2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC Review & Test Drive

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The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is redesigned for the model year but retains most of what many have enjoyed in the compact luxury crossover. The new GLC doesn’t depart from its well-known look, which is fundamentally a smaller version of its larger SUV siblings. The clean and classy look of the GLC remains, but there are many changes for the redesign that elevate its standing in the luxury world where the GLC feels more refined, stands out a bit more with its looks, and has welcoming new interior design and layout. However, many won’t notice much of a change in GLC redesign versus the outgoing generation, which can be a good thing for avid fans and return buyers of the compact luxury crossover.

Performance and Driving Character

Marking the notable changes for the redesigned GLC, Mercedes offers one engine for now, a mild hybrid 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s good for 258 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, sending power through a 9-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Out on the road, the GLC 300 4MATIC behaves quite well and feels more planted and dynamic than the outgoing model, in addition to having a bit more power.

Having just one engine (for now), which happens to be a mild hybrid in a 4-cylinder flavor, keeps things simple but powerful where the engine provides a good band of power without many faults. The only issue I found with power delivery is it feels a bit slow to respond to your initial gas pedal input. Otherwise, the GLC 300 4MATIC gets things moving well with the ability to hit 60 mph in about 6 seconds flat.

The mild hybrid aspect of the engine makes for a smoother start of the engine and restart for the start/stop system. In fact, the system often shuts the engine down just before coming to a complete stop. In the Eco drive mode, one of five drive modes (Off-Road, Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual), the engine often shuts down, and the transmission decouples from the wheels to provide coasting to add to the fuel savings. The experience is mostly seamless and can be rather aggressive in enacting often when you select the Eco drive mode.

In other drive modes, mainly Comfort and Sport, the GLC 300 4MATIC is quite adaptable to your driving style with only minimal changes from the two modes. The absence of adaptive dampers isn’t something that you’ll miss as the suspension setup is tuned well, much better than the previous generation with fixed-rate dampers. There’s a better footing of the GLC this time around, and the larger 20-inch wheels and tires don’t do much to take away from the ride quality as they seem to add to the stability and handling abilities.

The braking, just like in many other modern Mercedes vehicles, can be somewhat of an inconsistent experience, with the braking system adapting to forward objects and automatically pre-loading the brakes, which can be felt in the engagement point being shortened. Otherwise, the brakes prove to be surprisingly strong and confident-inspiring.

Fuel Economy

The new GLC 300 4MATIC not only gets more power, but the fuel efficiency has greatly improved, with the new mild hybrid powertrain getting the EPA estimates of 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. The outgoing generation with the less-powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive setup had the estimates of 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

Interior and Technology

Inside the new generation of the GLC 300 4MATIC is an inviting space that nearly mimics other new offers from Mercedes with the waterfall-style center MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment touchscreen. The new 11.9-inch vertically oriented screen is easy to reach and is slightly angled towards the driver but still gives the passenger easy access.

The latest MBUX system retains the deep menu sets and functions and can be a bit intimidating for most at first operation. However, after spending a couple of hours and many days using the system, it then finally becomes friendly in the sense of utilizing a certain set of features after setting up the vehicle initially. The wireless charging pad is somewhat difficult to access and may be too small for those with larger smartphones. Pairing up my iPhone was simple enough to use wireless Apple CarPlay – there’s also wireless Android Auto integration. The advanced voice prompts that are summoned by saying “Hey Mercedes” is often a saving grace for quickly accessing a function, such as turning the heating steering wheel on or off, as there is no button or onscreen toggle other than it coming on with the activation of your driver’s heated seat.

Speaking of seats, the seats up front are mostly comfy and provide good support, heating, ventilation, and a clever Kinetics system that moves certain areas of the seat after an allotted amount of time to prevent fatigue. The rear seats are mostly accommodating, with a good amount of space offering just enough for two adults and maybe a smaller child in the center of the bench, which has a folding armrest with integrated cup holders.

Probably the most annoying aspect of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC is the steering wheel’s button arrangement, which uses a combination of touch capacitive buttons and depressing touch buttons, which are often mistakenly pressed when you’re driving, especially the direction arrow button arrangements.

The cargo area grows a little for the new GLC 300, but it still falls a bit short of some competitors with 21.1 cubic feet of space behind the 60/40-split-folding seat backs. Fold them down and you have just over 59 cubic feet of storage space – all accessed by the power liftgate with its kick sensor.


All the expected active safety features are bundled on the new GLC 300 4MATIC, which include the highlights of adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning/mitigation, forward collision warning/emergency braking, blind spot assist, a very wide-angle 360-degree surround-view camera system, and an updated lane keep assist system with lane changing assist.


The new Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 keeps the pricing scale close to where it left off. However, with just about everything else these days, prices have gone up – and the new GLC 300 now starts at $47,100 as opposed to the outgoing 2022 model year starting at $43,850. My nicely equipped and nearly loaded GLC 300 4MATIC test vehicle comes to a price of $64,750, which includes a destination charge of $1,150.


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