The boxy GLK SUV proved to be a hit for Mercedes-Benz, so its GLC successor will have some big shoes to fill.
Following its global debut in Stuttgart, Germany last week, it seems well poised to do so. Here are a few of the biggest reasons to be excited about the upcoming compact luxury crossover.
11. It’s Full of Tech!
When the GLK debuted in 2008, it was Mercedes’ most affordable SUV and as a result, it didn’t have as many standard features and cool technology as its bigger siblings. Seven years later, the new GLA-Class has taken over the entry-level role and that means the GLC will come with many of the high-tech features that Mercedes vehicles are known for.
That means you can now get adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, a head-up display, active parking systems and a 360-degree birds eye view camera system that can be a huge help when it comes to parking.
10. Tons of Standard Safety Features
The GLC comes standard with a number of awesome safety technologies, too, including a forward collision warning system, a cross-wind assistance system, an automatic high-beam function and a drowsy-driver detection system. Naturally, it’ll also have a ton of airbags.
9. Turbocharged Four-Cylinder At Launch
Mercedes USA only confirmed one engine for the launch of the GLC in November: the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s slated to go into the GLC 300. With 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, this engine is a bit down on horsepower compared to the old GLK 350, but compensates with more torque.
Expect other powertrains in the near future.
8. Plug-in Hybrid Model on the Way
One of those expected powertrains is an upcoming plug-in variant of the vehicle, called the GLC 350 e.
A perfect competitor for the Lexus NX300h, the GLC 350 e adds an electric motor to that turbocharged engine, giving it a combined output of 320 horsepower. The electric components are good to deliver roughly 21 miles of emission-free driving.
Plus, Mercedes says it can hit 60 mph in less than six seconds.
7. And More Engines to be Expected
While a diesel model will hit the U.S. market as well, Mercedes has also teased a GLC 450 AMG variant that would likely use the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that’s used in the C 450 AMG. That engine is rated to deliver 362-hp in the C-Class.
There are also rumors that the compact crossover could also get a full-fledged AMG model that would sport the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s found in the AMG GT.
6. More Gears, More Aero, Less Weight, More MPGs
The new GLC is all about more being more fuel efficient.
The GLC 300 gets a nine-speed automatic transmission and a more aerodynamic shape to help improve fuel economy. Also helping the cause is an overall weight loss: According to early numbers, the GLC could be 200 lbs lighter than the old GLK 350.
5. Riding on Air (Suspension)
There’s more to the GLC than the powertrain, though. The new crossover will also be available with an air suspension system that can raise or lower the ride height depending on what drive setting is enabled. Put the car into sport mode, and it drops by 15 mm and stiffens up the suspension, which will help to give the GLC a sportier feel on the road. On the other end of the spectrum, the GLC will be able to rise an additional 50 mm when equipped with the off-road package. Cars equipped with the air suspension will even lower to help make loading items into the trunk easier.
4. Great New Interior Design
It’s clear that the GLC has shed the boxy design of its predecessor and while that’s a significant change, it’s the updated interior that leaves the most positive impression of the new vehicle. The GLC follows the interior design philosophy of the new C-Class, with a convincingly high-end cabin that’s full of premium materials, including gorgeous shiny switchgear.
3. Exclusive Designo Touch
The company is also finally offering more of its designo paint finishes and interior upholstery that upgrades the cabin from “nice” to “whoa!” Three exterior finishes (instead of just one on the GLK) are going to be offered: MAGNO Dakota Brown, Diamond White and design Cardinal Red. These paint choices can be matched with designo nappa leather, which enhances the ambiance of the GLC’s cabin.
2. Bigger and More Spacious
And the new cabin is going to be a nicer place to sit. The GLC is now taller, wider and longer than the old GLK, while featuring a larger wheelbase. This translates into an additional 2.2 inches of rear-seat legroom and 1.3 inches of extra foot space that is designed to make getting in and out of the vehicle easier.
Cargo capacity also increases, despite the more rounded design of the GLC. Mercedes says that cargo space behind the rear seats has increased from 16.5 cubic feet to 20.5, while overall cargo space is up to 56.5 cubic feet.
1. When Can You Get One?
If you’re sold on the new look, technology and power, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class will be making its way to dealers across America starting in November 2015. Stay tuned for AutoGuide’s first drive of the GLC sometime in July.
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