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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/17/2015 Stefan Ogbac

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class has been renamed the GLC-Class for its second generation, and the two-row luxury crossover comes packing plenty of standard and optional features. Despite being larger than the outgoing GLK, the redesigned GLC weighs up to 176 pounds less than its predecessor because of the extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel in the crossover's construction. At least for now, only two models, the rear-drive GLC300 and the all-wheel-drive GLC300 4Matic, will be offered in the U.S. market.

Under the hood, the 3.5-liter V-6 and 2.1-liter, turbodiesel I-4 have been replaced by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter I-4 with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque that first debuted in the C-Class sedan. Don't be surprised to see a GLC300d 4Matic model with a turbodiesel-four debut later this year or for the 2017 model year. Unlike its sedan stablemate, the 2016 GLC ditches the seven-speed automatic for Mercedes' in-house nine-speed automatic. Between the new powertrain and the crossover's weight loss, the GLC is expected to be much more fuel efficient than the outgoing GLK. A more rigid body and better acoustics were used to lower noise, vibration, and harshness to make the GLC's cabin quieter and more refined.

© Provided by MotorTrend The new chassis setup, on the other hand, promises better driving dynamics and ride comfort. Mercedes' Agility Control suspension setup, which features steel springs and variable dampers, comes standard on the GLC-Class. All GLC models will also be offered with the optional Air Body Control suspension setup with an adjustable adaptive damping system. The GLC's Dynamic Select system enables the driver to choose from Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual modes. Key features include the ability to lower the crossover by 0.6 inch in Sport+ mode for improved handling and less body roll when equipped with Air Body Control. Changing the mode via the Dynamic Select system also changes the behavior of the nine-speed automatic, making it more aggressive in sportier modes or more efficiency-oriented in Eco or Comfort modes. Compared to the GLK, the GLC rides on a wheelbase that's 4.6 inches longer, and is 2.0 inches wider.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class First Look

Inside, the GLC's cabin takes cues from the larger GLE-Class and the C-Class. It features a seven-inch screen for the COMAND infotainment system, knob and button-based controls, and a touchpad. MB-Tex vinyl, leather, and Nappa leather upholsteries in black, Silk Beige, Espresso Brown, Saddle Brown, and an exclusive Platinum White Pearl are available. Interior accents include brown linden wood with black accent stripes, black open-pore ash, or burl walnut.

© Provided by MotorTrend© Provided by MotorTrend Practicality has also been improved in the GLC. It's slightly larger and offers additional cargo space than the outgoing GLK. The second row splits and folds in a 40/20/40 configuration, allowing for better flexibility and cabin usability, and can be locked at an angle to accommodate more cargo with more than two occupants. When equipped with Air Body Control, the GLC can also be lowered to make it easier to load gear through the hatch. Passenger space is improved over the GLK; it has 1.3 inches more space for easier rear-seat entry and exit, and 2.2 inches more elbow and shoulder room for front occupants.

Read about the 2016 GLC's predecessor, the GLK, in these Motor Trend First Test reviews:

An array of safety and driver assistance features is available in the 2016 GLC-Class, including ones that first debuted in the C-, E-, and S-Class sedans. Standard on all GLC-Class models are collision prevention assist plus, crosswind assist, active high-beam assist, and attention assist. A new Driver Assistance package adds a number of safety features, including Distronic Plus with steering assist, Pre-Safe brake with pedestrian detection, active blind-spot warning, Pre-Safe plus, active lane-keeping assist, and brake assist plus with cross traffic assist.

Other noteworthy options include a head-up display, LED headlights, alloy wheel sizes up to 20 inches in diameter, a panoramic sunroof, and a Burmester premium audio system. The Night package adds some flair, such as high-gloss-black side mirror covers, window frames, and underguards, 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels, and matte black roof rails. Mercedes' fragrance dispenser system is also available as part of the Air Balance package, which bundles it together with a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats.

Prices for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class won't deviate much from the current GLK, which currently starts at $38,825. Look for the 2016 GLC-Class to go on sale in November. © Provided by MotorTrend© Provided by MotorTrend

2016 Mercedes Benz GLC Class 4Matic© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mercedes Benz GLC Class 4Matic

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