2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC: Autocar’s Ultimate Review

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

Mercedes has recently shifted its focus from material quality and fit and finish to visual impact. This approach is evident in the new GLC, where the transmission tunnel seamlessly merges into the 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. The cascading dashboard of our test car features an “anthracite linestructure lime wood” finish borrowed from the current S-Class. The new steering wheel with slimmed multifunction spokes is also a vast improvement over the chunky interfaces of the old model. Overall, the driving environment feels less cluttered and more premium, with hefty window sills and a high beltline providing a sense of protectiveness that buyers in this class desire. Despite these improvements, the driving position remains car-like, making the GLC feel approachable rather than intimidating.

The GLC certainly has more visual impact than its rivals, but its perceived quality is not on par with that of comparative models from BMW, Lexus, or Audi. The issue lies not in scratchy plastics or significant panel gaps, as the GLC is not plagued by these problems. Rather, it is the flexing of various surfaces and the imprecision of controls, such as those for the mirrors or on the multifunction steering wheel, that give the GLC a less refined feel. The “metal structure” finish on the door cards and high-set air vents also fail to convince. These minor shortcomings slightly undermine the overall visual appeal of the GLC.

In terms of practicality, the GLC leaves little to be desired. Both front and rear occupant space is excellent, although the middle seat in the back will have to contend with a pronounced transmission tunnel. The longer rear overhang of the GLC also provides 70 liters more boot space than before, totaling 620 liters, surpassing the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

The GLC is equipped with the MBUX multimedia system, which was first introduced in the current S-Class. The system exudes luxury with its deep colors and crisp graphics. However, the reclined nature of the 11.9-inch touchscreen display makes fingerprints more visible than desired. Without a click wheel, the only option for inputting commands is via the steering wheel controls, which may not be entirely intuitive. Navigating the system often requires swiping.

Fortunately, the central display offers clear climate controls without the need to navigate through sub-menus. The smartphone integration is also seamless, and the position of the display ensures easy access within arm’s reach, which is not always the case with dash displays.

In conclusion, the new Mercedes GLC impresses with its visual impact and practicality. While its perceived quality may not match that of its competitors, the GLC compensates with its spacious interior and increased boot space. The MBUX multimedia system adds a touch of luxury, although the touchscreen display’s reclined position and lack of a click wheel may pose slight inconveniences. Overall, the GLC remains a strong contender in its class, combining style, functionality, and the signature Mercedes-Benz driving experience.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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