2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV: Refreshed Styling, Mild-Hybrid Powertrain, New Infotainment System & More

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is the third generation of the brand’s contender in the trendy midsize luxury SUV segment. The GLC arrived in 2016 as a successor to Mercedes-Benz’s first entrant in the midsize SUV market, the GLK, which officially makes the all-new X254 GLC the second-gen model since Mercedes discontinued the GLK after debuting in 2008.

The exterior alterations are tricky to pinpoint, but the newest GLC is longer than the outgoing variant to offer a roomier cabin. Mercedes-Benz also put the 2023 GLC through its paces, having concluded a brutal round of winter testing in the icy and snowy region of the Swedish Lapland. 

“The new GLC comes with all the attributes that make a Mercedes-Benz SUV what it is: uncompromising handling safety on the road, outstanding driving dynamics, and superior performance when off-road,” said Jörg Bartels, Head of Overall Vehicle Integration, Mercedes-Benz. “With its high level of ride comfort and convincing overall acoustics, the GLC is a superb long-distance companion and great fun to drive.”

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2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV: What’s New?

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is an all-new model derived from the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) underpinnings of the brand’s latest C-Class sedan. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC has a redesigned façade with new LED headlamps, 18- or 20-inch alloy wheel designs, and updated three-dimensional taillamps.

However, the new GLC is 2.4-inches longer and has a 0.6-inch longer wheelbase than the 2022 GLC, offering slightly better rear legroom, more elbow room, and 21.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. Moreover, the new GLC’s rounded silhouette delivers a 0.29 drag coefficient, two-tenths better than the outgoing GLC with a 0.31 Cd.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV. Photo: MBUSA.

Powertrain & Fuel Economy

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger with 258 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque. Moreover, it has a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with an integrated starter-generator (ISG) that adds 23 more horsepower and a healthy 148 lb-ft. of torque on demand. The ISG enables boost, glide, or recovery features to help improve on-road performance while reducing fuel consumption.

GLC300 is the designation for the models with a front-wheel drivetrain, while GLC300 4MATIC denotes the all-wheel drive models. Both variants come with a nine-speed automatic.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the GLC300 with front-wheel drive are 25 in the city and 32 on the highway, with a combined 28 mpg. By contrast, 4MATIC models have an EPA rating of 23/31 city/highway for a combined 26 mpg.

Sophisticated & Refined Cabin

The avant-garde interior is what you’d expect from something like the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC. The wing-like profile on the upper part of the dashboard blends amicably with the curved center console. The redesigned air vents are “reminiscent of the engine nacelles of an aircraft,” said Mercedes-Benz. Moreover, the GLC has an 11.9-inch center touchscreen similar to the C-Class, and the driver has a new 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD screen.

Of course, the brand’s second-gen MBUX infotainment system has a voice assistant, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a Newsflash feature, an online music service, and can support over-the-air (OTA) updates.

Meanwhile, the interior includes a new steering wheel, digital infotainment and HVAC controls, heated front seats with memory settings, ambient lighting, a power sunroof, and a power-operated liftgate. In addition, the new GLC has a “transparent hood” feature that displays a virtual view of the front underside on the center display, helping drivers see obstacles while off-roading. The system uses a 360-degree camera and offers two views: under or ahead of the vehicle. This nifty feature is included on the GLC300 4MATIC with the optional parking package.

Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz highlights the new GLC’s acoustically optimized body and advanced sound insulation. Underneath its svelte body is an upper structure filled with acoustic foam and hot-formed steel to eliminate noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). The windshield has an acoustic membrane, while the driver’s door features laminated glass.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC interior layout.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV interior layout. Photo: MBUSA.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC Safety Features

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is brimming with advanced safety tech, including a Distronic feature that automatically maintains a pre-set distance from vehicles ahead of you on the road. It also has active steering assist, traffic sign assist, and the aforementioned optional parking package with a 360-degree camera and active parking assist.

The new Mercedes GLC is also available with a quirky Digital Light feature with projection functions. The system offers an extra margin of safety by highlighting pedestrians on the road and projecting light signals to other road users.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV Starting MSRP

The 2023 GLC 300 starts at $48,250, with the 4MATIC variant starting at $50,250. The Exclusive and Pinnacle trim levels climb in price, with the Pinnacle 4MATIC topping out at $54,600 for a starting MSRP.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: MBUSA.