Auto Nation Group, the distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the Philippines, has recently launched the refreshed Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class alongside the refreshed V-Class. Mercedes-Benz’s competitor in the compact crossover SUV segment has been upgraded with a more modern look, newer tech, and upgraded levels of luxury that is sure to please the most discerning families and adventurous individuals. For us to see how the new GLC fares on our congested roads, Mercedes-Benz Philippines has conducted a short but meaningful media drive to let us isolate ourselves from the chaos of the world’s worst city traffic whilst being cuddled in leather and luscious metal trimmings.
As Mercedes-Benz’s most successful SUV ever to be released, the German premium brand did not want to mess with success. The refreshed GLC’s exterior changes include a sportier and more dynamic grille design similar to the bigger GLE’s which are flanked by a pair of newly-designed Multibeam LED headlights. The front bumper has also been redesigned for the sportier look while the LED taillights now feature square shapes for a unique look at night. Lastly, there are 18-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels that give the GLC a sporty look.
The interior sees a host of upgrades, too, particularly in terms of technology. Fitted as standard in the GLC is a new 12.3-inch fully-digital and highly-configurable instrument cluster that works in tandem with the new MBUX infotainment system that made its debut in the A-Class hatchback. The new infotainment system has various input methods, either through the touch screen, steering wheel touchpad, or the center console touchpad. Additionally, MBUX comes with a virtual assistant that can be summoned by saying “Hey! Mercedes” and then followed up by a conversational command such as “I’m cold” to heat up the cabin temperature. Unfortunately, MBUX has been designed to be so advanced, all of its ports are USB C, which means you need to embrace the dongle life when owning this car. On the upside, sounds are played through an excellent Burmester sound system, sending crisp highs and impressive bass notes.
For now, there is only one variant of the GLC on offer, and that is the GLC 200. Under its hood is a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and direct-injected petrol engine, producing 197 hp and 320 Nm of torque, with power being sent to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Out in the open road, the powertrain works like clockwork. Unlike most turbo engines, the 2.0-liter motor under the hood of this SUV doesn’t have a lot of turbo lag. Instead, it feels very linear and progressive without any of the lurchy feel that can make people car sick as you crawl through traffic.
Now, being a Mercedes-Benz, the GLC leans more towards comfort. The suspension deals with bumps quite well and the steering is light without feeling too disconnected from the road. As this short media drive only consisted of urban routes, we never really got to try the GLC’s handling, but as far as comfort goes, the GLC provides top-notch levels of refinement, isolating you well from the chaos that Manila has to offer.
To ensure that your drive around Manila is as worthwhile as possible, various driver convenience and safety systems are offered as standard in the GLC 200, such as driver attention warning, automatic emergency braking, active park assist, and a reverse camera.
Mercedes-Benz has told us that many of its customers tend to have a chauffeur, and in that regard, the GLC does the job well. Rear seat space is good and the large glass area provides the interior with a lot of light, though as a whole if a chauffeur-driven vehicle is what you are looking for, you’re much better off with the Mercedes-Benz V-Class.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 offers upgraded levels of luxury, comfort, and isolation from the chaos that Manila has to offer. Its new MBUX infotainment system changes the way drivers interact with the Mercedes-Benz GLC, granted that you have the right dongles to fully utilize its capability. For those interested, the new GLC is now on sale across all Mercedes-Benz dealers in the Philippines with a very competitive price tag of P4,290,000.