Mercedes-Benz will bring its GLC luxury SUV to dealers in November as a 2016 model-year replacement to the GLK-Class with a greater range of features and significantly lighter-weight construction for improved fuel economy.
The GLC mid-size SUV will initially be offered in two models — the rear-wheel GLC300 and all-wheel-drive GLC300 4Matic. Mercedes-Benz will also offer the GLC350e plug-in hybrid in the fall of 2016 in California and nine other zero-emission states.
Mercedes-Benz is revamping the engine lineup for the GLC, and will offer a single engine at launch — a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 241 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine will be paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The GLC weighs in at 176 pounds lighter than the outgoing GLK. Much of the weight reduction comes with extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel in the vehicle's body. Mercedes-Benz also extended the wheelbase by 4.6 inches and lowered the chassis by 0.6 inches.
The GLC will arrive with two assistance systems to improve ride, handling and vehicle efficiency, including the Air Body Control air suspension system and Dynamic Select engine and suspension modes.
The vehicle comes standard with the automaker's "agility control" suspension that uses steel springs and a variable damping system. GLC buyers can add Air Body Control, which adds a multi-chamber air suspension system to provide better stability and sporty agility, according to the automaker.
The new standard Dynamic Select system offers drivers five modes, including Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual settings. The Sport and Sport+ modes lower the suspension 0.8 inches.
In the interior, the driver and front passenger can access infotainment via a 7-inch color media display. Navigation is powered by Garmin's Map Pilot.
Mercedes-Benz has increased entry and exit space for rear passengers by 1.3 inches and added more foot space. Capacity behind the rear bench seat has increased by 2.8-3.9 cubic feet using European measurement standards.