Mercedes-Benz GLC Review & Prices
The Mercedes GLC is a spacious family SUV with a comfortable setup, but it’s rather expensive compared to competitors
What's not so good
Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz GLC
The Mercedes GLC is a premium mid-size SUV that’s inspired by the C-Class saloon but offers a higher view of the road and chunkier styling. It's an alternative to the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Porsche Macan and Volvo XC60.
But like a Swatch watch, the GLC has some quality parts that will make it a popular choice, but it does surprise with some less-than-quality elements.
Looks-wise, the Mercedes is arguably the best-looking of the medium-sized premium SUVs. It has a presence, with the wide bar spanning the grille, completed by the glossy Mercedes badge sitting on top. You also get sporty elements, as all UK models come with AMG-inspired trim levels.
The car sits on 19- or 20-inch alloys - the larger alloys fill the wheel arches better - while there’s lots of chrome detailing to give off a high-end feel. At the rear, there’s some fakery with the exhaust openings, but on the whole, there’s again a strong presence and the GLC looks pretty good.
The cabin continues Mercedes’ excellent form of making great environments to be. You get two large displays that are clear, easy to use and customisable. The design is also pleasing to the eye, although where the GLC can feel less premium than its rather large price tag is the scratchy plastics at common touchpoints, like the gear stalk and in the centre console.
Watch: Audi Q5 v BMW X3 v Mercedes GLC v Volvo XC60
In the back seats you’ll find plenty of head and legroom, even with the panoramic sunroof in place. There’s a large hump in the floor that can limit foot space, but sitting three across the back is okay. The front chairs can prevent easy child seat fitting with a top-heavy design that can block rear-facing seats.
The boot space does vary somewhat depending on whether the GLC is a plug-in hybrid or not. You get 600 litres of space with a flat floor and underfloor storage in the petrol and diesel models, while choosing the plug-in versions drops the capacity to 400 litres and no underfloor storage due to the 31.2kWh battery.
Alternatives like the Audi Q5 (550 litres), BMW X3 (550 litres) and Porsche Macan (500 litres) all post much less capacity, while the Volvo XC60’s 635 litres makes it the only premium rival that beats the GLC.
Sacrificing the boot space could be a good choice though, as the plug-in hybrids – especially the petrol we tested – can offer an excellent driving experience. With up to 80 miles of charge available from both the diesel and petrol models, you get a lot of zero-emission travel and you can get up to 87mph on electric power alone.
The PHEVs are the punchiest models available, with the petrol offering 335hp and the diesel developing 328hp. The 300d diesel is the closest non-plug-in option with 280hp.
I wouldn’t normally recommend PHEVs, but the GLC plug-ins are excellent for day-to-day use
With that serene drive setup, it works wonderfully around town. Yes, there’s an additional 400kg of weight to carry compared to the non-plug-in versions, but the GLC is comfy and composed and the suspension deals with most bumps well.
On faster roads, the nine-speed automatic gearbox can be a little hesitant under acceleration, but the hybrid’s electric motor fills most gaps if you want instant performance. Besides that, the GLC is quiet, with only a little bit of road noise intruding. With the petrol-electric combo, it’s also pretty efficient on longer journeys.
Twistier roads aren’t where the GLC is at home, but it’s composed enough. It’s not fun like a Porsche Macan, but it hides its weight well enough in Sport mode.
With all things considered, the Mercedes GLC is an accomplished family SUV with lots of space for all and could be an excellent all-round option.
If you want to see how much a new GLC or any other Mercedes is, you should check out carwow, where you can also find our great deals on used Mercedes cars. If you want to change your car completely, use the sell my car service, where you can find out how much your car is worth and sell it to one of our trusted dealers.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC has a RRP range of £52,880 to £75,460. Prices start at £52,880 if paying cash. The price of a used Mercedes-Benz GLC on Carwow starts at £46,000.
Our most popular versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLC are:
|Carwow price from
|GLC 220d 4Matic AMG Line 5dr 9G-Tronic
|GLC 300 4Matic AMG Line Premium 5dr 9G-Tronic
|GLC 300 4Matic AMG Line 5dr 9G-Tronic
With alternatives all undercutting the GLC by some margin, it’s difficult to recommend the GLC on affordability. Saying that, the fit and finish is mostly better in the GLC and equipment levels are strong throughout the line-up.
Choosing the PHEV versions over the non-electrified models commands an £8,500 premium, which for some could be too much to justify – even if you have a place to charge it. That being said, you may save money in the long run if you’re able to run in electric mode most of the time. And it’s much better for those running it as a company car.
Going between trim levels is consistently £5,000, with AMG Line the entry-level and AMG Line Premium Plus top spec you can choose.
The Mercedes GLC is comfortable to drive in town and on the motorway, but it's not the most fun car to steer doing a winding road
By going for one of the plug-in hybrids, you’ll find the GLC to be excellent around town. Apart from the odd jolt over harsher bumps at slow speeds, the suspension soaks up a lot of lumpier surfaces, even with the additional weight of batteries potentially spoiling it.
Manoeuvring in the GLC is simple enough, with light steering and all-round sensors as standard helping you to park or to get through tighter gaps. You get a reversing camera from the entry option as well, while surround-view cameras will offer additional help. That’s fitted on mid- and top-spec versions. All GLC models have an 11.8m turning circle, which is equal-best amongst its peers.
Driving in all-electric mode in the PHEV models is much easier now as you have so much range to utilise. Saving the electric range just for town makes for a quiet cabin and the motor is punchy enough to help you get through and around urban traffic.
On the motorway
While it’s excellent in town, the GLC is most at home while cruising on the motorway. With its well-balanced ride and well-refined cabin, exterior noise is minimal with only a little bit of tyre noise. The petrol engine in the PHEV we tested was refined and efficient too, making the 300e the most compelling overall setup.
Having the hybrid means you have the electric motor to help get up to speed off slip roads and to overtake, while you can hold any charge that the battery has to allow for zero-emission driving in town.
You get cruise control as standard with the GLC, but only the top-spec AMG Line Premium Plus can be fitted with full adaptive cruise control – and then it’s part of an options pack worth £1,695.
On a twisty road
While this isn’t where the GLC Is at its best, it performs admirably enough. Going up against the likes of the Porsche Macan and Audi Q5 though, it was never going to be the most exciting option.
Putting it in the sport driving mode sharpens the steering, suspension and accelerator responsiveness, but the brakes are a little odd with the electrical power regeneration that charges the battery. With the PHEVs weighing over 2,300kg, the GLC isn't the nimblest when you want to drive a bit quicker.
That being said, all GLCs come with four-wheel drive, so grip and stability won’t be much of an issue, whatever conditions you drive in.
Space throughout the GLC is excellent, but hybrids are significantly compromised
You’ll be pleased to know that the GLC happens to have some of the best storage available in its segment. With a large cubby in the armrest, cupholders and wireless charging pad in the centre console, and large door bins, the GLC has more than enough space for most people.
With its all-electrical seating setup, you can easily make adjustments to get the right position for you. The GLC even has a nifty feature, where you can input your height and the car will get your seating position just right for you – it’s wacky but pretty useful.
Space in the back seats
The spaciousness continues into the rear seats. The contoured seats offer lots of comfort, while you can stretch out thanks to the ample head and legroom. You can also slide your feet under the front seats, making it feel very spacious, while the backs of the front seats have a useful cutaway design for kneeroom.
You get aeroplane-style pockets on the seats in front of you, while the door bins – although not as big as up front – are well-sized. There’s also pop-out cupholders in the fold-down central armrest for further storage.
With the petrol and diesel models, you get 600 litres of boot space, which is only trumped by the Volvo XC60’s 635 litres. The Audi Q5 has 550 litres, the BMW X3 gets 520 litres and the Porsche Macan just 500.
However, choosing the plug-in hybrid loses you a hefty 200 litres of boot space compared to the non-PHEV models. The space drops to 400 litres, which in a car this size isn’t that great, with the plug-in versions of the Audi, BMW and Volvo boasting more space.
There’s also a huge mound in the floor of the GLC’s boot where the batteries for the electric drive are fitted, and that makes a massive ridge in front of the back seats when you fold them down, as well as at the boot opening. You also lose most of your underfloor storage, with only a thin space near the opening.
You get good space under the floor to store the load cover and other smaller items, while folding the seats down can easily be done from switches to the side. That gives up to 1,640 litres with a flat floor, which is excellent.
While the infotainment displays and styling look great, there’s some genuine issues with materials
Mercedes has been smashing it out the park with cabins in the last few years and the GLC looks just as cool. The modern styling matches that of the exterior and the large amount of ambient lighting helps lift the cabin too. There’s a lot of shiny surfaces that can reflect a lot of sunlight through and into the windscreen, which can be distracting.
Where the GLC loses some of its premium sheen is in some of its materials. There’s a lot of leather and metal trim bits which help create the premium feel, but there are scratchy plastics at touchpoints that you’ll be using a lot. For example, around the door bins it feels quite nasty, while the gear stalk on the steering column doesn’t feel high-end at all.
Both infotainment screens are clear and easy to navigate. The driver’s display has multiple views that you can flick through, and you can simply set it up how you want it. The central touchscreen is also no bother, with the software one of the best you can use. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, and they’re better to use on the whole.
There aren’t a lot of option packs available with the GLC, as the trim levels are all well-equipped. The only option packs on offer are for the driver assistance package, which adds adaptive cruise control and active lane change assist, and a tow bar adaptation.
With the help of an electric motor, the PHEVs are the clear choice for efficiency – with the petrol the best choice overall for performance. The diesel does offer better long distance fuel efficiency when the electric motor isn’t in use, but the price of fuel balances it out in the petrol version’s favour.
The official 80 miles of electric range for both models means that you can spend most days driving on E mode – as long as you can charge it somewhere. Claimed economy is above 500mpg for both, but real-world figures are entirely depending on how frequently you use and charge the battery.
Of the non-electrified options, the 220d and 300d diesels are again the more efficient options for longer distance driving, but the lesser-powered version is only 1mpg better off at its best at 52.3mpg. That being said, the 300 petrol option isn’t that far away, with its 37.7mpg quite admirable for a petrol engine in a car this size. While the price gap between petrol and diesel at the pumps remains wide, this will likely prove more cost-effective.
All versions of the GLC get a nine-speed automatic and four-wheel drive, so it all comes down to what you need day-to-day.
If you go for the PHEVs, you’ll initially feel the hit of the inflated price, but will benefit from a lower tax rate in the first year. Choosing the petrol version incurs the highest first year of tax compared to the diesel options.
Tested under the latest, most strict Euro NCAP legislation, the GLC scored five stars out of five. Adult and child occupancy alongside safety assists were the best categories for the GLC, with pedestrian and vulnerable road user safety a touch away from the rest – but still a good score.
As standard, the GLC features active brake assist, attention assist, collision prevention assist, cruise control with variable speed limiter and tyre pressure monitoring. Mid- and top-spec models also get a augmented transparent bonnet stitched together from all the camera views – useful when going off-road – as well as traffic sign assist, blind spot assist and a 360-degree camera.
The GLC also features all-round airbags, rear ISOFIX points with top mounts, all-round car security sensors and Mercedes emergency calling.
Surprisingly for a brand that builds itself on quality, the last version of the GLC suffered from a lot of recalls, so it’s hoped the latest version can improve a lot.
All GLCs and new Mercedes models come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and up to 30 years of corrosion protection.