Mercedes has introduced the second generation of its entry level compact crossover, giving it a new powertrain, new technologies, a new design and even a new name.
No longer called the GLK-Class, Mercedes is renaming its entire SUV/crossover lineup (except the G-Class). Dubbed the GLC-Class, the new name represents its position in the SUV lineup as equivalent to the C-Class in the sedan lineup.
The new name and look also comes with a new powertrain. No longer available with a V6 engine, the only motor available at launch in the US is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 241 hp at 5,500 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at 1,300-4,000 rpm. That’s about 60 less ponies but the same torque as the V6-powered 2015 model year GLK. Standard as a rear-wheel drive model, the GLC 300 can also be equipped with 4Matic all-wheel drive. Regardless of the drive wheels, the crossover gets a nine-speed automatic transmission.
This new powertrain is expected to help improve fuel efficiency, although no official numbers have been shared at this time. Also helping to improve the fuel usage of the new vehicle is a slimmer curb-weight and improved aerodynamics. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC weighs 176 lbs less than the GLK 350 thanks to the usage of lightweight materials such as aluminium.
Interestingly, the new car is lighter despite being larger in just about every dimension. The GLC is taller, wider, longer and features a larger wheelbase. This helps give the crossover an additional 2.2 inches of rear-seat legroom.
As the GLC is no longer the baby of the Mercedes-Benz crossover/SUV lineup (the GLA-Class has that honor now), the German automaker is now offering the car with a number of high-tech features, many of which are standard like a forward collision warning system, a cross-wind assistance system, an automatic high-beam function and a drowsy-driver detection system. Buyers will also be able to add the driver assistance package which includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, active blind spot warning system, active parking system and a pedestrian detection system.
The high-tech features continue on to the rest of the car too. The GLC offers an adaptive air-suspension setup, which works with the cars selectable drive controls. By choosing the comfort, eco, sport and sport plus modes (and a customizable setting) the car will change a number of variables to modify the driving dynamics. These include the air suspension, throttle response, transmission shift logic and steering feel.
This is a Mercedes, so we’d be foolish not to discuss the new interior, which is now offered with high-class appointments and trim including nappa leather and open-pore wood. Other amenities like a panoramic sunroof are also available.
While pricing hasn’t yet been announced, you can expect it soon, as the GLC will hit dealerships in November of this year.
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