New Mercedes-Benz GLC PHEV Mixes Style With Efficiency


By Breda Corrigan


The new Mercedes‑Benz GLC remains true to the successful formula of modern, sporty luxury from Mercedes‑Benz. Now in its third generation, the new GLC offers a compelling combination of design and technology, coupled with sporty performance as well as comfort and agility. The GLC is a five-seat, medium-sized luxury SUV with all-wheel drive as standard, providing drivers with the ability for some light off-road driving.

Powertrain Options.

The new GLC features a redesigned front end, with headlamps that connect directly to the radiator grille to emphasise the vehicle’s width. The traditional Mercedes-Benz SUV radiator grille (with redesigned cut-out) has a chrome surround, and it provides the front of the car with a more streamlined, purposeful look, while designers have given the rear of the car a GLE-like appearance. The GLC 300e is a full plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor fed by a large (for a PHEV) 31.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a combined power output of 313bhp. Other powertrains include mild hybrid petrol and diesel units, along with a diesel/electric PHEV offering.

Transformed Cabin.

On the inside the GLC has been transformed. The main dashboard has a flowing, wing-like structure, with the characteristic five round air vents running across the top. Below, there are now two high-resolution screens, a 11.9-inch driver display and a large-format 12.3-inch central infotainment display that benefits from Mercedes’ latest MBUX technology. Controlled via voice or touch input, the innovative infotainment system can even predict personal habits over time thanks to artificial intelligence. Activated by the keywords “Hey Mercedes”, the new intelligent voice control system lets you manage many of the infotainment functions, including destination input, phone calls or music selection. High quality materials are used throughout the luxurious cabin, and the overall fit and finish is impressive. The new GLC sits on the same 2,872mm wheelbase as its predecessor, but the overall length of the car has increased to 4,716mm in order to provide more interior space than before. Front seat passengers are provided with lots of head and legroom, even with a panoramic sunroof fitted, and rear seat occupants get plenty of space for their knees, while feet can be slid under the front seats. While petrol and diesel variants of the new GLC have a boot capacity of 620-litres, the PHEV version has to make do with a 470-litre capacity due to placement of the hybrid system battery under the boot floor.


New Standard in Efficiency.

The new GLC PHEV sets new standards in efficiency and cruising ability. With a genuinely-impressive official electric range of up to 129km, many drivers will be able to complete everyday journeys in all-electric mode. The ingenious hybrid system selects the electric driving mode for the most appropriate sections of a journey, with all-electric driving prioritised on journeys in urban areas. However, the GLC can be driven on rough terrain in all-electric mode when required, thanks to a new off-road programme. Charging the battery (10-100%) via a domestic wallbox charger (11kW) can be completed in two and a half hours, and the car is capable of consuming as little as 0.5-litres of petrol for every 100km driven on a WLTP combined driving cycle. The latest generation of the Driving Assistance package further reduces driver workload in day-to-day situations, allowing for safer driving and enhanced driver confidence. When required, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands, and the operating theory of the systems is visualised on the driver display by a new display concept.

Test Car Details.

My test car was a GLC 300e PHEV 4MATIC AMG Line Plus, which was finished in Graphite Grey Metallic. The standard 9-speed automatic transmission (9G-TRONIC) plays a big part in making the GLC such a relaxed car to drive, with minimal effort required to reach any destination with ease. The transition from the petrol engine to the electric motors (and back again) takes place in a seamless manner, so much so that it is often hard to detect which power source is being used. With a combined system output of 313bhp and 550Nm of torque, the car can complete a 0-100km/h sprint in just 6.7-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 218km/h (where permitted). The car starts in EV mode by default, and it will stay in electric-only mode up to a speed of 110km/h, at which point the petrol engine will start up to enable the car to maintain a quicker speed. Regenerative braking enables the batteries to be recharged slightly by braking and coasting downhill, providing enough energy for short periods of all-electric driving. The standard all-wheel drive system is rear-wheel biased, with them receiving 69 percent of the power output by default, and this provides the car with plenty of oomph when accelerating.


Verdict & Pricing.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC has more onboard tech and space than ever before, and PHEV versions add outstanding fuel efficiency to the mix. It has a well-equipped, spacious and luxurious cabin that is sure to find favour with all occupants, and the overall refinement within the cabin is supremely impressive. Pricing for the new GLC starts at €80,310 for the 220d 4MATIC (mild hybrid diesel), with my PHEV test car priced from €91,510.

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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