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What is the Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is the company’s first mid-sized premium SUV that’s been sold in the UK in right-hand drive form. There used to be a model called the GLK, you see, which was available on the Continent, but it was never engineered it to drive on the left. Perhaps all that pent-up demand is why the GLC has sold so well in Britain in recent years.

As the name suggests, the GLC is closely related to the C-Class range of saloons, coupes, convertibles and estates. Many of the engines and hardware are shared with that family.

It’s a decently sized crossover, with less of the heft of the GLE and a footprint that feels about right for many modern families, with space for four or five over two rows of seating. Read on for our full introduction to the Mercedes GLC.

At-a-glance 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC specs

  • Top speed: 130-174mph
  • 0-62mph: 3.8-8.3sec
  • Fuel economy: 22.1-42.2mpg
  • Emissions: 156-270g/km
  • Boot space: 550-1600 litres

Which versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLC are available?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC arrived in showrooms in 2016 and is sold as a five-door SUV or the newer, rather squashed GLC Coupe bodystyle. Most buyers will prefer the regular model, but those wanting a dash of more stand-out-ish swagger may consider the lower-roofed crossover. Just remember it is less practical and space for heads and bags is pinched by the plunging roofline.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Being a Merc, there is a decent spread of engines available, so you can choose from a range of mostly diesel motors and a petrol too. As yet there are no plug-in hybrids available, but this will change in the coming years.

For now, your choices are the GLC 220 d, the 250 d or 350 d (the latter packing a six-cylinder turbodiesel for better refinement). The sole petrol models are the GLC 250 and the rabid Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and 63 models outlined in more detail below.

What are the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and GLC 63?

Mercedes-Benz loves to spruce up any shape and size of car to make a Teutonic sledgehammer performance model - and the GLC SUV does not escape the reach of its AMG go-faster department.

The entry-level performance AMG GLC is the 43, which uses the 3.0-litre six cylinder engine with an impressive 367hp and reasonable running costs considering the performance on tap. But if you want the full-beans version, the AMG GLC 63 is brutal, its 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 creating a stonking 476hp, or even more ludicrously, 510hp in S mode.

Performance is predictably rabid, but just remember the CO2 emissions soar to 270g/km on the 63, so you may wish to stick with a regular GLC to keep below higher-rate tax thresholds.

Mercedes-Benz GLC styling and engineering

This Merc SUV is a well proportioned thing and we like the way the GLC looks. It’s neither too big nor too small and we find its style understated and classy.

It’s just as premium and polished inside, and the GLC’s cabin is a comfortable place to while away the time. We’ve lived with a GLC for half a year and we can vouch for its family friendliness in everyday duties.

Mercedes-Benz GLC rear

Every model sold in the UK is 4Matic, which is to say it has four-wheel drive. This is useful come winter time. And here’s one for Merc codename nerds: the GLC family is internally called the X253 (its GLC Coupe sibling is the C253). Just in case you see it on your service records and wonder what it means…

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC good to drive?

The GLC range is as refined and cosseting as you’d expect a Mercedes-Benz SUV to be. The entry-level GLC 220 d 4Matic can be a little short on puff, but trading up to the GLC 250 d 4Matic is enough to answer that.

If you’ve got the cash, we highly recommend the GLC 350 d with its multi-cylinder V6 engine. It’s perhaps the sweet spot in the range for us. The AMG derivatives are great fun if you can afford them, but we fear many families in the real world will prefer to stick with a diesel or lower-powered petrol model.

It’s easy to see out of and is an unintimidating car, where some SUVs can feel big and bulky. Ride comfort and handling are everything you’d expect, the GLC cosseting passengers from most bumps, noise and vibrations.

How much does the Mercedes-Benz GLC cost?

The Mercedes GLC range kicks off at around £37,000 in the UK, but the top-dog AMG models will inflate that massively past £90,000 - and that’s before you start ladling optional extras on. Yes, you can very easily spec a GLC past six figures!

However, keep your costs capped and you’ll pick up a great car at a fair price. Mercedes-Benz routinely incentivises the GLC, so you’ll probably chip some money off if you shop around.

See what drivers of the Merc GLC have to say about their cars in our detailed owners’ reviews.

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Model History

There is only one generation of Mercedes-Benz GLC so for now your only choices are the models listed in this round-up page.