Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 : Road test review

Compiled by Zahoor Hassan

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 is sold in India at a price of 50.37 lakhs (ex-India)


Consumer demand for all-wheel-drive crossovers and SUVs is such that every segment, from subcompact to full-size luxury, is experiencing steady increases. The compact luxury crossover segment is particularly buoyant and very competitive, here we have the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, the first model of the GLC was introduced globally in late 2015 as a replacement for the stylish and popular GLK.


With the GLA, GLE, GLS & G-Wagen already in the stable, the three pointed star had a potent SUV line-up Thankfully, the German automaker decided to strategize the naming convention, for the good. The G in the GLC is “Gelandewagen” which translates to terrain vehicle. It’s here to bridge the gap between the stylish GLA and the butch looking GLE to compete against the likes of Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC 60.


Likes [+]

  • Excellent fit-and-finish. True German build quality is evident in every angle
  • Petrol engine has enough grunt for those expressway drives
  • Paddle shifts are a boon for overtaking
  • Coupe like styling makes it a true head-turner
  • Safety rating of 5 stars in the NCAP with 7 airbags and other equipment list on board
  • The most practical SUV from the Mercedes-Benz stable

Dislikes [-]

  • Tyre well for the spare wheel is sorely missed as the spare tyre takes up a substantial amount of boot space
  • Spare tyre is not a normal tyre. Badged as “temporary use only” which would be a hurdle in those long Himalayan expeditions
  • Thanks to the tall transmission tunnel at the rear, the 5th passenger will not be very comfortable in those long trips
  • The Indian version misses out on the air suspension which is available in the international market



The centrally-positioned three-pointed star proudly reflects the new global design language of Mercedes vehicles:DSC_0064

The large three-dimensional radiator grille with black garnish, matt silver and chrome inserts highlight the front. LED high performance lamps provide it a mean stance, complemented so well by arch-shaped daytime running lights:DSC_0319

Looks imposing from the front three quarter view: DSC_0328

The rear is muscular—horizontal orientation of the contour lines and the split LED tail-lamps give it a widened stance. The rear also gets a generous helping of chrome in the lower part of the bumper and on the two exhaust outlets:DSC_0251

The GLC has best-in-class coefficient drag figure of 0.31 and the total aerodynamic drag of 0.794:DSC_0296

The side profile is enhanced by subtle character lines, elegant aluminium-look running boards with rubber studs, and 18-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels:DSC_0009

The two-piece full LED tail-lights take styling cues from the S-Class and have adaptive illumination capability under sudden braking:DSC_0590

The front skid plates offer great amount of protection in off-roading conditions:DSC_0082

Design cues carried from the C-class. One glance and you know its a Mercedes!DSC_0053

Smoked headlamps increase the sport quotient. Observe the DRL’s integrated into the headlamp unit:DSC_0200

All LED lights which Mercedes-Benz calls ILS (Intelligent Light System). They feature automatic cornering capability and variable low beam depending on ambient lighting, weather and driving conditions:DSC_0314

Attention to detail in the tail-lamps add to a subtle touch:DSC_0310

Turn indicators are places on the outer contour of the tail lamp:DSC_0220

Front bumper specially developed with higher angle of approach for off-roading conditions:DSC_0584

Massive road presence with a long wheelbase and short overhangs:DSC_0142

All models feature 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with a basic drive torque split of 45 to 55 percent between front and rear axle. In cooperation with the ESP, ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems, this provides for superior and clearly predictable handling:DSC_0305

The parking sensors at the rear are embedded in the bumper cladding:DSC_0430

The exhaust system with two visible stainless steel tailpipe trims—mounted in the bumper:DSC_0217

Thanks to the quarter-glass at the rear, contributes significantly to the airy interiors:DSC_0241

Observe the “actual” exhaust pipe. Subtle touch of chrome is quite evident:DSC_0299

The aluminium-finish running boards are mounted on the side at the height of the side skirts, thus making it easier to get into the front and rear. Slip-resistant rubber studs ensure a firm foothold:DSC_0239

Integrated rear-wiper with de-froster:DSC_0302

Brake light mounted in the rear spoiler:DSC_0301

The sunroof housing protrudes out when the Panoramic sunroof is opened:DSC_0505

Front parking sensors embedded in the lower portion of the bumper:DSC_0098

Pull-type door handles offer comfortable grip:DSC_0199

Electrically adjustable ORVM with integrated blinker:DSC_0065

The stopping power in the front comes from 342-mm Ventilated Disc and Rear comes from 320-mm Ventilated Disc Brakes. The brakes feel sharp and do a fairly good job:DSC_0515

The 5 spoke alloy wheel with the three-pointed star in the center:DSC_0184

Panel gaps are negligible. Excellent fit and finish:DSC_0511

Daimler signature on the windscreen:DSC_0509

The exterior mirror on the driver’s side and the rear-view mirror are automatically and continuously self-dimming:DSC_0627


If you have been in C-class, the interiors of the GLC will feel like home. Cabin is lifted straight out of the C-Class, but looks classy and is premium in feel. In no other SUV in this segment will you find such fine craftsmanship. The cabin is spacious, and the large glass area adds to the airy feeling:DSC_0466

The steering is perfect to hold. Thanks to the thumb contours and magnitude of multimedia controls coupled with paddle shifters:DSC_0478

Instrument cluster that shows the drive mode, gear, analog and digital speedometer:DSC_0482

Press the ignition and the needle moves all the way and comes back, cool!DSC_0621

Easy-to-read and sporty speedometer with digital fuel guage:DSC_0486

Tachometer red-lines at 6300 rpm:DSC_0488

Despite its relatively sporty styling, there’s plenty of space in the back to accommodate a couple of six-footers. Rear leg room is on a par with the rivals, and although rear head room is slightly less impressive. There’s a chunky transmission tunnel on the floor that a middle seat passenger has to straddle, so the GLC isn’t the best choice if you need to carry three adults in the back on a regular basis:DSC_0435

The GLC’s front seats slide back a very long way, so even seriously tall drivers won’t complain about the amount of leg room on offer. There’s plenty of front head room to accommodate anyone:DSC_0447

Headrest offers excellent support. You won’t be strained in those long journeys:DSC_0311

Auto dimming rear-view mirror:DSC_0494

Rear A/C vents cools the cabin in short time in harsh climatic conditions:DSC_0495

A key focus of the totally new interior design is the dashboard and the center console with its flowing lines, with a large, one-piece console panel performing an elegant sweep from the center air vents to the armrest:DSC_0461

The automatic climate control system with 2 climate zones provides an individual climate on board:DSC_0382

7-inch multimedia system with internet capability comes pre-loaded with GARMIN navigation system operational via touchpad integrated into the central control panel:DSC_0383

The driver and the front passenger can regulate temperature and air distribution independently of one another:DSC_0521

The newly developed innovative touchpad in the handrest over the rotary pushbutton nestles ergonomically in the center console. As on a smartphone, this provides for very simple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gesture:DSC_0520

Various options like radio, music phone and navigation can be selected by rotating the command dial:DSC_0598

Reverse camera with active parking assist:DSC_0604

The parcel tray protects the luggage from the sun. It comprises a retractable cover fitted behind the rear seats which can removed at any time and stowed beneath the luggage compartment floor:DSC_0414

Front seats offer excellent lumbar support and are electrically adjustable:DSC_0517

Exclusive perforated upholstery of man-made leather:DSC_0516

Good-sized door pockets mean there’s enough space to stow a couple of small bottles of water:DSC_0438

Both driver and front passenger get four-way lumbar support, and both the front seats come with a memory function—you can record your favorite sitting position, and the next time you take a seat, at the touch of a button the car will adjust the seat for you:DSC_0473

Power window and electrically adjustable ORVM switches are placed on the driver side door:DSC_0528

Chrome insert on the central locking switch add to the sheer elegance of craftsmanship:DSC_0605

illuminated vanity mirrors:DSC_0608

For those who prefer the old-school key method:DSC_0611

Speaker is integrated in the upper portion of the door:DSC_0613

Upper part of the dashboard and belt-lines in leather with contrasting stitches:DSC_0492

A total of 5 speakers with terrific sound output: DSC_0232

KEYLESS GO starting function. The same contour can be used to insert the key and start:DSC_0617

Ambient light package with three color shades.DSC_0263

Notice the high quality leather upholstery surrounding the power window switches:DSC_0266

Premium leather upholstery and the wooden panel in contrast to the stitches running through gives a premium feel to the interiors:DSC_0439

Illuminated foot-well. Has a dead pedal to keep your left foot. The accelerator and brake pedals are slightly off-set to the right:DSC_0532

The way Mercedes combines indicators and windscreen wiper controls on to one stalk takes a bit of getting used to:DSC_0630

The other serves as a column-mounted gear selector:DSC_0632

Automatic panoramic sliding sunroof:DSC_0451

The rear sunroof does not open but makes the cabin feel spacious:DSC_0444

Folding down the GLC’s rear seats is really easy; you flick a switch in the boot (or another in the rear passenger compartment) and the seatbacks drop down automatically:DSC_0443

The rear seat-backs also split 40/20/40, rather than the usual 60/40 arrangement, which means two rear passengers can enjoy full-size seats while you carry a long, narrow item:DSC_0539

Basket for grocery shopping! Attention to detail by Mercedes is highly appreciated:DSC_0570

12 V socket in cargo area. Will be useful in outdoor camping:DSC_0415

Switch in the cargo area to fold the rear seats:DSC_0416

Ambient lighting in the cargo area will be useful post dusk:DSC_0418

All models come with powered tailgate, retaining nets on the boot floor and a lockable compartment under the floor itself:DSC_0412

The rear seats folded  but with the spare wheel consuming considerable amount of boot space:DSC_0547

The 550 litre boot is exactly the same size as in the BMW X3 and 10 litres bigger than you’ll find in the Audi Q5:DSC_0411

Fold down the standard-fit 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats and you’ll reveal a 1,600 liter boot – again identical to the BMW. Storage is good, too, with plenty of cubbies and trays adequate to carry all the luggage for those long expeditions:DSC_0549

The spare tyre is enclosed in a zipper-bag:DSC_0550

Notice the difference between the actual tyre and the spare tyre:DSC_0564

“Temporary use only”:DSC_0568


Most of the time, driving the GLC feels like driving a big, gentle, luxury SUV – in the best possible way. It’s the way that Mercedes-Benz has dampened out the outside world that makes that so. There’s very little road or wind noise, even at motorway speed, while engine drone is virtually nonexistent at lower revs:DSC_0401

The car here had a 2.0L turbo-charged petrol engine chunking out 245 bhp @5500 rpm and 370 Nm of torque mated to a 9-G tronic gearbox assisted by paddle shifters. It sprints to 100 in just under 6.5 seconds,Thanks to a lower kerb weight. The cabin is also a lot quieter than in the diesel variant and on par with its petrol rivals. Keep the pedal pinned and you can feel the GLC accelerate hard in a linear and progressive way,  till the 6,500 rpm redline and can reach a maximum speed of 222 kmph:DSC_0403

The other option being a 2.2 L turbo-charged diesel engine producing 170 bhp and 400 Nm of torque which is just adequate for some pedal-to-metal driving. The higher torque figures will get come to the rescue in most of the tricky off-roading conditions. It reaches the 0 – 100 mark in 8.2 seconds and can attain a maximum speed of 210 kmph when pushed to its limits.

The stop-start system, which cuts the engine when you come to a halt to save fuel, isn’t the smoothest of its type because when it fires the engine back into life the whole car shudders.


Economy mode – The chauffeur driven mode, the response is too slow for what it deserves. Lacks the punch from the engine.

Comfort mode –  GLC feels like a big, plush, comfortable SUV, and although it does fidget a little at low speeds, it’s largely composed

Sport – engine is eager to be redlined. Steering weighs up and is more direct. Overall the best driving mode although the fuel efficiency is compromised.

Sport +  – The car gets too aggressive. Would be a blind choice on a race track or extra spirited driving.  Gives a lovely crackle from the exhaust on gearchanges, punctuating the engine’s musical wail. We will leave this for the AMG model.

The GLC is also available in an off-road engineering package, in which the body is raised by 20mm. In this package, there are three driving modes—off-road, incline and slippery.



Developed in-house by Mercedes-Benz, The 9G-Tronic is the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission with hydrodynamic torque converter in the premium segment. the nine forward gears in the 9G-Tronic allow a larger gear ratio range with even smaller jumps in engine speed between gears. This results in faster, smoother and more efficient gear changes—as compared to a traditional automatic gearbox—for enhanced driving comfort and reduced noise levels.

The beauty of the 9G-Tronic is that it is able to skip individual gears, and so multiple downshifts are possible for fast and powerful sprints. In fact, from any speed to any speed, the GLC—provided you floor the accelerator—shoots ahead like a cat possessed


The ride feels comfortable and plush though not plaint as the C-class sibling. The suspension is softly sprung and it most certainly is one of the most comfortable cars in its segment. 18-inch pirelli’s do a good job of absorbing sharp undulations. While it’s not particularly playful, it is calm and composed on all but the very worst roads – and thanks to the standard 4MATIC four-wheel drive and raised ride height, can hack it in the rough stuff if you give it an opportunity.



Ground clearance of 201 mm should tick the right boxes in most of the situations:


Steering feedback

The steering feels progressive and there’s no dead zone around the straight-ahead position. It’s not particularly quick or direct but for relaxed yet fast driving, it instills a lot of confidence. However, the GLC isn’t the sportiest SUV around and doesn’t feel agile or playful as a BMW X3. it is more tuned for cruising and not for aggressive driving. When pushed around the corners, the GLC maintains its composure calmly and is capable of tackling the tarmac pretty well. You can really hustle the car around the road and when you do so there is plenty of cornering grip and the body stays nicely tied down.


The 7-inch infotainment screen features various camera modes, including front and rear wide angle views and a 360 degree aerial vision. The camera views come in handy especially while parking, driving in crowded cities and off-roading:DSC_0233


The Mercedes GLC earned a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP’s industry standard crash tests, outscoring its rivals in every key area. The GLC also offers a long list of standard safety and assistance features including parking assist, attention assist, adaptive brake lights, seven airbags and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.

It comes with a collision prevention system that can automatically apply the brakes to help prevent you running into the back of the vehicle in front. There’s also a tyre pressure-monitoring system to alert you early if you have a slow puncture and a system that can detect if you’re getting drowsy on a long journey, too.



Mercedes-Benz continues its winning streak with the GLC, combining excellent design inside and out with a chassis and drivetrain that shows off its strengths brilliantly. The sumptuous interior, paired with the brawny exteriors offer surprising practicality. With the drive-ability in the city and quest for adventure combined with a certain degree of off-roading, the GLC is the compelling alternative to the usual suspects in its class. It’s a “quiet” crossover, literally and figuratively, going about its business without a lot of flash or flair, but with a comfortable sense of purpose that proves quite satisfying in the long run.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Vaibhav Jain says:

    Very well compiled article.
    The images helped. Cheers!!

    Liked by 1 person

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