A clean-sheet redesign for 2016 brings a new look, a new engine, and a new name for Mercedes-Benz?s compact luxury SUV. Previously called GLK, the new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, and will go on sale in the U.S. this November.
As we?ve seen in spy shots and teasers for the GLC (?GL? means SUV, and ?C? means C-Class-size), this new model?s styling closely apes the look of the AUTOMOBILE All-Star-winning C-Class sedan, both inside and out (that?s a good thing). A two-bar front grille holds a big three-pointed star up front and is flanked by familiar-looking ovoid headlights with LED accents. The handsome dashboard design uses the new Comand infotainment interface and looks to be as high-quality and user-friendly as its C-Class stablemate.
The GLC is larger than the GLK, with a 4.6-inch longer wheelbase, but also loses approximately 176 pounds overall thanks to use of aluminum in the body. The increased size also makes for a more spacious rear seat and more room in the cargo area compared with the GLK. Within the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the size increase also helps create some space between the GLC and the smaller, entry-level GLA crossover.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class will launch in the U.S. with only one engine: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the GLC300. This engine, also used in the C-Class and the 2016 SLK-Class, makes 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, making the GLC competitive with other entries like the 240-hp BMW X3 xDrive 28i and the 235-hp Lexus NX 200t. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 will come standard with rear-wheel drive, with 4Matic all-wheel drive available as an option, and all versions come with Mercedes-Benz?s new nine-speed automatic transmission.
Additional engine options will arrive in 2016 and 2017, and should include both a diesel-powered GLC250d and a plug-in hybrid GLC350e to mirror the current C-Class lineup. We also expect to eventually see a high-powered Mercedes-AMG version of the GLC, possibly with turbo V-8 power. A more stylish (and less practical) GLC Coupe bodystyle is also expected to debut within the next year, as previewed by a concept that Mercedes-Benz showed a few months back.
An extensive list of options for the GLC includes the requisite active-safety technology, comprising Mercedes-Benz?s Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, an active parking assist system, pre-collision braking, and a steering assist function, among other systems. Mercedes-Benz will also offer a premium Burmester audio system, a height-adjustable air suspension, and various appearance packages like a sporty-looking AMG Line or a more rugged-looking Night Package.
We don?t have any information yet on pricing, but the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class shouldn?t cost too much more than the GLK-Class, which starts at $38,825. Stay tuned for more information on the new GLC as we near its arrival later this year, and check out the photo gallery below for a closer look at Mercedes-Benz?s newest SUV.