In-depth reviews

Mercedes GLC hybrid review

The Mercedes GLC is available in both 300 e (petrol-electric) and 300 de (diesel-electric) form, offering two different takes on the luxury plug-in hybrid SUV formula

Mercedes GLC hybrid
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Fast and powerful
  • Company-car-tax friendly
  • Petrol and diesel available

Cons

  • Less agile than BMW
  • Step in boot floor
  • Expensive
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid26-29 miles123-157mpg47-52g/km

The Mercedes GLC plug-in hybrid is aimed at company-car buyers wanting a luxury SUV, as the current Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rules mean it’s cheap to run for lots of people. There are GLC 300 e (petrol-electric) and GLC 300 de (diesel-electric) versions available, although we’ve only tried the petrol so far.

Alternatives to the GLC plug-in include the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and Jaguar F-Pace hybrids. The petrol GLC 300 e uses a familiar 2.0-litre petrol-electric setup from elsewhere in the Mercedes range (such as the C-Class hybrid), producing a combined 316bhp. The result is a nippy 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds – and on the road, the plug-in GLC feels every bit as fast as those figures suggest.

In its default drive mode, the GLC 300 e will prioritise electric power for up to 31 miles – as long as you aren’t too heavy with your right foot. Leave it in this setting and the intelligent regenerative braking system will read the road ahead, taking care of all but the most evasive braking manoeuvres – all the while feeding energy back into the battery that would otherwise be lost.

That 13.5kWh battery can be topped up in just over two-and-a-half hours using a 7.4kW home wallbox charger, or you can just use a standard domestic socket and still be done comfortably overnight, ready to go for another zero-emissions commute in the morning.

As is the case with a number of plug-in hybrid models, practicality takes a minor hit – the GLC 300 e has a small step in the boot floor. And due to the placement of the batteries, there's no underfloor storage, either – so unless you leave them at home, the car’s charging cables must sit alongside your bread and milk in the boot.

Another downside is that, as well as not being as good to drive as its BMW rival, the petrol-electric GLC isn't as efficient as another major competitor – the Audi Q5 TFSI e. It may well be that, as is the case with the E-Class executive saloon – the diesel plug-in hybrid option actually makes more sense, particularly for those who regularly exceed the car's pure-electric range on their journeys. For a more detailed look at the GLC hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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