Mercedes GLC 2019 infotainment

Mercedes-Benz GLC review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£39,820
What Car? Target Price£36,355
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Across the board, the GLC’s CO2 emissions are comparable to its key Audi Q5 and BMW X3 rivals. However, as all are hefty four-wheel drives with 2.0-litre engines, you’ll need to look elsewhere for really low CO2 emissions, maybe at the Lexus RX or DS 7 Crossback. It is worth bearing in mind that the diesel engines are RDE2 compliant so is free from the 4% diesel surcharge attached to Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company car tax until at least 2021, however. Claimed fuel economy doesn’t stand out compared to its rivals either.

The GLC could make reasonable sense to a private buyer, though. It costs a similar amount to a BMW X3 but, while the GLC is predicted to depreciate faster than the Q5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport, Merc’s finance deals are usually competitive. So if you’re looking to buy on a PCP, be sure to compare it against rivals.

As if often the case with Mercedes models, servicing costs are higher than the class average.

Equipment, options and extras

If you’re mainly interested in value, entry-level Sport will do fine. It offers plenty of luxuries, including climate control, 18in alloys, heated front seats, keyless start, a reversing camera and cruise control. However, you can only get it with the weakest diesel engine.

AMG Line models could be worth considering for the adaptive dampers they give you, but the main tweaks are to their styling. It may be worth paying a little extra for the AMG Line Premium; it adds LED headlights and a 12.3in digital instrument cluster. The higher-end models are too expensive to recommend, though.

Unfortunately the options list available for the GLC is very limited; GLC Sport models can have a towbar fitted, and you can add a driving assistance pack to all variants.

Mercedes GLC 2019 infotainment

Reliability

Mercedes as a brand finished a disappointing 26th place out of 31 manufacturers in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey; behind BMW and Audi but above Land Rover. The GLC finished closer to mid-table in the Large SUV class, though, and was the best-performing of the premium manufacturers. That said, the popular BMW X5 and Q5 weren’t included in our results at all.

The GLC comes with a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty and three years of breakdown cover, which is similar to the cover provided for most rivals.

Safety and security

All GLCs come with a collision prevention system that can automatically apply the brakes to if it detects an impending impact with traffic ahead. All versions have seven airbags and a system that can detect if you’re getting drowsy on a long journey, too.

This all helped the GLC score impressive marks in Euro NCAP safety tests. It was awarded a five star overall rating, collecting scores of 95% for adult protection, 89% for child protection and 82% for pedestrian protection in a crash. All of these scores were higher than the rival Land Rover Discovery Sport managed. You can also add an optional driving assistance pack to all models; it includes blind spot monitoring, active lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control with steering assistance.

An alarm and engine immobiliser are standard on all versions, while security experts Thatcham awarded the GLC five out of five stars for resisting being stolen, and four out of five for resisting being broken into.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

 

open the gallery10 Images

Verdict

As premium SUVs go, the GLC isn’t the best all-rounder – regular versions lag behind rivals, particularly on practicality and driving dynamics. But good engines and a pleasant interior still make it worth considering. Meanwhile, if pace is everything to you (and running costs aren’t) then certainly look at the exceptionally quick AMG-powered options.

  • Well equipped
  • Punchy engines
  • Stylish interior
  • Less spacious for rear seat passengers than rivals
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on cheaper versions
  • Poor steering

What's important to you?

Performance & drive
Interior
Passenger & boot space