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Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Avantgarde packs high ride comfort and premium cabin with a familiar look

Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Avantgarde packs high ride comfort and premium cabin with a familiar look
PHOTO: sgCarMart

Rewind all the way back to June 2022. Mercedes-Benz had just revealed this new GLC, coming right off the back of the local launch of the drop-dead gorgeous facelifted CLS and the international reveal of the stunning EQS SUV.

The brand looks to have hit a new high note when it comes to its designs. So, I think you'll relate when I say that I was expecting this GLC to differ from its preceding generation visually by just a little bit more.

Updated design

The easiest way to identify this GLC from its predecessor is via its new front grille, as well as its head lights, which now meet this new grille. Look from the rear and you'll notice that the taillights are also now slimmer than before.

In fairness, both this and the previous iteration of the premium compact SUV are sufficiently charming to look at. And there's quite a bit that is new underneath the body of this GLC as well.

Now based on Mercedes' updated Modular Rear Architecture, this iteration of the GLC gets a redesigned suspension. The car is additionally now 60mm longer (total wheelbase has grown by 15mm), facilitating a growth in total boot space by 70 litres to a new total of 620 litres. That figure towers over the 550 litres and 520 litres that the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 offer respectively.

Elegant interior

Step into the car and the changes become more apparent still. The cabin here has been completely redesigned. At the centre of the dashboard, the infotainment screen now takes the form of an 11.9-inch item, presented in a portrait orientation at the end of a thoroughly cleaned up centre console now free of buttons.

It runs the same MBUX system that we have seen in plenty of other vehicles from the brand, and delivers appealing colours, although the varied layouts of the different sub-menus here mean that intuitiveness is compromised compared to the systems available in the aforementioned rivals.

And you'll be able to appreciate all this while lounging on some rather great seats. The man-made leather offered here as standard feel warm to touch and make a good imitation of animal hide, and the side bolsters are nicely cushioned as well.

Capable drive

But its only after you push the engine start button and hit the open road that the case for this new Mercedes-Benz GLC truly presents itself.

Unlike the GLC300e plug-in hybrid we tested in May of 2023, electrification in this GLC300 comes only in the form of mild hybrid technology, but it works superbly. Engine start/stop cycles are near imperceivable, and the 2.0-litre unit pulls strongly even from low down in the rev range, confirming Mercedes' claim that it delivers a total of 400Nm of torque from just 2,000rpm.

Paired to a nine-speed transmission that is eager to let the rpms rise once you're more aggressive on the accelerator pedal, the GLC feels brisk, whether you're in traffic or out on some flowing roads. If there's criticism to be levied here, its simply that this transmission just isn't quick enough to execute downshifts when they are requested via the paddles on the steering wheel.

High comfort

Not that this should raise much concern amongst potential owners, as I suspect most here will utilise this car more for gentle school runs than hard assaults on a curving road. Driven in a relaxed manner, the aforementioned new suspension will ensure that progress is utterly effortless.

Aided by chunky 60-profile tyres, the GLC simply irons over road imperfections, although control over body roll and dive when coming to a standstill could still be better arrested. Cabin insulation is also high, with only road noise perturbing the stillness of that interior when you're up to speed, and a fairly light steering here also does its fair share to make every drive just downright easy.


At $390,888, this GLC comes with only a 30bhp deficit, but is asking for $9,000 less than its plug-in hybrid variant (all prices as of Aug 28, 2023). Throw in the fact that it comes with a willing drivetrain, high ride comfort, and premium cabin — points that shoppers looking for a premium SUV will place high on their priority list — and this Mercedes-Benz GLC looks set to sell well here, even if it may look a little too similar to the car it replaces.

What we like

  • High ride comfort and cabin insulation
  • Premium material use in the cabin
  • Sizeable 620-litre boot

What we dislike

  • Needs more to visually distinguish itself from its predecessor

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This article was first published in sgCarMart.

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