2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC sets the standard for premium compact SUVs
The GLC 300 may be the most important Mercedes-Benz of this decade. Sure, there are others that are faster, bigger, smaller, or sportier, but the GLC is now the bread-and-butter vehicle that will see Mercedes-Benz through the hard economic times that are upon us. It's the best-selling vehicle at dealerships nationwide, accounting for 22% of all Mercedes sales in North America.
The GLC is well-designed to be the volume seller. You can get this crossover in square-backed SUV style, or with a sporty coupe profile, and if you want serious performance, you can get both of those bodies with the AMG performance treatment.
The basic GLC 300 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. With today's engine technology, you don't have to give up performance in the name of fuel economy. The little engine makes 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, and that's passed through a 9-speed automatic transmission, so you're always in the right gear to take advantage of the power. If you get the AMG version, it comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 rated at 469 horsepower. That one will do 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.
You can get the GLC with rear-wheel-drive, but most Portland buyers will prefer the Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The 4Matic system is one of the best reasons to consider a Mercedes, whether you're looking for a car or SUV. It's smooth and offers excellent road-holding under any conditions.
Another good reason to consider the GLC, or any modern Mercedes, is the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system that comes standard. It's got a 10.25-inch touchscreen, plus a controller on the console, but you don't have to use either of those. MBUX is designed to be voice-activated, and it works. You just say, "Hey Mercedes" and you can change the radio station, make a call, get navigation advice, and even turn on the heated seats. Once you get used to just asking the car for what you want, MBUX is far easier than hunting around a traditional infotainment system to change settings.
The new GLC offers impressive driver assistance features. In addition to adaptive cruise control, the GLC offers active steering assistance during lane changes and around gentle curves. It's not self-driving yet, but this car is ready to help you be a smooth and safe driver.
One last feature to call out is Active Speed Limit Assist, which reads the posted speed limit signs and then keeps the Benz at the posted speed or lower. If you tend to get speedy when your favorite song is on the radio, this feature can save you expensive tickets — and it's great if you have a teen driver.
If you're shopping for a premium SUV this year, be sure the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 is on your test-drive list.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic
Base price: $44,500
Price as tested: $63,810
Type: Compact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (255 hp, 273 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 21/28
Overall length: 183.3 inches
Curb weight: 4,028 pounds
Final assembly: Bremen, Germany
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