At first, a little over a decade ago, there was the Mercedes GLK. Then, in 2015, came the GLC, a compact luxury SUV for a world that was very much receptive to them. Now, a third generation of the GLC is coming, with Mercedes releasing the first pictures of it Tuesday.
Mercedes said that the third-gen GLC will get here for model year 2023, and will be hybrid in every version, with the choice between a plug-in car that gets up to 62 miles of all-electric range, according to Automotive News, or a mild hybrid or diesel hybrid in some markets. Mercedes says that it has been developing the car for around four years, and testing it everywhere from China to Sweden. It is based on the same basic architecture as the C-Class, in its fifth-generation since 2021.
For now, Mercedes isn’t eager to talk up the powertrain, as this car is intended for whatever the opposite of a race track is. Instead, in its release, Mercedes highlights the new GLC’s driver assistance systems, and all of its digital things, incremental improvements on what is already a pretty sophisticated machine.
- On all types of roads – highways, country roads or in town – Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC can automatically maintain a preset distance from vehicles in front. One new feature is the response to stationary vehicles on the road at speeds up to 60 mph (previously: 37 mph).
- Active Steering Assist helps the driver to stay in lane at speeds of up to 130 mph. New features include additional lane detection with the 360° camera, forming an emergency corridor especially at low speeds, significantly improved availability and performance in bends on country roads and improved lane centering on freeways.
- The Traffic Sign Assistant detects not only conventionally signposted speed limits, but also signs on overhead structures and in construction zones. Even conditional instructions (i.e. “slippery when wet”) are recognized by evaluation of all on-board sensors. A new feature comes in the guise of the warnings against driving through stop signs and red lights (as part of the Driving Assistance Package).
- Intelligent parking systems support the driver when maneuvering. Thanks to improved surround sensors, the parking systems give the driver even better support when maneuvering at low speed. Operation is faster and more intuitive thanks to integration into MBUX. Emergency braking functions also serve to protect other road users.
- New generation of steering wheel with three spokes and redesigned control panels with Touch Controls for controlling navigation, telephone or entertainment, as well as the cruise control function or optional proximity control
- Like the S-Class and the C-Class, the new GLC comes with the second generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. The interior has thus become even more digital and intelligent. The system is intuitive to operate and capable of learning, and it also offers functions such as Smart Home and music streaming. MBUX can be conveniently controlled with the adaptive voice assistant “Hey Mercedes.”
- MBUX with, among other things, augmented reality (additional information such as house numbers are virtually superimposed on the video image of the surroundings on the central display, traffic lights are also shown) and a special Off-Road menu.
- Also new is the optional transparent hood, part of the 360° camera, which, when the Off-Road drive program is selected, shows the real view of the ground under the front end, combined with a virtual representation of the driving lane based on the current steering angle, on the central display.
Mercedes says that it has delivered over 2.5 million GLCs and GLKs since the car came out in 2008, and that it has driven over 11 million miles in testing the new one. Mercedes did not say if there might be an all-electric version, though likely not for now, given the existence of the EQC which isn’t coming to the U.S. anyway, because Mercedes knows what Americans want.