This may only be a mid-cycle facelift, but it’s a big one – and one that’s been very skilfully undertaken.
Gone are the days when a carmaker would launch a car and watch it sell for the rest of its lifespan, revelling in its success. Today, things have changed. Now, mid-cycle updates have become a necessary aspect of a carmaker’s model line-ups – given the fact that rapidly changing technologies can render a product irrelevant in as little as four years.
The launch of the updated GLC is a clear indication of this change. To differentiate it from the previous model, it gets new headlamps, taillamps, alloy wheels, and reprofiled bumpers. But its when you step inside that you notice a little more than just cosmetic enhancements.
The car now comes with the latest version of Mercedes’ infotainment system – called MBUX. Thanks to the new system, the GLC has now become a state-of-the-art connected car with an array of remote-controlled features, such as geofencing, vehicle health checks, fuel level monitoring, and emergency call functions. All these features are made possible by an embedded SIM in the vehicle.
Aside from this radical step up in terms of connective technology, which also includes a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the interior of the car remains more or less the same.
The only problematic aspect of the original GLC was the tacky piano-black finish on the centre console, but, thankfully, Mercedes-Benz has addressed the issue by replacing it with a dull-wood finish that further adds to the luxury quotient of the car.
A heartfelt improvement
The model we tested was the 220d, which now has a new heart. You see, the previous 2.1-litre diesel engine has been replaced by a 2.0-litre unit, which is utterly refined – a definite step-up from the previous engine.
Under normal urban driving conditions, it’s really difficult to tell what sort of fuel the engine is burning. It’s only when you cross the 3,000rpm mark that NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) tends to come into play. And past 3,500rpm is when you realise that there is, after all, a diesel engine under the hood. But even then the engine noise is pretty muffled.
The nine-speed automatic gearbox offers buttery smooth shifts and has been set up to keep the engine spinning between 3,000 and 4,250rpm under intense acceleration. But, despite its increased power and torque outputs of 191bhp and 400Nm, the GLC 220d is by no means an explosive car to drive – it is a Mercedes-Benz after all! So, instead of pinning you to your seat, the engine delivers its power in a nice and smooth manner. The refinement of this engine once again surprises you on the highway – it stays extremely quiet even while cruising at triple-digit speeds, and all you really hear is some tyre and wind noise. It’s that impressive!
Rides like a dream
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the ride comfort of this car will just spoil you silly. This car may only ride on steel springs, as opposed to air suspension, but its high ride height and tall springs ensure that it has plenty of damping. And the way the suspension goes about dismissing potholes, road undulations and speed breakers is praiseworthy, to say the least.
As long as you’re careful with getting on and off the power while going over bumps and speed breakers, you really won’t feel a thing, apart from maybe a distant thud over sharper bumps.
The new GLC, like the earlier model, remains very confident even at high speeds, and, all things considered, it really does make for a rather competent cross-country tourer, especially now that it finally has a usable boot! Yes, Mercedes has finally managed to stow that space saver under the boot floor, allowing you to make proper use of the boot to actually store (or ferry) stuff. It’s still not the most spacious boot out there, but, hey, at least it’s usable now!
Rolling with the times
The mid-cycle update of the Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d has served its purpose rather well, for the new tech-laden infotainment system has made this the first Mercedes-Benz connected car in India. But the most important update of all is the new engine – it truly serves the purpose of the three-pointed star, with its quiet nature and power delivery.
Don’t expect blistering performance, instead just sink into the comfortable leather seats, let the suspension do its thing, and enjoy the luxury and comfort it offers. Whether in the city or on the highway, the new GLC will definitely impress you as a luxury car.
- Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d
Engine: 1,950cc / 4-cylinders / 16 valves / DOHC / Turbocharged
Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic / Permanent All-Wheel Drive
Power: 191bhp @3,800rpm
Torque: 400Nm @ 1,600 – 2,800rpm
Price: Rs. 57.75 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
X-factor: A very comfortable luxury car on all counts and the only connected car in its segment .
• Quiet engine
• Comfortable ride
• Kickdown acceleration
• No keyless entry
Also read - 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC launched at ₹ 52.75 lakh