It’s the biggest-selling car in Mercedes-Benz’s New Zealand range, and recently the company launched their new GLC model – the GLC300 4MATIC. DriveLife headed along to the launch to hear about the new car and take an initial drive in it.
While it’s their biggest-selling model, Mercedes-Benz New Zealand (MBNZ) has decided to sell just one model, claiming that they know what their GLC buyers want, and it’s all in the GLC300 4MATIC.
With a high level of specifications, it feels like one size fits all approach, but time will tell.
The specs are heavily revised and increased, with a long list of standard equipment. Some of the highlights of this include:
- Heads-up display
- Full panoramic electric sunroof with electric blind
- 12.3” driver’s display
- 11.9” centre display
- Qi wireless phone charging
- Heated and memory front seats
- AMG Line exterior
- AMG Line interior
- Privacy glass
- Side steps
- Keyless entry and start
- Electric tailgate
- 360-degree camera system
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC: Drivetrain
Initially, there will be only one powertrain for the GLC 300 4MATIC, a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol-turbo unit with mild hybrid assist. The gearbox is Mercedes-Benz’s 9-speed automatic transmission.
The mild hybrid system runs at 48 volts and has an integrated starter-alternator for drive assist. While the petrol engine outputs 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque, the mild hybrid system adds an additional 17kW of power to this. This will get the 1,970kg car to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds and uses fuel at a stated 7.7L/100km.
Something that is unique to the GLC300 is an Offroad drive mode to complement the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. There is also Hill Descent Control, and new to the car is a “transparent” mode for the centre screen, where you can see what you are driving over when on rugged terrain.
You might be wondering why MBNZ is not introducing a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) GLC model when this seems to be all the rage in this segment. According to MBNZ, they don’t want to take sales away from their EQA, EQB and EQC fully-electric SUVs so will not be offering a PHEV in the GLC range.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC: Design
MBNZ says the model has “heavily revised specs’ and that an AMG model will be coming soon.
Up front, there is AMG body styling, an AMG front apron, sports air intakes, and some chrome trim. A Mercedes-Benz pattern grille adorns the front along with the current design feature of an integrated star. LED high-performance headlamps are standard, with the car gaining intelligent LED headlamps when you buy the Plus Package.
Side on, the wheel arches are now painted in the body colour, and the running boards have a new stylish profile. 20” AMG alloy wheels are standard, with cross-drilled discs on the front.
The rear of the new GLC300 4MATIC has a high-gloss black bar between the taillights, and a “diffuser-look rear AMG apron”. The wheelbase is now 15mm longer, with the overall length of the car 60mm longer. The width is the same as previously.
The front track is 6mm wider and the rear track 23mm wider. The car is now 69kg heavier at 1,970kg, although MBNZ claims that with the mild hybrid system, the new GLC300 is more fuel efficient than the last model.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC: Interior
The interior has been modernised, with Mercedes-Benz’ new central infotainment system. There’s an AMG Line interior, a sports steering wheel, ambient lighting, AMG sports pedals and a black fabric roof liner.
The interior has almost the same dimensions as the outgoing model but there is an additional 50 litres of space in the boot.
ARTICO black upholstery is standard, but at no cost you can get a grey/black combo and also at no cost, a stunning two-tone sienna brown/black interior.
Unusually for any Euro brand, there is only a single option pack for the GLC300 4MATIC, the Plus Package is priced at a very reasonable $6,900.
This package includes:
- MBUX Augmented Reality
- Burmester 3D surround sound audio
- 360-Plus security system
- Driving Assistance Plus
- Digital headlights
- Heat and noise-insulating acoustic glass
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC: Price
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4MATIC is priced at $113,900.
MBNZ says they have stock all ready to go.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC: First Drive
After a short presentation, it was time to take the new GLC on a 200km test drive. This would mean some windy roads around the back of Clevedon, along coastal roads, inland past farms and back to suburbia – so a great mix of roads and conditions.
In the flesh, the new GLC doesn’t look that much different to the previous model, although with our chase car being the previous version it was a good way to compare. Yes, it’s not that much different but definitely more modern and yet contemporary. It’s not going to win any awards, but it’s certainly not outlandish, and I expect this is what most GLC buyers are looking for. Our car for the day looked black under the high roof of the hotel entrance, but out in the sun it’s actually a dark blue, and it looks great.
Heading out from Formosa Golf Resort, tyre noise on coarse chip seal is evident, but on any other surface, the car is whisper-quiet for tyre, road and wind noise. The engine sounds delicious although it is digitally enhanced and believe me, it’s the best-sounding fake engine noise I’ve ever heard.
The interior of the car certainly reminds me of the Audi Q5 TFSI e I had handed back earlier in the week; beautifully built, stylish and luxurious. The Europeans can still teach the Japanese and Koreans something about interior build quality. It’s outstanding.
The ride too, is excellent. Even fitted with 20” rims, it rides nicely over all surfaces. The next part of our journey took us on some quite gnarly roads, with twists, bends and hills. The new GLC with its slightly wider track really nails the bends, and can handle in a way that belies its size and almost 2-ton weight. This car can hustle along nicely, with smooth progress made if you use the accelerator correctly.
My entire time with the GLC was spent comparing it to the Audi Q5 TFSI e I recently handed back. They are almost identical in price (within $1,000), both are 5-seat medium SUVs and are obvious competition for each other. After our almost 200km drive today, the GLC returned 8.8L/100km but keep in mind this was with some spirited driving included. After driving the Q5 plug-in hybrid over 1,000km, its fuel economy was 5.1L/100km. The GLC was never going to win that race, but in its favour, the GLC has a standard heads-up display (HUD) that the Q5 doesn’t. Honestly, other than the HUD and fuel economy, there feels like little to differentiate the two cars; I think a buyer would be happy with either, so perhaps it’s all down to brand loyalty.
After 200km of driving, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 impresses; it’s very quiet, so very peppy and handles very well.
We await a model for testing for a week to see what it’s really like when faced with being used as a Daily Driver.