Mercedes GLC SUV interior
The Mercedes GLC has a great cabin with a stylish design but the infotainment system is not as good as it ought to be.
The Mercedes GLC’s interior is packed with plenty of lovely details, but it doesn’t feel quite as solid as the Audi Q5’s cabin or come with as many high-tech features as you get in a BMW X3.
At least the GLC’s minimalist dashboard looks pretty smart and puts all the buttons you’ll use regularly within easy reach. The metal-effect air vents look and feel lovely and compliment the strip of brushed aluminium that stretches behind the infotainment display onto the doors. You even get ambient lighting, which beams your choice of 64 colours onto the dashboard, doors and centre console.
Most of the plastics dotted about the Mercedes GLC’s interior feel nice and squidgy, but look closely and you might spot some less than arrow-straight stitching on the dashboard. There are also some hard, scratchier plastics down beside the centre console and on the doors that aren’t quite as plush as those in an Audi or BMW.
Unlike in these cars, you can get the Mercedes GLC with some lovely unvarnished wood trim on the centre console. This doesn’t just look classier than the swathes of glossy black plastic you get in most SUVs, it’s also more resistant to scratches.
If you fancy adding a few sporty touches to your Mercedes GLC’s interior, you’ll want to pick an AMG Line model. These come with more supportive sports seats in a wider choice of colours and a sportier flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Less eye-catching is the Mercedes GLC’s standard infotainment display. Rather than a seamless widescreen consisting of two large displays like those you get in most other Mercedes SUVs, the GLC has to make do with a single free-standing unit and a separate analogue dial cluster in front of the steering wheel.
AMG Line Premium models ditch the standard analogue dials for a much nicer digital driver’s display, but even this feels a bit second-rate compared to the high-resolution screens you get in the BMW X3.
Mercedes GLC trim reviews
The look of your Mercedes GLC interior can change depending on which equipment grade – or trim – you choose. See which one you like best below.
Mercedes GLC Sport interior
The Mercedes GLC’s interior is a highlight even in entry-level Sport form, as quality is high and you even get toys such as heated seats as standard. There’s normal dials behind the leather steering wheel, plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen display on the dashboard.
Mercedes GLC AMG Line interior
Change to AMG Line and the steering wheel is different – it has a sporty-looking flat bottom. You also get different wood trim on the centre console, plus AMG-branded floor mats, different roof liner and Artico (man-made leather) seats.
Mercedes GLC AMG Line Premium interior
AMG Line Premium is a step up from lesser models because you get a 12.3-inch screen instead of traditional dials, which feels very modern. This version also comes with ambient lighting, an upgraded stereo, sportier-looking seats and extra tech such as wireless phone charging.
Mercedes GLC AMG Line Premium Plus & AMG Line Ultimate interior
The top of the GLC range is AMG Line Premium Plus and AMG Line Ultimate. These have a further-upgraded Burmester stereo but are otherwise the same as AMG Line Premium as their upgrades are focused on technology and suspension rather than interior kit.
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As standard, the Mercedes GLC comes with two infotainment displays – a 5-inch screen mounted between a pair of conventional analogue dials and a second 10-inch touchscreen up on the dashboard.
You control these using the main display’s touchscreen, a set of buttons on the steering wheel or by using the large touchpad on the centre console. It’s more intuitive than the old GLC’s awkward scroll-wheel arrangement, but it’s still more difficult to use than the systems you get in the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
Things get a little better when you use the Mercedes GLC’s ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice recognition feature to control the system’s main functions. This lets you change the radio station, adjust the climate control settings and add addresses and waypoints to the built-in sat-nav without taking your hands off the steering wheel. It’s no Siri, but it understands more commands spoken in plain English than the voice-control systems in an Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
Another thorn in the Mercedes GLC’s side is the fact you can’t get it with a stylish two-piece widescreen display like the ones in the GLE and even the A-Class hatchback. As a result, the infotainment displays look a bit old-hat – even in this recently updated model.
As in most other Mercedes models, however, you can upgrade the GLC’s standard stereo to a punchier Burmester unit by choosing a top-spec model. It doesn’t just sound better, it comes with some seriously swish laser-etched speaker grilles, too.
It’s also a shame that you have to fork out for an AMG Line Premium model if you want to be able to mirror your smartphone’s navigation and music-streaming apps on the built-in display using Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.