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2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC

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2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Expert Review

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

KBB Expert Rating: 9.4

Perfect for families looking for a luxurious midsize 5-passenger SUV, the new 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC offers turbocharged engines and two attractive body styles. Sleek and unique, the GLC Coupe adds sex appeal at the expense of cargo volume, while the stylish GLC SUV delivers a more traditional SUV silhouette. Three trim levels are available. The GLC 300 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 241 horsepower. Pricing starts just over $40,000 and all-wheel drive is an available option. It competes with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Lexus RX. Three all-wheel-drive performance models are also available including the 362-horsepower GLC 43 AMG and the GLC 63 AMG that gets a 469-horsepower twin-turbo V8. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a stylish midsize-luxury SUV with strong performance, a beautifully finished interior and all the features you’d expect in a Mercedes-Benz, then you’ll like the new 2018 GLC. The muscular and uniquely styled GLC Coupe makes a bold design statement like no other in the class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The BMW X3 offers more cargo space than the 2018 Mercedes GLC. If this is a priority, also look at the larger Mercedes GLE or BMW X5. And if you’re looking for the most power, the 550-horsepower Porsche Macan Turbo outmuscles the 503-horsepower GLC 63 S Coupe.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 9.4
  • 9.3
  • 9.2
  • 9.2
  • 9.4
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#3

out of 16

Fuel Economy

#15

out of 17

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

Entrance lights in the GLC’s doors are now standard and a Sport Exhaust System is now available on all AMG models. But the big news for 2018 are the new big-horsepower twin-turbo V8-powered AMG models, the 469-horsepower GLC 63 and the GLC 63 S Coupe with 503 horsepower.

Driving the GLC
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

From behind the wheel, the new 2018 Mercedes GLC 300 manages to feel substantial, but also small and maneuverable. The steering is light and quick, and acceleration is strong and...

... steady, if not swift. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is smooth and has plenty of reserve for passing and climbing, and the 9-speed automatic transmission delivers seamless gear changes. When the Dynamic Select Mode is set to Sport or Sport+, those same shifts become much more noticeable, which is exactly what you want. On the highway, Mercedes-Benz’s 2018 GLC delivers a smooth ride, but there’s some wind buffeting around the side mirrors. One area of concern is the fuel-saving stop/start system, which is too noticeable for a system that’s supposed to be invisible. The AMG GLC 43 version is just as good, but quicker, sharper, and more aggressive. For a smoother ride, skip the optional 20-inch wheels and stick with the standard 18-inchers.

DYNAMIC SELECT
Every 2018 Mercedes GLC comes with Dynamic Select, which allows the driver to dial in the SUV’s character depending on his or her mood. There are five different modes, Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual, which is your personal custom combination. Each mode modifies the engine, suspension, transmission and steering.

SURROUND-VIEW SYSTEM
Mercedes offers a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety systems on the new GLC, including this clever system that makes parking and maneuvering in tight quarters a lot easier. It provides a 360-degree view of the SUV including a bird’s-eye perspective of the vehicle and its surrounds.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Details
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

There’s an artistic brilliance to the interior of the new 2018 Mercedes GLC that goes well beyond its soft leathers, glossy woods and high-tech features. There’s a rich, emotional appeal to the GLC’s cabin. It’s warm and inviting, but exceedingly modern. Beautiful by both sight and touch. It’s the most finely finished interior in the class, and its functionality is exceptional. There’s room for five. The seats are comfortable and the driver’s seating position is perfect, even for shorter drivers. Visibility is excellent and there’s plenty of storage space with a large glove box, center console bin and door pockets.

Exterior
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC photo

Mercedes’ GLC-Class for 2018 is bigger than it looks, and that’s a good thing. Rather than appearing ponderous or unwieldy, it looks substantial and solid. Although the smooth curves and soft lines are a little less distinctive than Mercedes’ previous crisp-edge styling, this is much more attractive. The design aesthetic that debuted on the S-Class translates nicely to this midsize-luxury SUV, and the new GLC is arguably has the best-looking SUV lineup among the big three European luxury brands. Wheel sizes vary from the standard 18 inch to 20 inch, and if you like matte-paint finishes, Designo has you covered.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2018 GLC 300 offers a solid array of standard equipment. Beyond the power driver's seat with memory, automatic climate control, power-folding mirrors, a power tailgate and rearview camera, the GLC-Class comes with things like the Mercedes-Benz touch pad for using the infotainment system. There's a solid set of safety systems, featuring Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Pre-Safe, which help prevent and mitigate the effects of collisions. Crosswind Assist helps keep the GLC from being blown around by winds. The GLC Coupe adds 4Matic all-wheel drive and a power sunroof, while the AMG trims gain larger engines and an AMG-tuned suspension.

Optional Equipment

Mercedes-Benz doesn't skimp on options for its midsize-luxury SUV, with plentiful packages that let you equip your new GLC pretty much any way you want. There's the high-end Designo interior and exterior, of course, but there are also available leather, upgraded wood trims and a variety of interior colors to choose from. Option packages include the Multimedia Package that adds COMAND navigation, an AMG Line package that gives the GLC 300 a sportier look, and a Premium Driver-Assistance Package that includes cross-traffic assist, active blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and steering assist. On top of it all, there are the high-spirited AMG models.

Under the Hood
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Engine photo

There are three engines available for the GLC-Class. In the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder produces a healthy 241 horsepower and can be had with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive (RWD, AWD). Mercedes-Benz says the GLC is fully off-road capable, although we'd still recommend taking it easy, as die-hard off-roaders will immediately note the lack of a low-speed transfer case. The GLC 300 Coupe comes standard with 4Matic AWD, while the AMG GLC 43 ups the ante with a 362-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 teamed with 4Matic. The new GLC 63 AMG models get a 469-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8, while the GLC 63 S Coupe dials that engine up to 503 horsepower. Both are all-wheel drive. All models get a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (GLC 300, Coupe)
241 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg (RWD), 21/28 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (AMG GLC 43)
362 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
384 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (AMG GLC 63)
469 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (AMG GLC 63 S Coupe)
503 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

A rear-wheel-drive 2018 GLC300 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $40,000, while AWD adds $2,000 to the total. Options add up quickly though, with some packages -- such as the $2,500 interior package with leather upholstery -- requiring other packages, in this case, the $1,830 Premium Package. Start adding in Designo upholstery and paint, and you're well on your way to $65,000. However, more judicious option selection can keep the price right around $50,000, and still retain leather seats, adaptive cruise control and navigation. The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 starts around $57,000, while the AMG GLC 43 Coupe starts at about $61,000. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid. As for resale, the GLC 300 holds its value well, slightly better than the Audi Q5, much better than the BMW X5 but still well behind the Lexus RX350.

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