Next-generation 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC ‘X254’ officially revealed

Brett Davis

The mid-size premium SUV market segment has just welcomed the all-new 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Codenamed the X254, the new model showcases a fresh design, new plug-in hybrid engine tech, and boosted levels of connectivity and in-car luxury.

Firstly, the design. It goes for a smoother and more rounded look, similar to the EQA electric SUV. The lower front bumper bar gets the company’s latest full-width grille treatment, while the headlights and main grille are slimmer and wider.

Aerodynamics were an important factor in coming up with the fresh design, with the ideal configuration offering a drag coefficient of 0.29. That’s down from 0.31 in the outgoing model.

Mercedes-Benz says special attention was also spent on ensuring optimum ride comfort and noise suppression, resulting in “very low” road and wind noise, with all measures syncing with the brand’s “welcome home” atmosphere.

Speaking of the in-car environment, Mercedes has installed its latest MBUX infotainment suite inside. It incorporates two large screens (11.9-inch portrait screen for media, 12.3-inch screen for the driver), offering augmented reality navigation, surround-view monitoring, and an optional 710-Watt, 15-speaker Burmester sound system.

As for the engines, buyers will be offered six main options (specific market availability is yet to be deciphered), at least initially before AMG models arrive: GLC 200, GLC 300, GLC 300 e, GLC 400 e, GLC 220 d, and GLC 300 de.

The 200 and 300 incorporate a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder (all variants feature a 2.0L four-cylinder), producing 150kW/320Nm and 190kW/400Nm, respectively. Moving up to the 300 e and 400 e adds plug-in hybrid tech, boosting overall outputs to 230kW/550Nm and 280kW/650Nm.

Acceleration times for the 0-100km/h sprint span from 7.8 and 6.2 seconds, and 6.7 and 5.6 seconds, respective to the order mentioned so far. That latter time of the 400 e is particularly impressive for this vehicle class.

Over in the diesel range, both the 220 d and 300 de utilise a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder. However, the 220 d develops 145kW and 440Nm, offering a 0-100km/h time of 8.0 seconds, while the 300 de adds hybrid tech that boosts output to 245kW and a whopping 750Nm. The 0-100km/h sprint takes a claimed 6.4 seconds in the top diesel.

The ‘e’ models offer fully electric driving capability as well, with ranges listed as between 104-120km for the 300 e and 400 e, and 102-117 for the 300 de. These offer a top speed of 140km/h while in electric mode.

Mercedes-Benz Australia is yet to outline the specific variants that we will get locally, but deliveries are expected to commence before the middle of 2023. Speaking about the new model, Britta Seeger, board member for sales, said:

“Since its introduction, 2.6 million customers have decided in favour of a model in this popular SUV series. As the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in the last two years, it is one of the most important vehicles in our product portfolio. I am confident that the new GLC with its combination of dynamic driving enjoyment, modern design and functions such as the off-road cockpit and our MBUX augmented reality navigation will thrill both adventurers and families.”

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