The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Compact SUV

One niche that Mercedes-Benz seem to miss out on is the compact SUV market. Competitors like BMW and Audi already have a slice of the pie. But, just because Mercedes-Benz is late to the party doesn’t mean it hasn’t got a model to offer!

A new entrant to the market, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is available in many countries. So, can it deliver something different to the market? Here are the car’s main selling points; I’ll let you decide the answer for yourself!

Engine choice and performance

At the time of writing, there are just two engine options available on the new GLC-Class. The first is a 2.1-litre diesel unit that produces 168 horsepower. The 0-62mph time isn’t too bad at 8.3 seconds, and it offers a top speed of 130mph. The engine is available on the 220 d 4Matic SE.

The other power plant is identical in some ways but offers an extra 34 horsepower. The 0-62mph time is quicker at 7.6 seconds, and it has a higher top speed of 138mph.

While the second engine looks a better bet on paper, you’ll seldom notice any difference.

One selling point of both engines is that it’s quiet compared to the diesels used in other models! Mercedes-Benz has added extra soundproofing and better engine mounts to achieve that goal.

Mercedes says that the GLC-Class will have more engine choices in the future. There will even be a hybrid variant on offer too.

Transmission and drivetrain

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted both engines have “4Matic” gearboxes. There is no manual transmission available for the GLC-Class at present. But, what you do get is a 9G-Tronic automatic. Yes, that’s right; a nine-speed auto! As with many modern autos, you can also shift up and down as you would in a manual.

All trim levels also come with four-wheel drive as standard. It’s a “permanent” system that uses torque vectoring. One can also buy an optional “Off-Road Package” to add extra transmission features. Examples include off-road, rocking assist and trailer modes.

On the road

As you might expect from a modern Mercedes, the handling feels smooth. Yes, it doesn’t have sports car-like handling. But, the GLC-Class is an SUV, not a sports car. Its aim is to offer refined driving, even for off-road conditions.

The ride feels comfortable and pleasant, and the car feels firm on the ground. There are three different driving “modes” you can select from the gearbox. They serve to further enhance your ride quality for any given driving conditions.

When you drive the GLC-Class off the road, it handles just as well, if not better, than its competitors. You won’t have to worry about getting stuck on slippery surfaces with this car!


If you’re looking for a new compact SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is worth considering. It features the same build quality and attention to detail found in other current models. And it also offers an array of technology and gadgets to meet most people’s driving needs.

Cover Photo courtesy of Zona Photo.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.