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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300: First Look

  • It’s mid-generation revamp time for the GLC-Class.
  • More power, more tech.
  • On sale later this year.

Making its debut at the Geneva Auto Show, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 represents a midcycle makeover for the GLC-Class premium compact crossover. To be precise, it should really be called the GLC 300 SUV, to differentiate it from the so-called "Coupe" version that has a more sloping roof and will no doubt make its own debut at some point soon.

For now, though, the GLC SUV deserves our attention, since as well as a re-styled front end that includes a new grille and smaller LED headlamps along with a revised rear fascia and taillights, this 2020 version brings an array of new technology.

What Are the New Features?

Let’s start with the infotainment system that comes with a standard-issue 10.25-in touchscreen (the 2019 model has a 7-in display) and the newest generation of voice recognition, giving rise to the crossover’s new digital assistant (like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa). Just say "Hey Mercedes" and the system is ready for a command.

A new multi-function steering wheel is also standard, along with an updated touchpad for the infotainment system.

What Else Has Changed?

The engine. It’s still a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder unit, but this one makes 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 14-hp bump over the outgoing version, although torque remains the same. Mercedes-Benz also claims that the 2020 engine has better fuel economy, but there are no EPA figures for it right now. It will have to do better than 24 miles per gallon in combined driving (rear-drive or all-wheel drive) to improve on the 2019 GLC 300.

Among the options for the 2020 GLC-Class are a 12.3-in digital driver information display, a more sophisticated version of the digital assistant, an off-road package, parking assistance, driver assistance features (blind spot monitoring is standard, however), 64-color ambient cabin lighting, wireless charging, heated rear seats, plus fresh choices for the upholstery, trim, paint and wheel designs.

Heated front seats are standard in the new GLC-Class, as is a powered lift gate, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.

Why Should the GLC-Class Be on My Shopping List?

It’s based on the same platform as the C-Class compact sedan, which makes leaps and bounds in refinement and safety with every successive generation. For a smooth, sophisticated crossover that’s also practical without being cumbersome, the GLC is an excellent choice. Rivals include the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Lexus NX.

When Is It Available and How Much Will It Cost?

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 SUV and the AWD GLC 300 4Matic go on sale in the U.S. toward the end of 2019. It’s too early for official pricing yet, but the 2019 GLC 300 SUV starts at $41,545 and we don’t anticipate any wild departures from there.

Mercedes-Benz has only unveiled these two variants at the moment, but a plug-in hybrid and a hot AMG version are probably in the pipeline. Find a Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class for sale

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