Driving position and dashboard
You sit suitably high up, even though the driver’s seat isn’t as far from the road as it is in some large SUVs such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
You shouldn’t in theory have much bother finding a comfortable driving position, either; every GLC has front seats that are at least part electrically adjustable, and include four-way adjustable lumbar support to help keep your posture good on longer journeys. There’s a good range of steering wheel movement, although the pedals are offset a little too far to the right. We’d also point out that the seats in entry-level Sport models are rather thin and unsupportive, and can’t be upgraded.
AMG Line Premium Plus trim and above adds memory seats, which can remember exactly where everything was and reposition it for you automatically after someone else has been driving. The standard instruments are analogue, with a screen in the middle that can show a variety of information. However, AMG Line Premium and above get a 12.3in digital instrument cluster that has crystal clear graphics and is highly configurable, but is a little trickier to navigate than Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
You’re treated to a commanding view of the road ahead, but the way the windscreen pillars are angled back further than is the case in many SUVs has the effect of restricting visibility at junctions. It’s certainly easier to see out of a Q5.
Over-the-shoulder vision is perfectly adequate by the standards of the class, and all models come with a reversing camera for a bit of extra help. All trims also have front and rear parking sensors as well as a system that helps steer the car into a parking space for you.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every GLC gets a 10.3in colour screen with sat-nav. It’s mounted high up on the dashboard and is controlled using a touchpad mounted between the front seats. This touchpad is duplicated in miniature on the steering wheel and you can also operate the system through a touchscreen or with your voice. Although the overall system isn’t quite as easy to use as the rotary dial interface found in the BMW X3, you’d be surprised at how much you can do without taking your hands off the wheel.
The menus are, for the most part, easy to navigate and the graphics are certainly pin sharp. However, you have to jump to at least AMG Line Premium trim to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as you can’t add it as an option to lesser models. That’s disappointing given that all versions of the Audi Q5 get such smartphone integration as standard.
For sheer visual wow factor, the GLC’s interior beats all of its rivals, treating your eyes to a giant gloss black (or matt black wood) centre console, with eye-catching metal highlights sprinkled across the dashboard. However, It’s true that you’ll notice unwelcome creaks if you prod some of the fixtures (including the aforementioned centre console), so we’d recommend the Audi Q5 or BMW X3 if you’re more impressed by quality than style.
Most trim levels get seats trimmed in a material that Mercedes calls Artico. This looks like leather but is actually a man-made substitute, although it doesn’t feel too plasticky. The real deal is available if you’re prepared to pay extra for AMG Line Premium trim.