-eye view to make parking and maneuvering much easier.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC Interior

Here is one of the finest cabins in its class. The interior of the GLC-Class is welcoming yet simultaneously modern. The qualities of the (optional) leathers and wood trims are clearly apparent, with everything fashioned into an elegant yet well-considered layout. Finding the ideal driving position is accomplished easily, even for shorter drivers, while outward vision is excellent. There’s room enough for five occupants in total and, as well as the comfortable seats, they’ll enjoy plenty of storage areas like the large glove box, generous door pockets and a cubby in the center console. Behind the rear seats is 20.5 cubic feet of luggage space.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC Exterior

There’s a corresponding elegance to the exterior of the GLC-Class that wraps a roomy package in quite streamlined shapes, while retaining a definite road presence. Of the three main German premium-compact-crossover SUVs, this is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing from virtually every angle. The finishing touches are the alloy wheels, starting with a standard size of 18 inches and going up to 20 inches. The Designo line of optional cosmetic touches also brings matte-paint finishes.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC Standard Features

German marques haven’t always been so lavish with their standard equipment, but the 2019 GLC-Class doesn’t follow that old formula. It has a 14-way-power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings, an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen and a touch pad, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing/heated wipers, self-dimming mirrors, forward-collision mitigation, Crosswind Assist (we’ve tested it; it works), and power-folding rear seats. The standard-issue simulated leather upholstery is actually quite good.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC Options

There are many ways to personalize the GLC-Class. The aforementioned Designo range brings diamond-stitched leather upholstery, sleek wood veneers and special paintwork. The AMG line adds the appearance of sportiness. A Multimedia package brings an 8.4-inch display and voice-controlled navigation.

Owners may also upgrade to a 14-speaker Burmester audio system. Extra driver aids include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, head-up display, and a self-parking feature. More convenience comes in the form of a power/hands-free tailgate and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. Comfort is enhanced by an air suspension and heated rear seats. Naturally, all-wheel drive (4Matic) is also available in the GLC300.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC Engine

The 2019 GLC300 is propelled by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 241 horsepower. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends that energy to either the rear wheels (RWD) as the default setup, or all four (AWD) when the 4Matic system is installed. Fuel consumption is bearable rather than remarkable. The GLC350e 4Matic plug-in hybrid augments its 2.0-liter turbo-4 with an electric motor for a total of 320 horsepower. Electric-only range is up to nine miles. A 7-speed automatic is deployed here. Mercedes-Benz says the GLC is capable of going off-road, with appropriate settings in Dynamic Select. But a lack of low-range gearing will limit how far into the wild a driver would feel comfortable venturing.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (GLC300)
241 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 w/85-kW electric motor (GLC350e)
320 combined horsepower
413 combined lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/27 mpg; 56 MPGe combined (AWD)

How Much Does the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC Cost?

In entry-level form, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $40,550 plus a $995 destination charge, making $41,545 for the rear-drive GLC300. All-wheel drive is another $2,000. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC350e 4Matic plug-in hybrid starts at $51,645, but federal and state tax credits will eventually reduce that. The usual warning about options applies: Be discerning. Even after careful consideration of extras, the final amount could easily reach $60,000. We’d advise adding driver aids first and seeing what else is financially possible after that.

These prices are in line with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3; all three are higher than the Lexus NX. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their new GLC-Class. Regarding resale values, the GLC fares better than its German competition, but not usually as well as Lexus.

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