Mercedes GLC

Small premium SUV with strong diesel engines

This is the average score given by leading car publications from 12 reviews
  • Smart looks
  • Spacious interior
  • Off-road ability
  • Expensive options
  • Limited engine choice
  • Not much else

£36,220 - £51,655 Price range


5 Seats


34 - 56 MPG


The Mercedes GLC is a family SUV that’s comfortable and fun to drive. The Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque are its closest rivals in terms of price and equipment.

The beautifully designed interior along with the easy-to-use layout and superb quality is taken straight from the C-Class – this means the GLC has arguably the poshest feeling cabin in its class. Interior space is generous and the boot is bigger than its rivals, although the hybrid version makes do with smaller capacity because the batteries are under the boot floor.

Several different driving modes can transform how the GLC drives with a push of a button – it can be a comfortable motorway cruiser, a fairly capable off roader or a car that can drive relatively fast along B-roads with minimal body roll. On the road, testers compare it to the quiet and composed C-Class and off the road the GLC has a range of electronic modes to help it overcome muddy fields and steep hills.

Engine wise, there is only one diesel available at launch in two power levels. Both versions are frugal and powerful, but the lower powered version is so similar in terms of running costs and performance that most buyers will find it hard to justify the extra cost of the higher-powered option. Petrol alternatives, a hybrid and even a fuel-cell model will be available later in 2016.

As with any Mercedes there is a huge list of optional extras that add luxury and more features, but can also make the small SUV quite an expensive car. Nevertheless, the entry-level SE model’s standard equipment is plentiful with leather seats, a reversing camera, electrically opening boot and automatic climate control.

A new coupe version of this stylish SUV has been announced. Find out all about it with our dedicated Mercedes GLC Coupe price, specs and release date article or read about the upcoming high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 model in our complete guide.

The GLC is closely related to the C-Class, hence the ‘C’ in the name, so the interior is similar – dashboard, steering wheel, controls and materials used are identical to those in the saloon. And that’s a good thing, because the C-Class has one of the best interiors in its class and makes the GLC’s interior a better place to spend time than the dated Audi Q5 or the BMW X3.

Mercedes GLC passenger space

The GLC replaces the GLK (which wasn’t sold in the UK) and it’s a slightly bigger car. It has plenty of space for passengers with good amounts of shoulder room, and four adults can travel in comfort. Seats are described by reviewers as supportive and the raised position gives great visibility, but the middle rear seat is too narrow for an adult and the leg room is limited by a transmission tunnel running along the floor where the middle passenger’s feet would go.

Mercedes GLC boot space and storage

The GLC is a very capable family car – with 550 litres of boot space (60 more than in the C-Class Estate) and 40/20/40 splitting rear seats it is not only more practical than a C-Class, but it has the same amount of luggage space as the X3 and a little more than the Q5. The storage compartments in the doors are a good size and there is also a bin and drink holders between the front seats.

Testers are impressed by the way the GLC drives and particularly how capable and competent it feels. There is always traction thanks to the four-wheel-drive system and the electric power steering is perfectly weighted and precise.

The driver can choose from four modes that dramatically change many of the GLC’s characteristics, including suspension, throttle response and speed of gear changes. Put it in sport mode and the GLC is almost as good to drive as an X3 and in comfort mode it is as relaxed as a Mercedes can be.

The optional ‘off-road engineering’ package adds another five driving modes – slippery, trailer, off-road, incline and rocking assist. Even though most owners will rarely go driving along muddy tracks, it’s reassuring to know that the SUV is more capable off-road than its rivals and is possibly on par with the Land Rover Discovery.

The GLC comes with one diesel engine in two power levels and a petrol V6 – all paired to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The auto gearbox is smooth and always chooses the right gear, but it is criticised for being a tad slow to react in Sport mode.

Mercedes GLC petrol engines

Producing 361hp from a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, the GLC 43 is a worthy alternative to the diesel-powered Audi SQ5. Sprinting from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, it’s 0.3 seconds quicker than the Audi, but you’ll visit the pumps more frequently, because fuel economy sits at 34mpg – 7 less than the SQ5 manages. Annual road tax is also pricier  – at £270 compared to £230 for the Audi.

Mercedes GLC diesel engines

The only diesel engine available for the GLC is not a bad one –  it’s a 2.1-litre diesel and can be ordered in two levels of power: 170hp and 204hp. The more powerful version has all of its pulling power available from just 1,500rpm, making towing or overtaking easy and stress-free.

The lower-powered 220d version is so similar to the 204hp one in terms of driving and performance, that it’s hard to recommend spending £1,550 on the 250d. The 0-62mph times are very similar (8.3 and 7.6 seconds respectively) and most drivers wouldn’t feel a difference between the two engines in everyday driving. The 220d is just as fuel efficient as the 250d – it can return 56.5mpg and emits 129g/kg of CO2, resulting in a £110 annual road tax bill.

Mercedes GLC Hybrid

For the lowest running costs, especially if you live in the city, the 350e hybrid is the best bet. Set to go on sale in the UK in 2016, the petrol-electric GLC will get 109mpg and emit 60g/km of CO2 making it free to tax and exempt from London Congestion Charge. The low running costs aren’t the only good thing about the 350e – with a 5.9 second 0-62mph time it will be the fastest GLC until the AMG version comes out.

Mercedes GLC Fuel Cell

Rumoured for an early 2018 release the hydrogen-powered GLC promises to use the latest fuel cell technology and according to Mercedes will have a range of around 300 miles. The benefit of fuel cell compared to hybrid technology is that refuelling a hydrogen-powered vehicle only takes a few minutes whereas with hybrids it can take up to 12 hours.

The Mercedes GLC was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and scored the full five stars..

All models come with lots of safety kit including multiple airbags, attention assist (which warns the driver to take a break when their becoming drowsy) and an active bonnet that flips up in an impact to protect pedestrians from the car’s hard internals. All models also come with autonomous braking, which can lessen (or prevent altogether) an impact by applying the brakes automatically at speeds of up to 65mph. 

The Mercedes GLC turns out to be good value for money when compared like-for-like with the X3 and the Q5. The GLC is more economical, has better standard kit and is more practical. With the more powerful diesel emitting just 129g/km of CO2, you’ll only have a £110 annual road tax bill – that’s not a lot for a 200hp, 1,800kg family SUV.

Mercedes GLC equipment

The GLC is available in the usual Mercedes trim levels: SE, Sport and AMG Line. The SE trim is well-equipped with little need for any optional extras and the AMG Line adds a hint of performance to the otherwise relaxed and comfortable GLC with its lower, firmer sports suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels and racier exterior styling.

Mercedes AMG GLC 43

The AMG tuned Mercedes GLC 43 comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine that produces 362hp. New bumpers, larger air intakes, a quad-exit exhaust system and extra chrome detailing will help tell it apart from more sedate GLC models. To really stand out, however, buyers can choose a set of optional 21-inch alloy wheels.

Mercedes GLC Coupe

Mercedes has revealed a sleek GLC Coupe with a sportier sloping roofline than the standard car. The front grille and bumper haven’t changed significantly from the GLC SUV and the interior looks mostly unaltered, too. We expect this model to be priced at approximately £38,000 when it goes on sale in Autumn 2016.


On paper the Mercedes GLC has the competition beat – it is more practical, more economical, has a high quality interior and impressive off-road ability. It’s a car with very few criticisms from reviewers and many recommend it over the rivals. A family crossover was missing from the Mercedes line-up, but the GLC has all the credentials to become the benchmark in the class.

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