Update: ‘Specifications,’ ‘2023 Mercedes GLC release date,’ ‘Production,’ and ‘Sales’ sections updated.
The all-new 2023 Mercedes GLC celebrated its world premiere on June 1, 2022. In this story, we take a look at what we know about the crossover-SUV sibling of the new C-Class which is now available in the U.S. with mild-hybrid engines.
In our experience, no Mercedes design has come under intense scrutiny, as the designers in Stuttgart have ensured that their cars remain neat and classy. And it’s no different this with the new GLC!
On the design front, while the first-gen GLC is drastically different from the GLK, the second-gen GLC is more of an evolutionary departure. That said, all the body panels are new, and it has a longer wheelbase and lower stance for clear differentiation from the Mercedes GLB. We’ve talked more about dimensions in more detail in the next section.
The next-gen Mercedes GLC has sleek production headlamps that are more angular. They slant upwards like on the Mercedes EQS but aren’t as narrow at the outer ends. They connect to the radiator grille through a DRL strip at the upper edge, emphasizing the SUV’s width. The new radiator grille includes a chrome surround and a sporty louver in matt gray with chrome trim.
When viewed from the sides, the 2023 Mercedes GLC looks barely any different from the previous generation. The rising beltline does lend it a slightly sportier styling. Plus, for the first time ever on a GLC, body-colored wheel arch liners are available with AMG Line for the first time (optionally along with staggered tires).
Instead of the stem mirrors like the first-gen model, the second-gen model features beltline mirrors. This makes the SUV more aerodynamically efficient and reduces the wind noise inside the cabin. The shoulder area has more definition and the character line is clearly visible. Multiple new alloy wheel designs are available, in diameters ranging from 18 to 20 inches.
At the rear, the 2023 Mercedes GLC has a sleeker appearance with slimmer, two-part tail lamps reminiscent of the C-Class.
The interior of the GLC has noticeably improved and looks much more upmarket. It features a new dashboard with a wing-like profile, new, flattened round AC vents inspired by the engine nacelles of an aircraft, and an elegantly floating center console. There is a greater sense of minimalism and opulence in the cabin. The optional panoramic sunroof is an improved one. The occupants can get an almost uninterrupted view of the sky because the lined cross-strut is slimmer than in the first-gen model.
Digital Light & second-gen MBUX
Our favorite part of the 2023 GLC is the Digital Light headlamps with projection functions. These headlamps should have three extremely powerful LEDs each. 1.3 million micro-mirrors refract and direct the light in each Digital Light headlamp, and thus, the total resolution is more than 2.6 million pixels. These headlamps are a premium option over standard LED headlamps. Customers specifying get an additional option of projection functions that casts guidelines or warning symbols of the road ahead.
The new GLC features the second-gen MBUX with a fingerprint scanner and a more interactive voice assistant activated by the command “Hey Mercedes.” MBUX Smart Home function is also included in the new-generation MBUX, allowing the driver to keep a check on and control smart home devices installed at the residence.
A 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster and an 11.9-inch portrait display are standard in the 2023 Mercedes GLC. In our opinion, the portrait orientation of the central display makes operating the infotainment functions easier. The all-new MBUX includes a special Off-Road mode to make the required changes to the vehicle more quickly and in a simpler manner.
A color head-up display is optional in the 2023 GLC. It projects information over an area measuring 9 x 3 inches 10 feet in front of the hood. The visual experience is similar to viewing on a 25-inch monitor. The HUD’s display module has a native resolution of 720 x 240 pixels.
MBUX supports over-the-air (OTA) updates, which means customers can install the latest software in it without any hassle. The download and installation take place in the background, and then the user has to agree for activating the update. Customers can activate new features anytime even after they have taken the delivery.
When the driver activates the off-road mode, the central display provides a virtual view under the front of the vehicle. The driver can see the front wheels and their steering position on the touchscreen. Images from the 360-degree camera give the view under the vehicle at speeds up to 5 mph and then from 5-12 mph the view ahead.
Air-Balance (TBC for the USA)
Several improvements that take care of occupants’ well-being are also part of the interior changes in the 2023 GLC. This aspect includes the availability of features like Air-Balance Package that provides the preferred fragrance in the cabin for a refreshed feeling.
Energizing Coach (TBC for the USA)
Energizing Coach gives individual fitness recommendations based on an intelligent algorithm, and it can work in sync with wearables. It suggests a suitable fitness or wellness program based on the vehicle and trip data and the information about sleep quality and stress level from a paired wearable device like a smartwatch. The plug-in hybrid variants benefit from an additional “Power Nap” program, with falling asleep, sleeping, and waking phases that can help the driver recharge himself/herself when making a stop for service or battery recharge.
For the first time, customers can order the Mercedes GLC with rear-axle steering (with an angle of 4.5 degrees), an optional feature that reduces the turning circle by 80 cm to 11.0 meters. The driver needs fewer turns of the steering wheel for a full lock when performing a U-turn or parking. At 60 km/h (37 mph) or higher speeds, the rear-axle steering steers the wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, leading to improved handling stability and safety.
Airmatic air suspension (TBC for the USA)
The Airmatic air suspension is standard in the plug-in hybrid variants, which we expect to be loaded to the brim. However, these electrified variants could suffer from the typical drawback of lower cargo space because of the battery pack location.
In the mild-hybrid variants, Mercedes-Benz offers the Airmatic air suspension as an optional feature. As standard, the 2023 GLC gets a new four-link suspension at the front and a multi-link independent suspension at the rear.
Traffic Sign Assist
Traffic Sign Assist detects conventionally signposted speed limits as well as signs on overhead gantries and in roadworks. Conditional instructions and warnings against driving through stop signs and red lights is also part of Traffic Sign Assist.
Improved Trailer Manoeuvring Assist
Improved trailer maneuvering assistant is optional (unavailable in the USA), one that can handle freely selectable cornering maneuvers up to 90 degrees. Integrated into MBUX, the new system automatically regulates the vehicle’s steering angle up to a speed of 5 km/h (3 mph) and an uphill grade of up to 15%. Convenience features include the Easy-Pack tailgate for the remote-operated open/close function of the tailgate with a button on the key fob or the switch in the driver’s door or the tailgate’s release handle.
New Safety systems
A myriad of active and passive safety features are available in the 2023 Mercedes GLC, with new, upgraded, and carried-over technologies to make it the safest C-Class-based SUV. One of the highlights is the Pre-Safe Impulse Side, which forms a sort of virtual crumple zone in the event of an accident. The driver or front passenger has moved away from danger before the crash when the system detects an imminent side collision. There are air chambers in the side bolsters of the front seat backrests, and they inflate within the blink of an eye when required.
An updated Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC maintains a preset distance from vehicles in front at speeds up to 60 mph instead of 30 mph previously. Lane detection is a new feature of Active Steering Assist, and it works at speeds up to 130 mph. It recognizes an additional lane with the 360-degree camera and particularly provides advantages in the low-speed range. Increased lane-centering on highways is another advantage of Active Steering Assist.
The GLC hasn’t changed drastically from the previous model on the dimensions front. The 2023 Mercedes GLC is 2.4 in. longer than its predecessor. Also up are the track widths, 0.24 in. at the front and 0.91 in. at the rear. The overhangs are longer at both front (+ 0.59 in.) and rear (+1.3 in.). The redesigned model has a lower drag coefficient of 0.29 Cd (2022 GLC: 0.31 Cd).
Customers can expect noticeable improvements on the inside. Mercedes-Benz has addressed a big shortcoming of the GLC, the space for rear-seat passengers and luggage. Increasing the wheelbase by 0.59 in. was the first step. Thanks to the larger rear overhang, the trunk capacity has increased by 2.5 cu. ft., which is a significant improvement.
|Dimension\Measurement||Second-gen GLC||First-gen GLC||Difference|
|Length||185.7 in.||183.3 in.||+2.4 in.|
|Width||74.4 in.||74.4 in.||0 in.|
|Height||64.4 in.||64.7 in.||-0.1 in.|
|Wheelbase||113.7 in.||113.1 in.||+0.6 in.|
|Track, front||64.1 in.||63.8 in.||+0.3 in.|
|Track, rear||65.6 in.||63.7 in.||+1.9 in.|
|Headroom, front, driver||41.3 in.||41.9 in.||-0.6 in.|
|Headroom, rear||39.65 in.||39.61 in.||+0.04 in.|
|Legroom, front||40.7 in.||40.8 in.||-0.1 in.|
|Legroom, rear||37.4 in.||37.3 in.||+0.1 in.|
|Elbow room, front||59.0 in.||59.0 in.||0 in.|
|Elbow room, rear||58.3 in.||58.0 in.||+0.3 in.|
|Shoulder room, front||57.3 in.||57.2 in.||+0.1 in.|
|Shoulder room, rear||56.6 in.||56.5 in.||+0.1 in.|
|Luggage Capacity||21.9 in.||19.4 in.||+2.5 in.|
Engine & Transmission
Mercedes-Benz has started distancing itself from large engines in mid-size models to prepare for an all-electric future. Customers desiring performance need to opt for hybrid powertrains during this transition. The company employs electrification with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies to achieve higher performance and meet new emission targets.
Electrification is standard across the 2023 GLC range. In the U.S., customers can select between GLC 300 (RWD) and GLC 300 4MATIC (AWD) mild-hybrid variants.
The GLC 300 and GLC 300 4MATIC share the M254 2.0-liter gasoline engine that produces 255 hp at 5,800 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,000-3,200 rpm. A 48-volt battery pack and an integrated starter-generator enable mild-hybrid technology functions such as gliding, boost, and recuperation. The ISG gives a boost with 23 hp of extra power and 148 lb.-ft. of additional torque.
The 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic is standard equipment in the 2023 GLC. The electric motor and power electronics lie inside the transmission housing. The thermal management of these two components happens via the transmission cooling system. The 2023 GLC delivers a combined fuel economy (EPA-est.) of 28 MPG in the RWD variant and 26 MPG in the 4MATIC AWD variant.
|Aspect/Specification||GLC 300/GLC 300 4MATIC|
|Engine Power||255 hp at 5,800 rpm|
|Engine Torque||295 lb.-ft. at 2,000-3,200 rpm|
|Electric Motor Power||23 hp|
|Electric Motor Torque||148 lb.-ft.|
|Transmission||9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic|
|Drive/Front:rear Power Distribution||RWD/AWD – 45:55|
|0-62 mph Acceleration Time||6.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph (electronically limited)|
|Combined Fuel Economy (EPA-est.)||28 MPG/26 MPG|
2023 Mercedes GLC release date
The 2023 Mercedes GLC is available in the U.S. in Standard, Premium, and Pinnacle trims, with prices starting at USD 47,100 (excl. USD 1,150 destination and delivery charge). Mercedes-Benz says it has significantly upgraded the standard equipment of the GLC. In addition to the large displays, wireless charging, heated front seats, Easy-Pack tailgate, are standard.
|Configuration||2023 Mercedes GLC Price|
|GLC 300 Standard||USD 47,100|
|GLC 300 4MATIC Standard||USD 49,100|
|GLC 300 Pinnacle||USD 49,350|
|GLC 300 4MATIC Pinnacle||USD 51,350|
|GLC 300 Exclusive||USD 51,450|
|GLC 300 4MATIC Exclusive||USD 53,450|
Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the U.S. have started receiving the 2023 Mercedes GLC. We’ve seen it being available at Mercedes-Benz of Arcadia in Arcadia, California, Mercedes-Benz Of White Plains in White Plains, New York, Mercedes-Benz of San Diego in San Diego, California, Mercedes-Benz of Naples, in Naples, Florida, and many other showrooms.
There are three production sites for the 2023 Mercedes GLC worldwide: Bremen (Germany), Sindelfingen (Germany), and Beijing (China). The U.S. gets its supply from the Sindelfingen factory.
A report JESMB released on November 29, 2021, suggested that the next-gen GLC would remain on sale for about seven years, until 2029.
The GLC is the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in the United States. In 2022, the three-pointed star sold 65,531 units of the mid-size SUV in the country, which marked a 26.5% year-over-year growth (January-December 2021: 51,805 units).
In Q1 2023, Mercedes-Benz delivered just 3,649 units of the GLC in the U.S., 78.4% lower than in Q1 2022. It’s safe to assume this steep decline in the sales of the popular mid-size luxury SUV was due to the transition to the new generation.
We remember driving the GLC back in 2016 (the first time we felt and saw the car), and were immediately impressed with its cabin quality, space and driving manners. Mercedes had then taken the C-Class into the domain of crossovers successfully for all markets (LHD and RHD), and ever since, the crave for them hasn’t reduced.
The GLC, the company’s best-selling model in the U.S. (as of September 2022), has just gotten even more appealing, featuring a more digital and upscale-looking interior, more efficient engines with standard mild-hybrid tech, and improved comfort and safety. Plus, by introducing new advanced technologies like rear-axle steering and transparent hood, Mercedes-Benz has made the GLC easier and more exciting to drive, both on and off the road.
In our opinion, the 2023 Mercedes GLC is promising if you’re in the market for a new mid-size luxury SUV.
2023 Mercedes GLC FAQs
What is the 2023 Mercedes GLC release date?
The new GLC has started reaching U.S. dealers.
What are the 2023 Mercedes GLC alternatives?
What is the base 2023 Mercedes GLC price?
The 2023 GLC starts at USD 47,100 (excl. USD 1,150 destination and delivery charge) in the U.S. market.
Featured Image Source: Mercedes-Benz Group