The first meeting with the updated Mercedes-Benz GLC: what has changed after restylingJune 10, 2019
Now Mercedes-Benz has seven off-road vehicles: from the small GLA to the brutal G-Class, from which the charisma splashes in different directions, even when it just stands on an auto transporter completely wrapped in transport film. But the most popular brand in the lineup is not it, but the GLC crossover – the second best-selling model after the E-Class. The model, which replaced the GLK, has been with us since 2015 and, for certain, has managed to podnadoest much. It’s time to update: we went to Germany for the first (and, unfortunately, very short) meeting with a restyled car.
So this is the same car!
And no. Cosmetic changes, but they are. First of all, the grille has changed – a large diamond-shaped, with three design options depending on the modification.
Other headlights appeared: their size has decreased, and the main distinguishing feature now is strips of daytime running lights made in the shape of a “torch”. The headlights are now always only LED, while for an additional fee is offered adaptive matrix optics.
The rear lights also changed, a new rear bumper with chrome “protection” of the body from below and other tailpipes of the exhaust system appeared. In general, it was not so much finalized, but more is not required from the usual restyling.
Clearly, then in the cabin everything is as before?
The interior was modernized and led to a common denominator with the rest of the Mercedes. Then a new steering wheel with touch panels with feedback appeared – the same as, for example, on the E- and S-Class.
Behind it is a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, and on the center console is a display (7- or 10.25-inch) of the multimedia complex MBUX.
It can be controlled in four ways at once: from the screen itself, using the buttons on the steering wheel and voice control, as well as through the new touch panel on the center console, which replaced the old washer, and using gestures.
As in the new GLE, the camera in the ceiling console monitors the gestures of the driver or passenger, tracking the approach of the hand to the display or touch panel. At night, the car even turns on the light itself if it notices that the driver has reached for the passenger seat to find something there.
In a short time of the test, it didn’t work out exactly how this system worked – the multimedia didn’t want to respond to our attempts to get her to do at least something with gestures. So it is necessary to take the word for the time being. Although colleagues who traveled to GLE, they say that this is a very cool thing.
Another feature of the MBUX complex is navigation with augmented reality. This is really damn convenient: when you drive to the right exit or turn, the video camera turns on in the upper part of the windshield, showing the situation in front of the car on the central display in real time. The required navigation information is superimposed on this picture, for example, a large arrow clearly showing the desired maneuver.
And if for Europeans this is no longer a novelty, then we have cars with MBUX so far have not had such a function. The fault of the peculiarities of Russian legislation and problems with certification. Mercedes promises that the situation will be resolved this summer – then navigation with augmented reality will work on our cars.
Is it possible that the finalization of the equipment was “at minimum wages”?
Here it is already more interesting: all engines, except AMG-cars, are new. GLC received a two-liter turbocharged “four” M 264 (petrol) and OM 654 (diesel), which are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive 4Matic.
There are two petrol versions and both are now hybrids. The engine is supplemented with a 10-kilowatt (150 Nm) electric motor, which is used for energy recovery during braking, helps with intense acceleration and works with the help of a 48-volt power network. The base GLC 200 produces 197 horsepower (280 Nm), and the modification with the index 300 gives 249 power and 370 Nm of torque.
Diesel engines – 220 d and 300 d – give out 194 (400 Nm) and 245 (500 Nm) horsepower, respectively. Their main refinement lies in the fact that they have been brought in line with the latest environmental requirements in Europe.
And how does all this go?
Unfortunately, due to lack of time, it was only possible to meet with the petrol Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. And the first impression is wow. The crossover, equipped with Air Body Control air suspension, was incredibly comfortable on the autobahn. But as soon as the turns began, it turned out that it was far away here until the present “wow”. The comfort turned into impressiveness, the box brazenly set off for the siesta, the banks became too big, and the steering wheel – too relaxed. So much so that taxiing, a little more active than turning in a sluggish city traffic jam, became quite a sad experience.
Salvation from this longing – sports mode. The steering wheel becomes heavier, the box begins to understand what they want and when, and the suspension is slightly clamped. It becomes more sensitive to irregularities, but at the same time remaining comfortable enough for driving around the city, even with a non-liquefied surface.
Probably, it was this mode that had to be made basic and “comfortable”, since the next mode – Sport + – seems too hardcore for an ordinary, non-AMG, crossover. In it, the sound of the engine becomes louder, the car begins to shake even worse on a bad road, and the box theatrically depicts an angry boxer, trying to punch you in the stomach at each change of gear.
In addition to pneumatics, a standard chassis with adaptive shock absorbers and a Dynamic Body Control suspension are available for the updated GLC, in which, depending on road conditions and driving conditions, the shock absorbers are automatically adjusted individually for each wheel.
As for the 249-horsepower engine, according to official specifications, the 100 km/h car is gaining in 6.2 seconds. And you believe in this one hundred percent – the engine pulls well in a very wide rev range and allows you to give heat on highways.
In the Mercedes they say that the engine has become 15 percent more economical. Let’s take a word: for the test, the average fuel consumption was about 10 liters per 100 km, considering that we moved mainly along unlimited autobahns and narrow winding paths, and even in traffic.
And it’s all?
Updated GLC acquired and advanced auxiliary electronics. For example, the car received an adaptive cruise, which is able to read road signs and adjust to the corresponding speed limits, as well as thanks to data from the navigation system, independently reduce the speed before turning. The latter, however, does not work very well: the electronics do not see any turns, then it slows down too late, then it refuses to do so. In general, not good.
In addition, the electronics will return the car to its row in a dangerous rebuilding, it will be almost completely autonomous in traffic, using automatic emergency braking will try to save you if the driver did not notice the oncoming traffic when turning through the oncoming lane, and will try to improve your mood by Energizing systems.
It consists of a set of relaxation programs, is compatible with Garmin wearable devices, and can independently select the desired playlist to suit your mood, turn on ventilation or massage of chairs, or set up climate control.
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