The new Mercedes GLC compact crossover is officially on the road map. This week, the automaker unveiled the important replacement to the aging GLK which was introduced in the U.S. back in 2010. It’s a giant leap forward from the GLK, too. It’s sleeker-looking, more aerodynamic, gets advanced assistance technology, air suspension and new permanent all-wheel drive.
“Our new GLC represents a further, systematic step in the implementation of our successful SUV philosophy. It combines the ultimate in driving comfort with a sporty touch, impresses on the road and – more than ever – off it as well, and appeals to the eye with the new design and equipment line,” says Thomas Weber, member of the Management Board of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development in a press release.
The new GLC is bigger, but it’s still 176 pounds lighter than the GLK thanks to extensive aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel use. Glass-fiber-reinforced plastic suspension springs, which are optional, also help loose some weight.
The GLC borrows heavily from the C-Class, both in design language and what’s under the hood. The U.S gets two versions to start, the GLC 300 and GLC 300 4MATIC. Both get 2.0-liter inline four engine producing 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Both engines will be bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes promises the C-sourced engines will make the GLC up to 19 percent more efficient than the GLK. All-wheel-drive models have a basic 45/55 percent torque split. Standard suspension is four-link front and five-link rear.
Inside, Mercedes upgraded the interior with Napa Leather and open-pore wood trim. There is also more leg room and cargo space.
The new GLC has big shoes to fill. The GLK was hugely successful for Mercedes. The automaker sold more than 30,000 of them in 2013 and hit the 35,000 mark in 2014. Through May of this year, it outsold the BMW X3 by a few hundred units.
Pricing will remain close to the outgoing GLK, at an estimated $39,000, which is $1,000 more than the GLK. The new 2016 GLC should land in showrooms in November.