The Mercedes-Benz GLC – currently Australia’s top-selling European luxury car – has been revamped with a new look, more tech and mild-hybrid power, but likely higher prices to match.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC has been revealed overnight, ahead of first arrivals in Australian showrooms in the first half of next year.
Replacing what has typically been Australia’s most popular luxury SUV, the second-generation GLC infuses exterior styling, interior design, technology and engines from the latest C-Class sedan into most Mercedes-Benz buyers’ preferred choice of body style.
Pricing for Australia is yet to be confirmed, however the $12,000 to $15,000 price rises applied to the new C-Class suggest the new GLC will cost a fair bit more than its predecessor, currently priced from $78,114 plus on-road costs for the base GLC200.
The Australian model range is yet to be confirmed, though it’s expected the current car’s GLC200 and GLC300 petrol options will be retained, with the door open for one of Europe’s petrol plug-in hybrid options, now badged GLC300e and GLC400e. Diesel was axed in 2019.
As reported, the new GLC follows its C-Class sibling in ditching six- and eight-cylinder engines in favour of an all-four-cylinder line-up – including the AMG models, set to follow from next year with plug-in hybrid tech and up to 500kW.
Technology highlights of the new model include dual interior screens inspired by the S-Class limo, optional rear-wheel steering, Digital Light matrix headlights, optional air suspension, and plenty of advanced driving assistance aids.
For everything you need to know about the new 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC, browse the easy subheadings below.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC design
Unsurprisingly, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC adapts the C-Class sedan’s styling cues onto an SUV body style – with a more aerodynamic GLC ‘Coupe’ rumoured to follow once again.
LED headlights are standard, with Mercedes-Benz’s latest ‘Digital Light’ units available as option, which use 1.3 million micro-mirrors to project warning symbols or navigation directions onto the road at night.
Alloy wheels between 18 and 20 inches in diameter are available, contributing to an 0.29Cd drag coefficient, aided by wheel spoilers, underbody panelling and grille shutters.
An AMG Line styling pack is optional – with a Night black-out package as an option, and standard body-coloured wheel arch trim – along with scrolling animations for the tail-lights, and power running boards.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC interior
The new GLC borrows heavily from the C-Class (and larger S-Class), with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display ahead of the driver, and a 11.9-inch centre touchscreen running Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system.
The system incorporates wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation with augmented reality tech, over-the-air updates, a fingerprint scanner, online music streaming, a ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant, and the ability to connect remotely to smart home devices.
Other interior tech highlights include a colour head-up display, panoramic sunroof wireless phone charging, 64-colour ambient lighting, various ‘Energizing’ air quality and ‘wellness’ modes, and either a nine-speaker, 225-watt unbranded or 15-speaker, 710-watt Burmester surround sound system.
The front seats – trimmed in a leather-like material – can be had with heating and driver massaging functionality, joining seat heating for rear occupants. Various leather, wood or aluminium surfaces are available for key touch points.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC size and practicality
The new Mercedes-Benz GLC measures 4716mm long, 1890mm wide and 1640mm tall, riding on a 2888mm wheelbase – 60mm longer overall, 4mm lower and 15mm longer in wheelbase than the outgoing model, though no wider. Track widths have increased front and rear.
But despite the larger body, front headroom is down 16mm, and of the 15mm increase in wheelbase, only 2mm translates to more rear-seat legroom. Boot space does increase by 50 litres to 600L, owing to the larger overhangs.
Assisting practicality is a 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat with individually-adjustable backrest angles, plus an optional power-operated load cover blind, and a power tailgate.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC engines
The new GLC will launch in Europe with a choice of six powertrains: two petrol engines, one diesel, and three plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) split across petrol and diesel power.
The Australian range is yet to be confirmed, however the bulk of sales are expected to go to GLC200 and GLC300 petrols, both based around 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines with nine-speed automatic transmissions, all-wheel drive and 48-volt mild-hybrid systems.
Outputs are rated at 150kW/320Nm in the GLC200 and 190kW/400Nm in the GLC300 – with a further 17kW/200Nm available for brief periods through the 48-volt system – good for 7.8 and 6.2-second 0-100km/h times, and fuel use claims between 8.2 and 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres.
Of the three PHEVs, it’s one of the two petrols that’s most likely to reach Australia – the GLC300e or GLC400e – with 2.0-litre turbo engines and 31.2kWh battery packs offering as much as 120km of claimed driving range.
The GLC300e pairs the GLC200’s engine with a 100kW electric motor for 230kW/550Nm combined, while the GLC400e combines a 185kW/400Nm turbo engine with the same e-motor to produce 280kW and 650Nm. 0-100km/h times are as low as 5.6 seconds.
A 60kW DC public fast charger can recharge the 31.2kWh battery to full capacity in around 30 minutes, with 11kW three-phase AC home charging also available.
Drive modes in the PHEVs include Hybrid (which combines the engine and e-motor for maximum efficiency), Electric (full EV at speeds up to 140km/h) and Battery Hold (which maintains the battery’s state of charge for use later on). Up to 100kW of regenerative braking is available.
European buyers can also opt for a 145kW/440Nm GLC220d mild-hybrid diesel, or a 245kW/750Nm GLC300de plug-in hybrid diesel – however these aren’t expected to be offered in Australia.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC suspension, chassis and towing
Under the skin, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC shares its bones with the latest C-Class, with four-link front and multi-link independent rear suspension incorporating coil springs as standard.
Adaptive air suspension can be optioned (or fitted as standard on the PHEVs) – unlike the C-Class – while rear-wheel steering with up to 4.5 degrees of rotation is available as part of the Engineering Package, cutting the turning circle by 90cm to 10.9 metres.
For buyers looking to head off road, an off-road drive mode, hill-descent control and an off-road screen – showing gradient, roll, altitude, a compass and more – are standard, with an optional Off-road Engineering package increasing the ride height by 20mm.
The 360-degree camera integrates a ‘transparent bonnet’ feature, which uses the front camera to show rocks or potholes in front of the vehicle that would typically be obscured by the car’s bodywork.
Towing capacity is rated at up to 2400kg for petrol models, through an optional tow hitch, and a Trailer Manoeuvring Assist feature that makes reversing with a caravan or horse box easier.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC safety features
Available advanced safety systems in the new GLC include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist (at speeds of up to 210km/h) – with lane centring on motorways, and “significantly increased availability and cornering performance” on country roads.
The traffic sign recognition system now supports roadworks or overhead gantry signs, plus speed limits applicable only in ‘wet conditions’, by analysing vehicle sensors. Automatic parking is also available.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC release date in Australia
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC range is due in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2023. A sleeker ‘coupe’ body style – along with AMG 43 and 63 performance models – are rumoured to follow at a later date.
Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch, but if the related C-Class sedan is a guide, expect to pay a fair amount more than the $78,114 plus on-road costs base price of the current GLC200.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.