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Facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLC revealed

From:Greg Kable 2019-02-28 16:58:01

Mid-life update brings new range of four-cylinder engines, including new mild-hybrid petrol units, among other detailed changes

Mercedes-Benz has upgraded its strong-selling GLC three years after the mid-sized SUV joined its line-up as a successor model to the earlier left-hand drive only GLK.

Set to make its public debut at next week’s Geneva motor show prior to a planned introduction of a facelifted version of the long wheelbase GLC in China later this year, the 2019 model gains a number of subtle exterior styling tweaks, including reshaped bumpers, an altered grille, revised LED headlamps and tail lamps as well as a new range of alloy wheels ranging from 17- to 19-inches in diameter.

It also comes with a new AMG Line styling package boasting a unique diamond pattern grille insert, altered front bumper, rectangular chromed tailpipes and the choice of either standard 19- or optional 20-inch wheels.

Inside, the 2019 GLC retains the same familiar dashboard design as today’s model but incorporates new trim elements and a number of updated functions as part of the adoption of Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX user interface system.

Included is a new multi-function steering wheel in one of two designs, both featuring small touch pads with the horizontal spokes. Additionally, there is a new 12.3-in digital instrument display and the choice of either a standard 7.0-inch or optional 10.3-inch separate infotainment display – the latter now featuring touch control. The rotary controller between the front seats has been replaced by a larger touch control pad, while voice and gesture control now also come as an option. For the first time, there is also a standard keyless entry and start function and optional smartphone charging pad.

Once again, the AMG Line adds a dash of sportiness, with sport seats and other AMG design flourishes.

As part of an extended range of driver assistance system, the new GLC can be ordered with Mercedes-Benz’s Active Distance Assist Distronic, which monitors speed and adjusts it via automatic braking ahead of bends or junctions.

Accompanying the exterior, interior and equipment upgrades is a new range of longitudinally-mounted engines – all boasting increases in power as well as reductions in CO2 emissions.

Details to the Chinese line-up is yet to be revealed, but in Europe they include a petrol-electric mild hybrid unit in two states of tune and a conventional diesel offering three different power outputs, all currently residing in the facelifted C-class, with which the GLC shares much of its mechanical package.

The mild hybrid driveline is based around Mercedes-Benz’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder M264 petrol engine. It joins the facelifted GLC line-up as a replacement for the older M274 unit, delivering a nominal 145kW and 280Nm of torque in the GLC200 4Matic and 190kW and 370Nm in the GLC300 4Matic.

As part of Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Boost initiative, the combustion engine in the new petrol-powered GLC models is combined with a belt driven starter motor and 48-volt electric system capable of providing an additional 10kW and 150Nm at revs up to 2500rpm, ramping up the overall reserves of the GLC200 4Matic to 155kW and 430Nm and the GLC300 4Matic to 200kW and 520Nm.

The diesel models adopt Mercedes-Benz’s latest turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, the OM654. It replaces the older OM651 unit, with 120kW and 360Nm in the GLC200d 4Matic, 143kW and 400Nm in the GLC220d 4Matic and 180kW and 500Nm in the GLC300d 4Matic – all of which go without the mild hybrid properties of the new GLC petrol engine models.

The initial new engines are mated to a standard nine-speed torque converter equipped automatic gearbox and a newly developed 4Matic four-wheel drive system claimed to provide offer added off-road ability. The driver can choose between five driving modes as part of a GLC’s new Dynamic Select system, including Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. An optional Off-Road Engineering package also brings additional Off-road and Off-road+ modes.

With the mid-life update, the GLC also receives Mercedes-Benz’s Dynamic Body Control suspension with adjustable dampers for the first time. It can be combined with a sport steering system for more direct characteristics.

Also new to the GLC is an optional Trailer Monitoring Assist. It supports the driver with manoeuvring in reverse using sensors in the ball head and a magnetic ring to measure the angle between the vehicle and trailer in combination with a 360-degree camera capable of providing a bird’s-eye perspective and zoom functions on the infotainment display.  

Mercedes-Benz is yet to quote any performance claims for the facelifted GLC, but claims a combined NEDC consumption figure of 7.1L/100km for the GLC200 4Matic and 5.2L/100km for the GLC200d 4Matic, providing them with respective CO2 emission figures of 161g/km and 137g/km.

Other engines are planned to be added to the facelifted line-up GLC later this year, including a reworked version of the existing GLC43’s turbocharged V6 petrol engine with an added 17kW at 287kW but the same 520Nm of torque.

The GLC is produced in standard wheelbase guise at Mercedes-Benz’s Bremen plant in Germany and in long wheelbase guise at the German car maker’s joint venture factory operated with BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation) in Beijing, China.

Editor:Greg Kable