What's New for 2017
For 2017 the GLC300 is joined by the high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLC43 model. It boasts far more horsepower (362) and a variety of suspension, steering and brake improvements. There is also a GLC-Class Coupe that is reviewed separately.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class now includes two models: the GLC 300 and the Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The GLC300 will continue to provide the elegant, competent and overall well-rounded nature that impressed us during its first year on the market. It's a must-drive to be sure.
However, unlike most other Mercedes-Benz classes, there was a lack of variety to be found with only a single engine and model available. That changes for 2017 with the arrival of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 (we also expect diesel and plug-in hybrid versions in the future). This high-performance model answers the bell rung by the Audi SQ5, BMW X3 xDrive35i M Sport and especially, the Porsche Macan. Though we have yet to test it, if other Mercedes-AMG models are any indication, it's unlikely to disappoint and should only increase the GLC's already lofty appeal.
What's Under the Hood?
In place of the GLC300's 241-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the AMG GLC43 packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 good for 362 hp and 384 pound-feet of torque. This bests all the above competitors, including the Macan S, although the more expensive Macan Turbo still takes the high-performance cake.
As with the GLC300, a nine-speed automatic transmission is standard in the GLC43, but it's been reprogrammed for quicker shifts. All-wheel drive is also standard and there's a different exhaust that emits more muscular, exuberant tones.
What Features Does It Have?
The AMG GLC43 will be available with the same comfort, convenience, safety and entertainment equipment as the GLC300, but it does come with distinctive performance-related equipment. This includes larger brakes, a sport-tuned adjustable air suspension, a special variable-ratio steering system and 20-inch AMG wheels. It also gets special exterior styling elements, sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and unique gauges.
How Much, and When Is It Available?
Expect the GLC43 to arrive in dealerships late in 2017 with a price tag that starts in the mid-to-upper $50,000 range.
What Else Is Out There?
The BMW X3 may not have the same sort of performance credentials as the AMG GLC43, but the xDrive35i trim's 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder has long punched well above its weight class, and with the M Sport package should be able to keep up reasonably well with the go-fastest GLC.
The new Jaguar F-Pace also boasts elegant styling and the promise of a compelling driving experience. Its 3.0-liter supercharged V6 produces 340 hp in the 3.0T model and 380 hp with the S. Both should be competitively priced to the GLC despite having more interior space.
The Porsche Macan S continues to be the standard bearer in this segment for those seeking a compact luxury crossover that puts a priority on performance and driver engagement. It will take a lot to unseat it from its place atop the pack (plus there's a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder base model for 2017).