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Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class: Luxury Love Child

July 2016, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is an all-new vehicle that gets its size from the outgoing GLK-Class and shares interior and exterior styling cues — and about 70% of its parts, including the engine — with the recently redesigned C-Class sedan.

The product of this strange marriage is a luxury compact crossover SUV with attractive styling, a fuel-efficient, turbocharged engine, and safety to spare.

Good thing, too, because the GLC-Class was built to compete with such popular schoolmates as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Volvo XC60.

Specs for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
Specs for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

The GLC improves on the outgoing GLK by adding width, height, and length, and limiting the initial engine options to a 2.0-liter turbo four-banger, which delivers 241 horsepower (hp) and 273 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The 2.0 burns 24 miles per gallon (mpg) in combined city and highway driving — with or without available all-wheel drive; the GLK’s 3.5-liter V-6 earned a combo score of 21 mpg with all-wheel drive.

The new vehicle’s understated front fascia and sophisticated sheet metal is a welcome departure from the GLK’s boxy, toylike exterior. The interior is clearly modeled after the C-Class, from the freestanding touchscreen to the touchpad/control wheel combo that controls it. The doublewide center console propagates the theory that luxury car buyers only feel comfortable in cockpits that feature faux wood accents.

Standard equipment includes a five-year subscription to “mbrace,” an operating system slash cellphone app that allows drivers to start, warm up, and cool down the GLC remotely, 18-inch alloy wheels, adjustable suspension, a power liftgate, dual-zone climate control, an eight-speaker stereo, and more.

The GLC is outfitted with a wide array of standard safety features, including traction, stability, and trailer-sway control, a forward-collision warning system with autonomous emergency braking, and PreSafe, which adjusts seat belts, seats, and head restraints to protect the driver and passengers when a collision is imminent.

Available Sport, Night, Air Balance, Lighting, Premium, and Multimedia packages add such features as bigger wheels and brakes, advanced safety features, and leather upholstery.

The gasoline-powered GLC-Class is in showrooms now with a starting MSRP of $38,950 for the GLC300 and $40,950 for the GLC300 4MATIC. A 369-lb.-ft. diesel is due before the end of the year, and a 320-hp hybrid powertrain and 365-hp AMG performance model are expected for 2017.

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