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Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7

Still a strong contender, but newer rivals are circling

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class (15 on) - rated 3.7 out of 5
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PROS

  • Comfortable and relaxing ride
  • Premium interior with superb displays
  • Ballistic AMG models available
  • Premium badging

CONS

  • Rough diesel engines
  • Uninspiring to drive
  • Not all tech is user-friendly
  • Innovative fuel cell model not coming to UK

At a glance

New price £39,820 - £88,435
Lease from new From £467 per month
Used price £17,870 - £70,565
Fuel economy 22 - 56 mpg
Road tax cost £125 - £465
Insurance group 27 - 49 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Comfortable and relaxing ride
  • Premium interior with superb displays
  • Ballistic AMG models available
  • Premium badging

CONS

  • Rough diesel engines
  • Uninspiring to drive
  • Not all tech is user-friendly
  • Innovative fuel cell model not coming to UK

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class rivals

Audi
Q5
4.5 out of 5 4.5
BMW
X3
4 out of 5 4.0

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is the manufacturer’s volume-selling family SUV – large enough to easily take four passengers without being an out-and-out luxury vehicle in the same way as the Mercedes-Benz GLE. It’s the SUV equivalent to the popular C-Class saloon, in a way, and shares its underpinnings and interior with that model.

The GLC was introduced in 2015 as a replacement for the GLK – a car we never got in the UK, as Mercedes-Benz never built a right-hand drive variant. It enters a seriously competitive market sector, with premium rivals including the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 as well as the likes of the Volvo XC60, Lexus NX and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Petrol and diesel engines, but efficient hybrid and hydrogen models denied to UK

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is offered initially with a choice of just two diesel engines, both 2.0-litre four-cylinder units. They’re badged 220 d and 300 d. A 300 (without the d) petrol will join the lineup later on, and of course, those after something a bit special can opt for the 4.0-litre V8 petrol in the standalone AMG models.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC driving

All models feature a nine-speed automatic gearbox as well as 4Matic four-wheel drive. It’s a shame, though, that the GLC 350 e plug-in hybrid and the GLC F-Cell hydrogen fuel cell model won’t hit UK shores. Those after an alternatively-fuelled model should opt for the closely-related EQC electric car instead.

Confusing trim lineup, but generous standard equipment

All GLC models are badged AMG Line apart from the entry-level 220 d model, which is badged Sport. However, on top of AMG Line there’s Premium, Premium Plus and Premium Plus Ultimate – it seems that in the world of Mercedes-Benz, the more words attached to your car, the more upmarket it is.

Of course, there’s a certain level of high-end equipment expected at this end of the market, so even the entry-level GLC is hardly Spartan. All models come with Mercedes’ latest infotainment system, operated through a 10.25-inch display and a voice assistant activated with the words ‘Hey Mercedes’.

There’s also heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and climate control, but as with many premium models the real fun comes when you move up the range. Ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch instrument panel, up to 20-inch alloy wheels and air suspension are all available as you move up the range.

Plenty of room, but not class-leading

The GLC is as practical as it needs to be in this class. That might sound like damning with faint praise, but at the end of the day, most premium SUVs aren’t likely to be regular load-luggers – as long as they can accommodate four adults in comfort plus a good amount of luggage, that’s plenty. The GLC accomplishes this, with space for a six-footer to stretch out behind a similarly-sized driver and a generous 550-litre boot.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC interior

Remarkable AMG models available

Those who don’t fancy a boring, sensible diesel engine can always opt for one of the two AMG-tuned GLC variants. Named Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and 63 S, these models utilise the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the C 63 saloon.

The sheer performance of these models beggars belief – the S variant is actually the record-holder for fastest SUV to lap the iconic Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

Off-road package available

If you plan to take frequent trips off-road in your GLC, then speccing the Off-Road package is a must. Sure, the standard car should be able to negotiate mild off-road courses, but it’s worth having that extra peace of mind should things often get really sticky.

Included in the Off-Road package are gadgets such as DSR Downhill Speed Regulation (similar to hill descent control), additional off-road driving modes and recalibrated driver assistance technology. Off-road suspension (with 20mm more ride height) and increased underbody protection are also included.

Read on for our full Mercedes-Benz GLC review to see if this premium SUV could be the car for you.

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class rivals

Audi
Q5
4.5 out of 5 4.5
BMW
X3
4 out of 5 4.0

Other Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class models: