The Mercedes GLC is an excellent do-it-all family SUV that’s also very stylish. Unfortunately, its in-car tech leaves a little to be desired
The Mercedes GLC is a stylish SUV that makes a comfortable and very practical alternative to the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. It’s also available as a swoopy (but less roomy) GLC Coupe, which is reviewed separately.
It not only looks great on the outside, but its upmarket interior comes with plenty of plush metal, glossy plastic and – in Sport and AMG Line cars – unvarnished ash wood trims. It feels very nearly as well-built as the Audi Q5.
Unfortunately, the rather low-resolution infotainment screen fitted to entry-level models is a far cry from Audi’s slick MMI system and it isn’t quite as easy to use as BMW’s iDrive, either.
Another annoyance is that you don’t get smartphone mirroring as standard – understandable in a cheap city car but not in a premium SUV…
Thankfully, you do get sat-nav on every Mercedes GLC. You can see a little more cash has been splashed on the seats than it has on the infotainment. Even entry-level models come with electrical adjustment and lumbar support as standard to help reduce back ache on long journeys. There’s loads of head and legroom too, so you’ll have no trouble getting comfy if you’re over six-foot tall and there’s more space in the back for carrying three abreast than you’ll find in a BMW X3.
The Mercedes GLC’s numerous cubby spaces are also pretty generous. Not only can all its door bins hold a large two-litre bottle each, but so can the glove box and there’s loads of space under the central armrest, too.
Larger luggage such as a baby stroller or golf clubs will fit easily in the GLC’s 550-litre boot. It’s exactly the same size as what you’ll find in a Q5 or X3 and its square shape and low boot lip makes it just as easy to load bulky items.
Need to carry long sports gear and passengers? The back seats flip down in a handy three-way (40:20:40) split using buttons in the boot. With all the seats folded out of the way you’re left with a huge 1,600-litre boot with a completely flat floor and some useful underfloor storage. There’s even enough room to tuck the load cover neatly away and hide a few valuables safely out of sight.
The GLC’s based on the C-Class saloon but adds a useful dollop of space and style thanks to its high-riding SUV body
You can get the Mercedes GLC with a petrol and three diesel engines. The mid-range 250d diesel will be your best bet if you spend most time around town. It’ll use no more fuel than the rather weedy 220d model (expect the 250d to return more like 48mpg than Mercedes’ claimed 56mpg figure) and doesn’t have to work quite as hard to keep up with faster traffic.
Cover lots of motorway miles? Treat yourself to the more powerful 350d diesel. Its smooth six-cylinder engine doesn’t grumble as loudly as the 250d model when you accelerate hard and it can overtake slow-moving cars effortlessly. It’ll return around 40mpg in normal driving conditions.
Whichever engine you pick you’ll get a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox and a range of high-tech safety kit that helped it achieve a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2015.
The Mercedes GLC makes a strong case for itself as a comfortable and relaxing family SUV that’s stylish, if not particularly sporty. For more in-depth info on the Mercedes GLC read our following interior, driving and specification reviews sections. Or take a look at the very latest Mercedes GLC deals.