Mercedes-Benz has pulled back the sheet on an update to its important entrant in the mid-sized SUV segment, the 2019 GLC, with a tougher look and the addition of MBUX infotainment.
Given it's a critical point for most buyers, we're going to start with the infotainment. At the launch of the new C-Class, Mercedes said its mid-sized sedan wouldn't be getting the bleeding-edge MBUX system because its electrical architecture is based on that of the E- and S-Class, instead of the A-Class.
And yet here we are with the new GLC, based on the same platform as the C-Class and having previously featured identical infotainment, offering the latest-and-greatest in Mercedes-Benz technology. Hey Mercedes, please explain that one...
Although it doesn't have the sleek, integrated screens of the A-Class and latest GLE-Class, the latest GLC's infotainment can be controlled using 'Hey Mercedes' voice inputs, through a touchpad on the transmission tunnel, with gesture control, or by using the touch pads on the steering wheel.
It even gets the same clever augmented reality navigation system as the A-Class, offering video game-style arrow overlays on the road through its head-up display.
Anyway, power comes from a new range of petrol and diesel engines. On the petrol side of things, buyers will be offered a GLC200 and GLC300, both equipped with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The former offers 145kW and 280Nm from its 2.0L displacement, the latter 190kW/370Nm.
The petrol-engined models also come equipped with the latest 48V starter/generator system from Mercedes-Benz, opening the door for a 10kW electric boost under heavy throttle openings and eco-friendly coasting at higher speed.
Claimed economy is between 7.1L/100km and 7.4L/100km on the combined cycle, depending on options.
When it comes to diesel, a trio of four-cylinder options will be offered, ranging from GLC200d, through 220d and out to 300d. The base engine makes 120kW/360Nm, the middle option 143kW/400Nm, and the range-topper 180kW/500Nm.
All three are all-wheel drive, with claimed economy of 5.2-5.5L/100km on the base two engines, and 5.8L/100km on the more powerful model.
Regardless of engine, petrol or diesel, the car is being offered with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Under the skin, the car is now fitted with adaptive dampers on both axles. There are three selectable modes, ranging from Normal to Sport+, working in tandem with the car's Dynamic Select system. There are now two off-road modes, while Mercedes says the 4Matic all-wheel drive system is redesigned from the ground up.
Expect the average owner never to worry about the off-road modes, but it's nice to know they're there nonetheless.
Active safety is, according to Mercedes, one of the biggest things owners appreciate about their current GLC. With that in mind, the new model will be offered with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and active lane changing, active speed-limit assist, evasive steering assist, blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert.
Finally, the exterior, where the mid-sized Mercedes crossover has been given a tough makeover in keeping with the GLE. That means slimmer, edgier headlamps than before, and tougher skid plates at both ends. A new range of alloy wheels will also be offered.
The new GLC will be here in the third quarter of 2019, with pricing and specifications to be confirmed closer to launch. Stay tuned.