2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 SUV 4Matic Review – Suburban Comfort

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 SUV 4Matic Fast Facts

2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder w/ mild-hybrid (255 horsepower @ N/A RPM, 295 lb-ft @ N/A RPM)
Transmission/Drive-Wheel Layout
Nine-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
23 city / 31 highway / 26 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
10.4 city / 9.1 highway / 9.8 combined (EPA Rating)
Base Price
$49,100 (U.S.) / $58,900 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$56,650 (U.S.) / $70,490 (Canada)
Prices include N/A destination charge in the United States and N/A for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

It’s not uncommon for vehicles to get slapped with labels based on stereotypes. One of the more derisive ones I’ve heard over the years is a pejorative reference to mid-size luxury crossovers as “parent mobiles.” Although it’s usually more sexist than that, with moms taking more flak than dads, for reasons I don’t need to explain.

Perhaps, though, this stereotype doesn’t need to be so negative. If you need to haul children and/or pets and/or aged parents around the suburbs and you have the means to shop upmarket, you could do worse than the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Sure, it’s a tad boring, but that’s OK. Comfort is the name of the game here – although this Benz doesn’t completely sacrifice sportiness.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gets a mild hybrid boost that works pretty seamlessly, with an output of 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That mates to a nine-speed automatic transmission and power gets to ground via all-wheel drive.

That power gets put down quietly – very little engine noise intrudes unless you’re summoning the upper rev range – and smoothly. The GLC is a tad heavy, but there’s enough grunt here for the urban dash. Fling it into a corner and you’ll get a bit of body roll but the GLC handles with competence. It’s not as fun as something with an AMG badge, but it’s fine if your priority is commuting or people hauling.

The ride is definitely luxury-crossover smooth. So, too, is the overall user experience.

That extends to the cabin – the digital gauge system is easy to read and configure, and the large infotainment screen is easy on aging eyes. It’s not super difficult to navigate, either, though the haptic-touch controls are hit or miss. MB does haptic touch better than others but sometimes old-fashioned knobs and buttons are still the best way to go.

On the other hand, the futuristic interior design is one of those “eye of the beholder” things. Some will dig it, some not.

One thing that stuck out to me is that while luxury brands sometimes soak buyers when it comes to MSRP, the as-tested price for the GLC 300 4Matic I drove was a reasonable $56K. The base price checked in at under $50K.

That sum gets you dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and starting, Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, ambient interior lighting, power sunroof, active brake assist, attention assist, rearview camera, blind-spot assist, LED headlamps and taillamps, LED daytime running lights, and adaptive high-beam assist.

Options included “Nappa look” for the dash, a panorama roof, heated steering wheel, satellite radio, an advanced USB package, 19-inch wheels, a driver-assistance package (active steering assist, active lane-change assist, active blind-spot assist, evasive steering assist, and more), and another package that included a 360-degree camera, Burmester audio, and navigation.

All this in a pleasantly inoffensive package.

Maybe I am showing my age. Maybe my wilder days have truly faded. Or maybe I contain multitudes and can appreciate the most intense muscle car as much as I can a comfortable SUV that blends.

Either way – the GLC 300 4Matic isn’t going to inspire lust, but you’ll feel just fine hanging its key fob on the hook in your garage.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
5 of 49 comments
  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Feb 03, 2024

    At least it's not electric. 😀

    • See 1 previous
    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Feb 05, 2024

      Genesis by Hyundai is a recognized leader in electrical vehicles, Genesis has built out of it's leadership front running position with gasoline driven luxury vehicles to take over electrical luxury before competitors such as anti ATP lexus even figure out how to screw in a lightbulb.

  • Gustavo Woltmann Gustavo Woltmann on Feb 05, 2024

    Mercedes cars are always so elegant.

    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Feb 05, 2024

      Not as elegant as the industry award winning designs of the EV9 by Kia or Genesis by Hyundai.

  • GBJT I wouldn’t buy any vehicle with a turbo in it, lesson learned.
  • SCE to AUX I'm no fan of halo cars, and I can't imagine working on this one for Mr Musk.
  • Honda1 Love it! Elon rocks!!
  • Mike Beranek For most NASCAR and Indy Car races, and some Formula 1, just connect an antenna to your TV and view those broadcasts in beautiful high-def without the egregious compression artifacts you get with streaming.If you're far away from the stations, you'll need a bigger antenna.