2019 Mercedes GLC facelift takes on new BMW X3

The revised Mercedes GLC SUV arrives with big tech updates and new four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines

This is the refreshed Mercedes GLC, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. The Stuttgart brand’s rival for the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Audi Q5 has gained a hefty overhaul and it’ll be for sale in dealers in mid-2019. In a similar vein to the closely-related C-Class, which was updated last year, the changes introduce significantly updated tech, a new range of four-cylinder engines and mildly revised styling.

From the outside, the GLC remains much the same as before, but there are subtle changes to the grille, lights and bumpers. At the front, the reshaped headlamps feature full-LED tech, while the daytime running lights draw an extended ‘C’ shape in place of the previous single swoop. The new bumper features reshaped vents to either side of the main intake.

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The sides gain chrome elements spanning the length of the lower sills, and new alloy wheel designs ranging from 17 to 20 inches are offered. Around the back, the tail lights – also featuring LED tech – get a new lighting signature, and sit above a reprofiled bumper.

Unsurprisingly, the interior changes mirror those applied to the updated C-Class with which the GLC largely shares its dashboard layout. That means the overall layout remains similar to before, but the GLC now benefits from the latest version of Mercedes’s MBUX infotainment system. This means that the new central display, which has grown from 8.4 inches to 10.25 inches, is now touch sensitive, and can respond to both gesture and improved voice commands.

A 12.3-inch digital driver’s display is now offered in place of the previous car’s analogue clocks, and its three sections can be customised to display varying information. These menus can be tweaked through the updated steering wheel, which features a mix of physical and touch-sensitive controls first seen on the S-Class. Elsewhere, there are a couple of new material options, including two new wood finishes for the dashboard.

Mercedes says that the engine line-up is both more powerful and more fuel efficient than before. While six and eight cylinder-powered AMG models will follow in due course, the initial GLC line-up will be four-cylinder only. Two petrol engines, the GLC 200 and 300, use a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit making 194bhp and 254bhp, while the three diesel options range from 161bhp to 242bhp. Every model is equipped with all-wheel drive.

Petrol versions make use of Mercedes’ EQ 48-volt mild hybrid system. This integrated starter/alternator unit can recover up to 10kW of energy when decelerating, which can then be deployed below 2,500prm to reduce the effort required of the combustion engine. This, combined with a smoother start/stop function, helps fuel consumption: both new petrol models manage 39.8mpg on the WLTP test cycle. The most efficient models will still be the diesels, though: the GLC 200 d and 220 d are each claimed to achieve up to 54.3mpg.

The GLC’s suspension has received attention, too. The brand’s latest version of Dynamic Body Control adaptive dampers can adjust the rate of control individually to each of the four wheels.

A host of improved safety features are fitted to the updated GLC. These include an exit warning function, which prevents opening the doors into oncoming pedestrians and cyclists; emergency corridor function, which can steer between lanes in an emergency; and the tail end of a traffic jam function, which can brake when approaching stationary vehicles, among others. Also new is Trailer Manoeuvring Assist, which can help with reversing manoeuvres while towing.

Prices for the revised GLC range have yet to be confirmed, but the current GLC starts from £37,340 and this is likely to be similar for the newcomer.

Do you like the look of the updated Mercedes GLC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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