For the first time in South Africa Mercedes-Benz will compete in the medium-sized SUV segment, against the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. The new GLC promises to bring a fresh set of skills to the proverbial table.
According to the manufacturer, it has adopted a design approach of “sensual purity” and “modern aesthetics” over the classic off-road look. Cutting through the marketing speak though, those looks certainly echo the aesthetics of its peers. From certain angles – like the side profile – anyone will be forgiven for not immediately recognising it as a Mercedes-Benz.
Looking at the GLC from the front, the familiar “three-dimensional” grille with the prominent three-pointed star is still present, undoubtedly setting it apart. Providing the perception of a sportier stance is the widely stretched centre air-intake, positioned at the bottom. The headlights are rooted just behind the grille area, aiding in the three-dimensional appearance – and improving aerodynamic efficiency, according to Mercedes-Benz.
Short wheel overhangs as well as a rugged bumper underguard add to the air of ruggedness buyers appreciate in this segment. The new model also sports an antenna system integrated into the side mirrors and the roof spoiler, ditching the dainty shark fin that usually features. Inside, it’s the usual level of luxury you expect from Mercedes-Benz. Highlights include a single piece console panel and a new touchpad system for character and number inputs. Like its fellow siblings, there will also be a tablet-like media display screen on the fascia.
The loading area is capable of stowing away an admirable 580-litres of luggage, while it is also able to gulp up to 1600-litres of nearly anything thanks to the forward folding rear seats. Creating an airier cabin, a panoramic sunroof can be specified as an option. The GLC will be available with two diesel derivatives each producing 125kW and 150kW respectively while two petrol models will also be made available each producing 155kW and 180kW. It also offers drivers five driving programs as standard, Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual settings. In addition, off-road driving models will be part of the mix.
Similar to its siblings the GLC will also feature the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems. Collision Prevention Assist, Crosswind Assist, Headlamp Assist as well as Attention Assist will come as standard The GLC can also be had with different equipment packages to add even more character, including an AMG line styling kit. Buyers will also be able to specify an Off-Road package, with a lifted chassis and more driving programmes for rough terrain.