Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7
  • Latest Mercedes infotainment system is feature-packed
  • Comfortable but cramped driving position
  • Trademark firm seats won't suit everyone

The GLC’s interior is a straight copy of the C-Class – facelift included. For 2019, Mercedes has replaced the old COMAND infotainment system with the very latest version – named MBUX. It works well, operated through either a touchscreen or a responsive touchpad controller on the centre console. It’s packed with features, too, and higher trim levels get headline tech like the augmented reality navigation, which projects driving instruction onto a camera feed of the road ahead.

There’s the option of traditional dials, or a slick 12.3-inch digital array in their place. All the screens are of very high quality – crisp, bright, and responsive. The interface could be a little easier to use, though.

Comfortable but cramped driving environment

There’s plenty of adjustment in the GLC’s seating position – most models have electrically-operated seats, activated via switches on the door rather than nestled down the side of the seat like most rivals. The firm but supportive seats shouldn’t become uncomfortable over a long journey, and many drivers will like the raised-up driving position, which gives a good view of the road ahead.

However, the large centre console leads to cramped footwells – those with long legs or especially big feet may feel a little claustrophobic.

Every control in the GLC feels high-quality, though some aren’t quite where you might expect them to be. The gear selector, for example, sits to the right of the steering column, while indicators, wipers and headlight controls are built into a single stalk to the left.

Build quality throughout is mixed, with some high-quality fixtures sat alongside others that feel downright cheap. Our brand-new test model also exhibited a few creaks and rattles, disappointing for a premium product.

Comfort

  • Choice of standard, sport, adaptive or air suspension
  • Tuned for comfort over handling
  • Bigger alloy wheels spoil ride

Comfort in the GLC can be a mixed bag – excellent in some regards, poor in others, and particularly dependent on how you specify the car.

The suspension options are slightly confusing – not least because they all have very corporate names. The standard system is called Agility Control, and is a traditional steel spring setup. However, it can be chosen in two states of tune – Comfort or Sport. The latter is firmer, and lends a harsh edge to the ride – we’d avoid it if possible, though it’s standard on the GLC Coupe.

Move up the range and you reach optional Dynamic Body Control. This too is a steel spring suspension setup, but adds adjustable dampers into the mix, allowing the driver to control the firmness of the suspension via the drive mode switch. It’s no more comfortable than the Comfort setting of the standard springs, but for drivers who’d like the sporting edge of a firmer setup at times, it’s a good option.

Topping off the range is Air Body Control, otherwise known as full air suspension. This is the most cossetting system of the three, and really takes the edge off bumps. GLCs thus equipped have a more floaty quality, but can still be firmed up for greater dynamism in the corners. The air suspension can also be raised up for greater ground clearance off-road or easier access for passengers.

The GLC’s low-speed ride on steel springs does leave a little to be desired – especially with AMG Line models featuring large alloy wheels that bring a firm edge to bumps and potholes. However, up the speed and head towards a motorway and the ride settles down to a smooth and unruffled cruise.

In this manner it’s easy to imagine covering serious miles in the GLC.

Room to stretch out

Though the Mercedes GLC isn’t the roomiest in its segment – that honour should go to the Skoda Kodiaq or Land Rover Discovery Sport with their third rows of seats – there’s space for four six-footers to sit in comfort. Mercedes seats tend to be rather hard, which isn’t preferable for all bottoms – we find that while the firmness isn’t appreciated at first, they’re actually extremely supportive and do a great job preventing aches and pains on long trips.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is available in five trim levels initially, with performance AMG versions exclusively highly-specified flagships. On regular diesel models, customers can select from Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus, or AMG Line Premium Plus Ultimate.

Standard Mercedes-Benz GLC equipment

Sport models come as standard with:

  • MBUX infotainment system
  • Voice activation
  • Active parking assist
  • Reversing camera
  • 10.25-inch infotainment display
  • Heated front seats
  • Privacy glass
  • Comfort suspension
  • 18-inch alloy wheels

AMG Line adds:

  • Sports suspension
  • AMG bodystyling
  • Sports seats
  • 19-inch alloy wheels

AMG Line Premium adds:

  • Multibeam LED headlights
  • Running boards
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument display
  • Ambient lighting
  • Augmented navigation
  • Smartphone integration
  • Leather upholstery
  • 20-inch alloy wheels

AMG Line Premium Plus adds:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Burmester premium sound system
  • Keyless go
  • Memory seats

Finally, AMG Line Premium Plus Ultimate adds:

  • Air suspension
  • MBUX Interior Assistant