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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Review

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC claims one of the top spots in our luxury compact SUV rankings. It delivers on almost every front, providing an enjoyable driving experience, a comfortable interior, and plenty of technology.

Pros & Cons

  • Energetic engines
  • Posh, comfortable interior
  • Smooth ride and composed handling
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Coupe models have limited rear-seat headroom
  • Some turbo lag from base engine when you hit the gas

New for 2020

  • Added horsepower for base model, AMG GLC 43
  • More standard and available features
  • Interior and exterior styling updates

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC a Good SUV?

Yes, the Mercedes GLC is a good SUV. It's available in two body styles: a regular SUV style and one with four doors and a more steeply pitched roofline that Mercedes calls a coupe. It offers several powertrain options, including turbo-four and high-performance V6 and V8 engines and a plug-in hybrid. The GLC handles well and rides smoothly, and it has a posh interior. The seats are comfortable, and the infotainment system is user-friendly.

The GLC does have a couple of nit-picky negatives, like the amount of rear-seat headroom in coupe models and some turbo lag when you hit the gas. Also, some rivals have more cargo space than the GLC. But overall, it's hard to find a reason not to like this SUV.

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The 2020 GLC is a great choice, because no matter what you're looking for in a small luxury SUV, the GLC likely fits that criteria. Still, the luxury compact SUV class is brimming with good choices, and the GLC costs more than most of them. That means you might get more bang for your buck with some rivals. If you're considering the GLC, you may also want to check out alternatives like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, BMW X4, and Jaguar F-Pace.

Compare the GLC, Q5, and X3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The new GLC makes a good choice for buyers who want the latest and greatest, though there are plenty of similar used models available as well.

The 2020 GLC belongs to a generation that began with the vehicle’s debut for 2016, and there have been some noteworthy updates since. The GLC is heavily refreshed for 2020. Mercedes adds 14 horsepower to the base engine and 23 horsepower to the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, and the infotainment system now features the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) interface with a 10.25-inch touch screen (up from 7 inches).

For 2019, heated front seats and a 115-volt household-style power outlet became standard. Mercedes also added available tri-zone automatic climate control and an optional Off-Road Engineering package. The 2018 and 2017 model years saw the introduction of some new AMG models.

If you're open to buying a used vehicle, consider shopping across all of the GLC’s model years. You won't miss out on many features, and you'll probably spend less money.

Be sure to read our 2017 GLC, 2018 GLC, and 2019 GLC reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 GLC »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 GLC review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2016.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz GLC Cost?

The GLC 300 starts at $42,500 for the standard body style, and it’s $50,000 for the coupe. Those aren't the highest starting prices in the luxury compact SUV class, but they're more than the base price of most competitors. The range-topping AMG GLC 63 S starts at $84,100, which is more than most rivals' top trim price.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz GLC or BMW X3?

If you're looking for an athletic, fun-to-drive crossover, the BMW X3 is a better option than the GLC, but the Mercedes wins out if you prioritize comfort. The X3 handles better and has more cargo space, but the GLC delivers a smooth ride and has an opulent cabin. Both models have a good host of standard and available features. For a comparable rival to the GLC coupe, check out the BMW X4, which fills a similar role in BMW's lineup.

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz GLC or Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 is one of the few small luxury crossovers that arguably stands above the GLC. Both have posh interiors with plenty of features, though the Audi comes standard with some things that are options in the Mercedes, like leather upholstery and all-wheel drive. Both have a good amount of passenger space. The Q5 has more cargo room behind the rear seats, but the GLC has a higher capacity with the rear seats folded. These SUVs each cost more than most of their classmates, but both are worth the money.

Compare the GLC, X3, and Q5 »

GLC Interior

How Many People Does the GLC Seat?

The GLC seats five people in both body styles. Both rows of seats are comfortable and supportive. Head- and legroom are good up front, and adults can ride in the back without feeling squeezed. The coupe body style doesn't have as much rear-seat headroom because of the raked roofline.

GLC and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the GLC’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The tether anchors are easy to find and identify, but the lower anchors can be difficult to maneuver around.

GLC Interior Quality

The competition for the best interior among small luxury crossovers is fierce, but the GLC stakes its claim with a handsome cabin that's filled with plenty of top-notch materials. It's also well-insulated from wind and road noise.

GLC Cargo Space

This Mercedes has 19.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 56.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded in the standard model. Those totals drop to 17.6 cubic feet behind the second row and 49.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded in GLC coupe models.

The coupe's cargo space is below average for the luxury compact SUV class, but the totals for the standard model are respectable. Still, both body styles don’t have as much cargo space as rivals like the BMW X3, Infiniti QX50, and Jaguar F-Pace.

GLC Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touch screen, two USB ports, HD Radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth.

Available features include a 13-speaker Burmester premium surround-sound system, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, satellite radio, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

The GLC now features Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system, replacing the COMAND interface. MBUX is user-friendly, with several ways to adjust settings, including an intuitive voice control feature. It also includes artificial intelligence that learns and adapts to the user to improve the overall experience.

Read more about interior »

GLC Performance

GLC Engine: Lots of Choices

You can't really go wrong with any of the GLC's engines. Even the base engine – a 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder – has enough juice to move this Mercedes easily in most driving situations. However, there's a little bit of turbo lag when you hit the gas.

If the turbo-four engine doesn’t wow you, then there are a few performance-tuned Mercedes-AMG models to choose from. The AMG GLC 43 features a 385-horsepower twin-turbo V6. The AMG GLC 63 comes with a 469-horsepower twin-turbo V8. AMG GLC 63 S models boast a 503-horsepower twin-turbo V8.

Finally, there's a plug-in-hybrid model, the GLC 350e, that will be available in the U.S. in 2020. It features a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 315 horsepower. Like the other GLC models, the 350e comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

GLC Gas Mileage: About Average for the Class

The GLC earns typical fuel economy ratings for a small luxury crossover. Models with the base engine and rear-wheel drive get 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. With 4Matic all-wheel drive, the ratings drop slightly to 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The AMG GLC 63 gets noticeably worse ratings, checking in at 16/22 mpg city/highway.

GLC Alternative Fuels and Charging: Feeling Energized

It takes about eight hours to recharge the GLC 350e plug-in hybrid using a Level 1 charger (a 110-volt household-style outlet). With a Level 2 charger (240 volts), it takes about 2.5 hours. All-electric range estimates for the GLC 350e are not yet available.

GLC Ride and Handling: Smooth and Capable

The GLC provides a cushioned ride over almost any road surface. It doesn't match the sporty feel of some competitors, but this Mercedes-Benz delivers plenty of driving enjoyment and doesn't feel overmatched on the highway, on winding back roads, or even during light off-roading.

Read more about performance »

GLC Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC Reliable?

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Warranty

The Mercedes-Benz GLC comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

GLC Safety

GLC Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 GLC five out of five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover evaluation. It did not receive an overall safety rating.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 GLC.

GLC Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, driver drowsiness monitoring, active brake assist, and crosswind assist. Pre-Safe is also standard. This system tightens the seat belts and rolls up the windows if a collision is imminent.

Available active safety features include Pre-Safe Plus, active park assist, lane keep assist, evasive steering assist, route-based speed adaptation, traffic sign recognition, a surround-view parking camera system, pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring with exit warning function, rear cross traffic alert, and a head-up display.

Read more about safety »

GLC Dimensions and Weight

The GLC is 15.3 to 15.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,889 to 4,564 pounds.

Where Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC Built?

Mercedes builds the 2020 GLC in Finland and Germany.

Which Mercedes-Benz GLC Model Is Right for Me?

The Mercedes GLC comes in five trims: GLC 300, GLC 350e, AMG GLC 43, AMG GLC 63, and AMG GLC 63 S. It also comes in a standard SUV body style and as a coupe. Note that not all trims are offered in each body style.

Regardless of body style, most shoppers will be content with the base GLC 300. It comes with a good number of standard features and an engine that's plenty capable in most driving situations. If you want more horsepower, step up to one of the Mercedes-AMG models. There's also a long list of available features that you can add to most trims.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

The GLC 300 starts at $42,500 for the standard body style and $50,000 for the coupe. Both come with a 255-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard models come with rear-wheel drive, while coupe models come with all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is an extra $2,000 in standard models.

Standard features include a power-adjustable driver's seat, synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power liftgate, and a rearview camera.

The GLC’s MBUX infotainment system includes a 10.25-inch touch screen, two USB ports, HD Radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth.

Standard driver assistance features include the Pre-Safe system, driver drowsiness monitoring, active brake assist, crosswind assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e

The GLC 350e is a plug-in-hybrid model with an electric motor and gasoline engine that combine to deliver 315 horsepower. It comes with a haptic accelerator pedal that vibrates to encourage drivers to let up on the throttle to save fuel. Remote climate control is also standard in this model. At the time of writing, Mercedes-Benz has not released pricing information for the 350e, which won’t be available in the U.S. until 2020.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43

The AMG GLC 43 starts at $59,500 for the regular SUV body style and $63,000 for coupe models. It features a 385-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and all-wheel drive.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63

The AMG GLC 63 comes with a 469-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. The standard body type costs $73,750, and the coupe variant is $76,500. 

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

The GLC 63 S starts at $84,100, and it comes with a 503-horsepower V8. This model is only available in the coupe body style.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

See 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC costs more than many of its classmates, but it provides plenty of value for that higher price. This is an incredibly well-rounded small crossover. It's engaging and easy to drive, with a comfortable interior and plenty of intuitive technology. The GLC earns its spot near the top of our luxury compact SUV rankings, and it deserves a look from any shopper looking for a small, upscale SUV.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The tweaks for 2020 don't much alter the GLC's formula, but it nonetheless is one that makes the GLC 300 a compelling choice among its peers, owing to its luxurious interior, sensible packaging (for the SUV model), well-tuned chassis, and agreeable tech, all bundled in a stylish wrapper." -- Autoblog
  • "With fresh styling and a new engine, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class hopes to fend off assaults from newer small-luxury-crossover SUVs like the BMW X3, Jaguar I-Pace and Lincoln Corsair. With the C-Class sedan platform as its starting point, the GLC-Class has a bit more refinement than some competitors, and its luxury offerings are second to none. The ride is firm, but not jarring, and the handling more than satisfactory for most buyers in the segment." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class has a particularly luxurious air. Naturally, it’s a premium compact crossover from a marque renowned for luxury, so such an upscale demeanor isn’t so surprising. But even among its high-quality peers, the GLC has something extra: A little more refinement, an extra touch of sophistication. This is evident in the cabin materials, the ride, the build, the standard equipment and the many options.” -- Autotrader (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 17, 2020

Class-Leading Sales: The Mercedes-Benz GLC finished 2019 as the top-ranked luxury compact SUV in sales, just ahead of the BMW X3. In addition, GLC sales increased 5.6 percent in 2019 relative to 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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