The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class lives up to the reputation established by its predecessors. Although not much has been changed for the current model year, this is Mercedes Benz abiding by the phrase that if it is not broken, don't fix it. With a fuel efficient base engine, stunningly smooth ride quality, and luxury galore, the GLC is difficult to ignore and should, once again this model year, put its rivals to shame in a number of ways.
What's New for 2019?
As part of the first generation of GLC-Class vehicles introduced back in 2016, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class has not received too many changes. The only significant alteration to the line-up is the addition of the Off-Road Engineering Package, which can be equipped on any of the four-wheel drive models. Also, tri-zone climate control has been introduced this model year. Other than that, only minor tweaks have been made, so the 2019 GLC will resemble the previous year's model.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Mercedes Benz GLC Class – The Pros
1. The Base Engine's Fuel Economy
It is not often that a vehicle's base engine comes so highly recommended, but the one that you get in the GLC 300 puts out an impressive fuel economy that makes it worthy of mention. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC 300 is powered by a 2.0-L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The regular GLC 300 is able to get 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway while the GLC 300 4MATIC garners ever so slightly less at 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Either way, you don't have to buy the hybrid variant in order to get a decent return on fuel.
2. A Sophisticated Exterior Design
The GLC-Class embodies exactly what a compact crossover luxury vehicle should look like. The exterior lines are sleek, and the whole body looks contemporary without being too in-your-face next-gen. Whether you opt for the SUV or the Coupe, you will get something that attracts attention. The Coupe, however, does have a slight edge thanks to its ultra-chic side profile. The front fenders also have sleek curves, and the headlights have slants that enhance the front fascia's curvy nature.
3. Plenty of Rear Seat Space
Taller adults will have no problem sitting in the rear seat of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. In fact, passengers might mistakenly think that they are sitting in the back of the larger GLE-Class SUV. Heads, shoulders, hips, and legs are all given a generous amount of space in the rear seat, so no one should feel crammed in. Head room actually feels about the same up front as it does in the back - a feat which few vehicles in this segment have accomplished.
4. Stellar Handling Capabilities
The new GLCs have some seriously impressive handling capabilities. The vehicle seems pretty adept at tracking through turns and makes you feel like you are driving something smaller than a compact crossover SUV. Whether you are driving down a slow-speed urban street or winding along a mountain road, the GLC-Class will handle it with ease.
5. Superior Ride Comfort
Take the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class out on any type of road surface and pay attention to how smooth of a ride it gives. The smaller sized wheels do a great job of soaking up bumps in the road, but even the 20-inch wheels maintain a well-damped ride quality. The base trim can be optionally equipped with adaptive dampers and air springs, but even the basic stock 300 is able to smooth out all types of bumps and dips in the road surface.
6. Climate Control Works Extremely Well
The old dual-zone climate control system worked well, but the tri-zone climate control system is a welcomed step up from that. It is the standard on every model in the line-up. The front and rear seats both get more than adequate ventilation. During temperature extremes, you can crank either the hot or cold air and get results in a matter of just a minute or two.
7. Excellent Visibility
For a vehicle in this class, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class has a surprisingly good amount of visibility all around. There are very few blind spots, and even the thick roof pillars manage to not get in the way. Parking aids are optional, and the GLC comes with a standard rearview camera. Should you need to rely on the driver assists to avoid accidents, know that they function as expected and are quite helpful.
8. Plenty of Cargo Space
Cargo space is quite generous on the GLC-Class this year. On the SUVs, there is 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats left upright. When the seats are folded down, this space gets maximized to 56.5 cubic feet. Of course, the SUVs offer slightly more space than the Coupes, but the difference is not enough to keep most people from buying the Coupes. While the rear seats do not fold completely flat, they fold down far enough to allow for the storage of items like golf clubs.
9. High-quality Interior Materials
High quality and Mercedes-Benz are basically synonymous, and this quickly becomes apparent once you glance inside of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. The wood trim nicely offsets the vinyl upholstery, which many might mistake for being actual leather. The metallic speakers and air vents are also quite eye-catching and help the vehicle look more expensive than it actually is.
10. A Long List of Driver Aids
The market is booming with advanced safety technology for vehicles as drivers are demanding more standard driver aids. The new GLC-Class has quite the extensive list of them. And as far as semiautonomous driving goes, Mercedes-Benz nails it. Their adaptive cruise control maintains a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead at all times and isn't panicky when another vehicle cuts in front of the GLC. Steering and lane keep assist help to make the semiautonomous system effective on the highway and on main roads.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Mercedes Benz GLC Class – The Cons
1. The Technological Interface is Not User-friendly
Unfortunately, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is cursed with a difficult-to-use infotainment system known as COMAND. The COMAND system takes a while for most drivers to learn how to use since the touchpad and physical control knob tend to overlap with one another. It is a little unclear as to why Mercedes-Benz would put two such redundant controls together like this. Also, a lot of the technology is far from being the next-gen stuff you will find in many of Mercedes-Benz's competitors.
2. The Cost
Feature for feature, the GLC gets expensive quickly. The more options and packages you add on, the faster the price tag will skyrocket upward from its reasonable starting MSRP of $40,700. Consumers who are shopping with a particular budget in mind will have to be careful as to how they customize the vehicle. There are other vehicles in this segment that offer more features as standard, thereby reducing the cost of making additions.
3. Steering is Lackluster in Normal Mode
Steering is the one element of the GLC's driving performance that suffers. When you drive around in Normal mode, steering tends to provide very little in the way of road feel. The driver will notice that, though the steering wheel is quick to respond, not a whole lot comes through it to indicate how the wheels are tracking along the pavement. Switching over to Sport mode gives the driver more feedback from the wheels.
4. Smartphone App Integration Costs Extra
Want to use your smartphone apps instead of the standard infotainment features that come on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class? Mercedes-Benz will make you pay extra for it. While smartphone app integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay comes standard on many new vehicles, it is a costly option on the GLC. And it is an option you might want to invest in since smartphone app integration seems to work better than a lot of the vehicle's built-in infotainment features.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs. 2019 BMW X3
After last year's major overhaul, the 2019 BMW X3 is stiff competition for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. The new X3 might not have Android Auto, but it offers plenty of other desirable things, including a cavernous cabin, fuel-efficient and quite powerful engine choices, and a ton of standard and optional features that allow for maximum customization. The X3 even beats the GLC in terms of how much cargo space is offered (as a maximum of 62.7 cubic feet of cargo space is available).
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs. 2019 Audi Q5
Another top contender this model year is the 2019 Audi Q5. The Q5 lacks the generous cargo space and engine choices of the GLC, but it makes up for its shortcomings with standard all-wheel drive, an incredibly smooth ride quality, and a well-designed, hushed interior. There are also a ton of standard technological features that keeps the cost of the vehicle more reasonable than the GLC-Class.
There are not too many serious gripes to be had with the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. While this luxury vehicle can get expensive and does not have the best technological interface, the GLC does a thorough job of providing a lot of ride comfort. It also does not hurt that the GLC is just nice to look at.
• Why buy a 2018 Mercedes Benz GLC Class? w/ pros vs cons