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The new Mercedes-Benz GLC luxury lifestyle SUV: full range and pricing announced

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC (X254) is even more dynamic, powerful and sustainable. Locally available with an innovative mild-hybrid system with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator, the brand-new model sets heightened standards for driving enjoyment, efficiency, advanced design and a luxurious, practical cabin.

“With the new GLC, which spearheads the next generation of our luxury lifestyle SUV range, we are continuing a success story into the future: since its global introduction, 2.6 million customers have decided in favour of the class-leading GLC line-up,” says Mark Raine, Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director: Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa. “Likewise, it’s been a massive success in the South African market and is one of the most sought-after cars in our product portfolio.

“We’re excited to have the new GLC in South Africa, with its combination of dynamic driving, latest in technology and digitalisation, modern design and luxury appeal. It promises to thrill in both outdoor and city environments, and is set to attract adventurers and families alike,” concludes Raine.

Sensual purity, intelligence and emotion.

The GLC is immediately recognisable as a member of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Standard equipment includes the AVANTGARDE exterior with Chrome package including chrome window surrounds and a new, chrome-look simulated underguard. This adds striking design features and enhances the unique proportions of the vehicle.

One of the defining design highlights of the GLC is the redesigned front end, with headlamps that connect directly to the radiator grille to emphasise the vehicle’s width, and the new radiator grille as part of the standard AVANTGARDE exterior, which now has a chrome surround and a sporty louvre in matt grey with chrome trim. The AMG Line has a radiator grille with Mercedes-Benz pattern.

“The GLC continues our design philosophy with its sensual purity and, like the entire SUV portfolio, exudes intelligence and emotion,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz AG. “With its beauty and exceptional flair, we have been able to create the modern luxury that is the hallmark of Mercedes-Benz.”

The body design is characterised by a full, spanned surface design enriched with precisely shaped edges on the sides. These emphasise the proportions, accentuate the muscular wheel arches and create a balance between elegance and off-road performance. Wheel arch liners in the vehicle colour are available from the AMG Line upwards for the first time. These accentuate the sportiness of the AMG Line, as optional equipment in conjunction with mixed tyres. Also available as an optional extra are easy-entry running boards and, from the AMG Line upwards, a Night package.

Other features of the sporty, confident appearance are the wide track and flush wheels in 18- to 20-inch size. Several of the wheels available ex-factory not only feature a modern design with a high-sheen finish and bicolour surfaces, but are also aerodynamically optimised. The new two-section rear lights have an interior with a three-dimensional look and emphasise the width of the rear end. This too has a simulated chrome underguard, which encases the simulated chrome-look tailpipes.

Interior: Modern, sporty luxury.

Welcome to the modern, sporty luxury of Mercedes-Benz: this is the message the interior of the new GLC with the AVANTGARDE Line already sends out in its standard configuration. The dashboard is clearly structured: the upper section has a wing-like profile with new, flattened round nozzles reminiscent of the engine nacelles of an aircraft. The lower section has a generous trim area that flows harmoniously into the curved centre console.

The 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) high-resolution LCD screen in front of the driver appears to float freely before the wing profile and trim area. The 11.9-inch (30.2 cm) central display rises seamlessly and without joints from the centre console, and likewise appears to float above the trim area. Like the dashboard, the screen surface is slightly angled towards the driver.

The modern, highly reduced design of the door panels frames both ends of the dashboard. The door centre panel with integrated armrest evolves from a vertical surface into a horizontal orientation. Reflecting the design of the centre console, the front section takes the form of a metallic high-tech element. It can be used as a grab or closing handle, and houses the power window controls. Another highlight is the floating control cluster, into which the door opener and seat adjustment controls are integrated.

The avant-garde seat design of the new GLC plays with layers and contoured surfaces, lending them visual lightness. The head restraints and their connection to the backrest with an enclosed cover have been redesigned. The new GLC is available with a leather-lined dashboard with nappa-look beltlines (optional, standard for the AMG Line).

Some trim elements have innovative surfaces. These include new interpretations of open-pored veneers in brown tones as well as an open-pored, black wood veneer featuring fine, form-following inlays in real aluminium.

Dimensional concept and practical details: Great day-to-day operating convenience.

The key dimensions of the new GLC emphasise the SUV’s even more dynamic and powerful appearance. With a length of 4,716 mm, it is 60 mm longer and 4 mm lower than its predecessor. The track widths have been increased by 6 mm at the front (now 1,627 mm) and 23 mm at the rear (now: 1,640 mm). The longer vehicle length benefits the wheelbase and the front and rear overhangs. The vehicle width has remained the same at 1,890 mm.

The luggage capacity benefits from the larger rear overhang and has increased significantly to 620 litres (+70 litres compared to the preceding model). This is noticeable in day-to-day driving, as well as during holiday journeys with the family or for everyday transport requirements. The GLC has the EASY-PACK tailgate as standard. This opens or closes conveniently at the touch of a button: using the button on the ignition key, the switch in the driver’s door or the unlocking handle on the tailgate.

Improved aerodynamics.

In its aerodynamically most favourable configuration, the minimal drag coefficient of the GLC is Cd = 0.29. This makes it two hundredths better than its predecessor (Cd = 0.31) – a notable advance for an SUV with conventional drive.

Optimisation of the vehicle with respect to aerodynamic drag and wind noise was carried out with the help of extensive digital flow simulations (CFD – computational fluid dynamics), as well as tests with real vehicles in the aero-acoustic wind tunnel. The new GLC is a pleasantly quiet vehicle with a serene sound signature and low rolling and wind noise. This was achieved with acoustic optimisation of the bodyshell and sophisticated sound insulation. An acoustic membrane in the windscreen is standard equipment, for example. The optionally available, acoustically effective thermal insulation glass meets even higher comfort expectations.

Comfort appointments: Improvements in many details.

The cross-functional ENERGIZING networks different comfort systems to provide a more effective driving experience. The optional ENERGIZING package Plus brings them to life at the touch of a button or by voice command, and bundles them into worlds of experience in up to seven comfort programmes. At the same time, the system creates a matching atmosphere in the interior – e.g. invigorating in case of fatigue or relaxing in case of an elevated stress level.

The AIR-BALANCE package is also part of the ENERGIZING package Plus. It offers an individual, subtle fragrancing experience in the interior – according to personal preference and depending on the mood. Thanks to refreshing ionisation and filtering of the outside and interior air, it also helps to ensure improved air quality and a greater sense of well-being.

The optional ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL intelligently monitors the air quality of the vehicle interior. It uses air quality and fine particle sensors for this purpose. If limit values are exceeded, it switches the air conditioning to air recirculation mode. A two-stage filter concept can additionally filter fine dust and a large proportion of pollutants from the air.

The new GLC is available with a new panoramic sunroof as an optional extra. The lined cross-strut is slimmer than in the previous version, providing an almost uninterrupted view through the larger glass roof area. If required, the panoramic sunroof can be covered with a roller blind.

Standard equipment significantly upgraded.

Based on the luxury strategy of Mercedes-Benz, the standard equipment of the new GLC has been significantly upgraded and offers the customer a highly attractive vehicle right from the start. The AVANTGARDE Line is standard, for example, as are popular features such as the large displays, smartphone integration and wireless charging.

In addition, the package logic has been considerably simplified to reduce the effort of choosing from numerous individual options. Functional features that are frequently ordered together are now bundled into equipment packages on the basis of actual buyer behaviour. There are only very few functional options available beyond this. Where design options such as paint finish, upholstery, trim and wheels are concerned, our customers can configure their vehicles individually as before.

Engines: Systematically electrified four-cylinder units.

The new GLC is available only as a mild hybrid with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator (ISG). The ISG already ensures excellent power delivery. The system includes the 48-volt electrical system, which enables functions such as “gliding”, boost or recuperation and thus significant fuel savings. In addition, the engines start very quickly and comfortably with the help of the ISG so that the start-stop function is almost imperceptible to the driver, as is the transition from “gliding” with the engine stationary to powerful propulsion with engine power. When idling, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures outstandingly smooth running.

Suspension: Agility and safety.

Key components of the GLC’s dynamically designed suspension system are a new four-link suspension at the front and a multi-link independent rear suspension mounted to a subframe. The standard suspension provides a high level of suspension, ride and noise comfort, agile handling and driving enjoyment. It is equipped with an amplitude-dependent damping system. In conjunction with the AMG Line Exterior, the GLC has a sport suspension.

The Engineering package (optional) with AIRMATIC air suspension includes level control and rear-axle steering.

Latest assistance systems: Supporting the driver.

The latest generation of the Driving Assistance package Plus contains additional and further improved functions. These reduce driver workload in day-to-day situations for more comfortable and safe driving. When danger threatens, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands. Several advanced features can make driving even safer. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, for example, can now react to stationary vehicles on the road at speeds of up to 100 km/h (previously 60 km/h).

One of the new features of Active Steering Assist is lane detection with an additional 360-degree camera, which particularly offers advantages at low speeds, e.g. when forming an emergency lane.

Sophisticated parking systems: Support during slow manoeuvres.

Thanks to more powerful environment sensors, the parking systems can better support the driver when manoeuvring, thus improving safety and comfort. Integration into MBUX makes operation more intuitive and is supported by the visual display.

Emergency braking functions also serve to protect other road users, and can increase road safety. The new Parking package with 360-degree camera and the functions of Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC is available as an optional extra. It offers the best possible all-round visibility and facilitates the parking process, among other things by means of assisted parking and unparking. The central display clearly shows the direct vehicle surroundings during the parking or manoeuvring process. The display is composed of four individual camera images from the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle, and includes a virtual bird’s eye view. In addition, the display shows different viewing angles such as front, rear or trailer mode. The driver at the wheel decides whether to park manually or hand control over to Active Parking Assist.

DIGITAL LIGHT: Excellent visibility without impairing other road users.

The new GLC has LED High Performance headlamps as standard. DIGITAL LIGHT is available as an optional extra. This revolutionary headlamp technology with its dynamics and precision creates almost unlimited possibilities for high-resolution and targeted light distribution according to local conditions. The result is excellent visibility for the driver without impairing that of other road users.

Over hill and dale: Off-road with the GLC.

As before, the new GLC has also been explicitly designed for off-road driving, and is prepared for this use with several new features and systems. Standard equipment includes an off-road driving mode and DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation). In off-road mode, the GLC with 360-degree camera offers a “transparent bonnet”: The central display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle, including the front wheels and their steering position. This is extremely helpful: it enables the driver to recognise obstacles such as large stones or deep potholes in their path at an early stage.

The new off-road screen uses the two displays for clearly arranged information, controls and functions. Among other things, the driver’s display shows inclination, gradient, topographical altitude, geo-coordinates and a compass as well as road speed and engine speed when operation is with an internal combustion engine. In addition, the central display shows, for instance, the current position of the SUV on the terrain as well as the steering angle of the front wheels and, if rear-wheel steering is available, the steering direction of the rear wheels. All the driving functions relevant for off-road operation can be controlled very easily on one screen.

The Engineering package (optional) with AIRMATIC air suspension brings its comfort advantages to bear when off-road, where it offers additional benefits. For example, AIRMATIC allows a high ground clearance off-road, regardless of the load, and a long suspension travel for the best possible traction. The rear-axle steering increases off-road manoeuvrability even further, while the 4MATIC all-wheel drive provides outstanding traction on any surface.

Success story: Mid-size SUV from Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz entered the mid-size SUV segment in 2008, with the GLK. “Trendsetter in a booming vehicle class” – that’s how the press kit at the time described it. Its exterior design was unmistakably derived from the G-Class, the forefather of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

In 2015, the brand presented its successor under the name GLC. This also impressed with the excellent safety typical of the brand, state-of-the-art assistance systems, energy efficiency and high dynamics. Since the introduction of the GLC, and of its direct predecessor the GLK, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 2.6 million vehicles worldwide. The GLC presented now is the third generation, and seamlessly continues this success story.

Technical data at a glance.

  GLC 220 d 4MATIC GLC 300 d 4MATIC GLC 300 4MATIC
Price* R1,211,220 R1,410,194 R1,328,500**
Number of

cylinders/arrangement

4/in-line  
Displacement 1,991 cc 1,999 cc
Max. output 145 kW at 3,600 rpm 198 kW at 4,200 190 kW at 5,800 rpm
Additional output (boost) 17 kW / 200 Nm  
Max. torque 440 Nm at 1,800-

2,800 rpm

550 Nm at 1,800-

2,800 rpm

400 Nm at 2,000-

3,500 rpm

Compression ratio 15.5 15.5 10.1
Drive system 4MATIC all-wheel drive
Transmission 9G-tronic
Suspension, front and rear axle Front: Four-link steel suspension with selective damping system Rear: Independent multi-link suspension with selective damping system
Steering Speed-dependent, electro-mechanical direct steering (rack-and-pinion)
Braking system Internally ventilated disc brakes, electric parking brake
Wheels front: 8.0 J x 18
Tyres 235/60 ZR 18
Fuel consumption weighted, combined (WTLP) 5.9-5.2 l/100 km 6.1-5.5 L/100 km 8.2-7.3 l/100 km
CO2 emissions, weighted, combined (WLTP) 155-136 g/km 160-145 g/km 186-167 g/km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 8.0 s 6.3s 6.2 s
Top speed 219 km/h 243 km/h 240 km/h
Wheelbase 2,888 mm
Front/rear track 1,627/1,640 mm
Length/width/height 4,716/1,890/1,640 mm
Boot capacity 620-1,640 litres
Tank capacity/reserve 62/7
Kerb weight 2,000 kg 2,025 kg 1,925 kg

*Pricing includes a 5-year/100,000 km PremiumDrive Platinum service and maintenance plan, as well as  CO2 tax. **Excludes CO2 tax.

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Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa
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