Compact luxury sport utility vehicles must deliver in a variety of areas to warrant sizable sales numbers. Interior room and comfort, performance, attractive exterior, high-tech features, and reasonable pricing are among the criteria valued in this class.
Built in Finland and Germany, the Mercedes GLC 300 is one of the finest compact luxury SUVs. It replaced the GLK late in 2015 and immediately won approval as a well-rounded SUV. Today, the GLC 300 is the top-selling Mercedes in the U.S.
However, there’s fierce competition among small luxury SUVs. The list includes the BMW X3, Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKC, Lexus NX and a few others. Refusing to rest on its considerable laurels, the 2020 Mercedes GLC 300 arrived with some fine new upgrades.
Among the improvements are a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that adds to an already performance-laden SUV. The innovative MBUX infotainment system makes its debut as a standard feature and the exterior look is new as well. Mercedes also made improvements to the GLC 350e plug-in hybrid (not reviewed here).
A downside to the impressive GLC 300? It’s isn’t cheap, outpricing most of its competitors. It starts at approximately $42,500 and can climb much higher ($73,800) when equipped with all the available options. What one receives for the high price tag is a small SUV with a sharp exterior, elegant interior, superb performance, solid fuel economy, and strong resale value, thanks to the Mercedes name.
Among the exterior changes for 2020 are new a reshaped grille with twin bars, front and rear bumpers, and cool LED headlights and taillights. The additions make the GLC 300 even more appealing than in the past.
There’s lots to admire when it comes to the GLC 300’s interior. It’s a handsome cabin that is highlighted by top-notch materials. It offers comfort for all five passengers and will be alluring to folks who love a techy vehicle that also has the added benefit of being intuitive.
The new MBUX infotainment system comes standard, anchored by a 10.25-inch touchscreen that can do many things. That includes an automatic feature that switches the full-screen map to a split screen that’s used as a forward camera when a turn is initiated. Helpful and convenient voice recognition is standard and so is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Synthetic leather upholstery is utilized throughout an interior that delivers ample leg and head room for all. The cargo space is average at 19.4 cubic feet and expands to 56.5 cubes with the rear seats folded.
At a Glance –2020 Mercedes GLC 300
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 255 horsepower; twin turbo 4.0-liter, V8, 469 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 22-29 mpg; 16-22 mpg
- Price estimate: $42,500 to $73,800
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/50,000 miles; corrosion: 4 years/50,000 miles
We loved taking the GLC 300 out for an extended drive because its performance and ride quality makes for a fun afternoon. The base model GLC is powered by a turbo 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that generates 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This SUV will get you there in a hurry – it goes 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Fuel economy is another plus at 22-29 mpg.
All GLC models are rear-wheel drive (AWD is a $2,000 option) and employ a nine-speed automatic transmission. That includes the upgraded engine, a powerful twin turbocharged 4.0-liter, V8 that produces 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, gas mileage (16-22 mpg) is much less than the standard model.
Cost is a factor when considering the 2020 GLC 300. But so is value, and this engaging luxury compact SUV delivers quite a bit.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.