WHETHER your car is big or small, SUV (sport utility vehicle) design dominates trends among automakers around the world.
According to its manufacturer, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC is its “most dynamic” model to date in its “family” of SUVs.
The new GLC sets the stage for cars rolling off the German automaker’s production line.
One of the main reasons for this is that the new GLC is only available as a hybrid, meaning either as a plug-in hybrid or a mild hybrid.
And the GLC offers something I haven’t experienced yet and that’s pure electric off-road driving.
The GLC, says Mercedes-Benz, is at home on any terrain, on-road or off-road, and new rear-axle steering makes it more maneuverable and safer.
The GLC has been the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model for the past two years and has been purchased by 2.6 million customers.
And the car is packed with technology. The latest generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system makes it more digital and intelligent.
Mercedes-Benz claims that in this car, hardware and software have taken a “great leap forward”.
There are brilliant images on the driver and center display for easy control and for using comfort functions.
Two LCD screens offer information presented in a “structured and clear” manner. Full-screen navigation provides the driver with the “best possible route guidance”.
MBUX Augmented Reality for navigation is available as an option. A camera records the environment in front of the vehicle.
The central screen displays moving images and also overlays virtual objects, information and markers.
These include traffic signs, directional arrows, lane change recommendations and house numbers. This can make navigation easier, especially in urban areas.
The “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant is based on state-of-the-art algorithms and adapts to the wishes and preferences of the user. Music streaming providers can be integrated with MBUX.
Jörg Bartels, Head of Global Vehicle Integration, said: “The new GLC has all the attributes that make a Mercedes-Benz SUV what it is: driving safety without compromising on road, exceptional driving dynamics and superior off-road performance. its high level of ride comfort and convincing overall acoustics, the GLC is a superb long-distance companion and great fun to drive.”
The dashboard is clearly structured: the upper part has a wing-shaped profile with new flattened round nozzles reminiscent of the engine nacelles of an aircraft. The lower section features a generous trim area that blends harmoniously into the curved center console.
The 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) high-resolution LCD screen in front of the driver appears to float freely in front of the wing profile and trim area.
The 11.9-inch (30.2 cm) center display rises seamlessly and seamlessly from the center console, and also appears to float above the trim area. Like the dashboard, the screen surface is angled slightly towards the driver.
The GLC comes standard with the EASY-PACK tailgate. This opens or closes at the touch of a button, using the ignition key button, the driver’s door switch or the tailgate release handle.
The car’s standard equipment has been improved: popular features include large screens, smartphone integration, wireless charging and heated front seats.
The new GLC is available either as a plug-in hybrid or as a mild hybrid with 48-volt technology and integrated alternator-starter.
The engine range includes four-cylinder units from the current Mercedes-Benz engine family FAME (Family of Modular Engines).
Four engines in the range are mild-hybrid units, which receive intelligent assistance in the low-rev range from a second-generation Integrated Starter Generator (ISG).
Three other engine variants are full hybrid units with an additional 100 kW of electric power and an electric range of over 100 kilometres.
The ISG ensures excellent power delivery. The system includes the 48-volt electrical system, which enables functions such as “gliding”, boost or recuperation and therefore significant fuel savings.
In addition, the engines start very quickly and comfortably using ISG, so that the start-stop function is almost imperceptible to the driver, as is the transition from “planing” with the engine stationary to powerful propulsion with engine power. At idle, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures smooth operation.
The GLC also received the fourth-generation plug-in hybrid drive. By using the identical base engines, electrification, says the German automaker, “has taken another big step.”
With an electric power now of 100 kW, a torque of 440 Nm and an all-electric range of more than 100 kilometers (WLTP), daily journeys can be managed mostly in all-electric mode.
The Enhanced Hybrid Drive Mode offers an electric drive mode for the most suitable sections of the route. Electric driving is preferred on long journeys in urban areas, for example.
Whether with one of the two petrol engines or the diesel: as plug-in hybrids they are very efficient and dynamic on the road.