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The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC looks alike but is new below

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  • Behind the similar styling, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is larger than its predecessor.
  • Mercedes says the new MBUX infotainment interface is faster and smarter.
  • A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a 48-volt hybrid system will be the only powertrain option in the US initially.

    Where the Mercedes C-Class leads, the GLC crossover follows. Given the close relationship between the two cars, which sit on the same platform and share the same powertrain, it’s no surprise that the new GLC you see here features as much of the technical innovations as its sedan sister.

    Not that we were expecting anything drastic. Previous-generation GLCs have sold well for most of their lives thanks to their perfectly expected blend of typical Benz features of sleek design and spirited performance. The design of the all-new version has evolved so nicely that we suspect many will struggle to define the generational transition; The headlights have been reshaped to form a single horizontal metal strip on the radiator grille, where the previous version had two, while the narrower taillights are the giveaway at the rear.

    Dimensions slightly expanded. The new GLC is now 185.7 inches long, making it 2.4 inches longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase has also expanded by 0.6 inches to 113.7 inches. Passenger accommodation has barely changed, with Mercedes claiming rear legroom has increased by 0.1 inch. The most obvious result of the growth was a beneficial increase in luggage capacity, with the new car’s 22 cubic feet more than its predecessor.

    The new GLC300 to be introduced in the US initially will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine working in tandem with a 48-volt hybrid system via an integrated starter generator. Similar to the C300 sedan, this engine delivers peaks of 258 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and drives a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox. The only important drive-line option new car buyers will need is whether or not to opt for the 4Matic all-wheel drive system; According to Mercedes’ claims, both versions are capable of identical sprints of 6.2 seconds to 60 mph (we ran the previous generation AWD GLC300 through the benchmark in an even more impressive 5.4 seconds). Future versions will likely include the AMG 53 and 63 variants, although both will use hybrid four-cylinder engines. Mercedes confirms that a plug-in hybrid powertrain will eventually be offered in the US.

    More substantial changes are found inside the cabin, with the new GLC switching to Mercedes’ new MBUX infotainment system. This uses two digital displays, a 11.9-inch vertically oriented central touchscreen (slightly angled toward the driver) and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. MBUX supports high-level audio inputs as well as the option of an augmented reality navigation system that superimposes instructions on a live video feed to show you exactly where to go. We’re moderately disappointed, though not surprised, that the GLC will follow the S and C-Class in ditching both physical HVAC controls for touch-sensitive panels, and it also lacks a physical volume knob.

    Other high-tech functions include Mercedes’ Level 2 Drive Pilot driver assistance system, standard LED headlights, and a 360-degree camera system that includes what’s described as a “transparent hood”, using cameras to provide a view under the front of the vehicle. The vehicle to aid the kind of lightweight off-road maneuvering that the GLC300 may encounter.

    There’s no word on pricing yet, but we expect the increase in standard equipment on the new GLC will be reflected in an increase over the old car. It will start arriving in the US in 2023.

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