> Next generation Mercedes-Benz GLC caught testing
> Grown slightly in size
> Longer-range plug-in hybrid model expected
> Same interior as new C-Class
> Full debut early 2022
It’s the premium midsize SUV you’re almost certainly already familiar with - you probably even know someone who drives one. It’s one of Merc’s core models that sells in bundles on attractive finance deals and allows it to plough on with expensive vanity projects like the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar.
A new C-Class saloon was launched recently and in simple terms this is the SUV version of that car, using the same platform and same raft of engines. From these pictures it appears the GLC has grown slightly in size which has led to some speculation it could be offered with seven seats for the first time.
The smaller Mercedes-Benz GLB has an optional third bench, so why not?
The GLC has always been a handsome car which explains why changes to the styling are minimal. The wing mirrors have moved to the upper part of the doors from the bottom of the A-pillars, true to Merc’s latest design language, and the grille appears to be made more squared-off.
It will also get the same interior as the new C-Class, which means it will get a huge infotainment screen integrated with the centre console and a rich, high-definition digital driver’s display as standard. Mercedes does a lot of things well, but it especially excels in interior design.
There will be the same mix of engines already found in the new C-Class, which means four-cylinder petrol and diesel units in various power outputs, but many will be boosted by 48v mild-hybrid tech to nibble emissions and improve economy.
The most powerful model at launch is likely to be the GLC 300, which will produce 258hp, and all variants will be fitted with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The bigger news is the GLC will get an improved plug-in hybrid offering. At the moment the GLC 300e can cover just 26 miles on electric-only driving, but the 2022 PHEV model will be good for up to 35 miles and can be fully topped up in just 1.5 hours.
Will there be a full-fat AMG model, you ask? Of course there will, but a bit further down the line. There will almost certainly be a few to choose from too.
We don’t think we’ll see the finished article before the end of the year, but in the early part of 2022 we’ll have full details, which means it should be in showrooms before the springtime.
Mercedes knows it has judged the pricing for the current model just right, which is partly why it is so popular, so we don’t expect the tag to increase by much. At the moment the GLC range starts at £44,545 so a good bet would say no more than £46,000.
That might seem quite expensive, but Mercedes is very good at offering finance deals that make owning a premium large car affordable.