Mercedes GLC hybrid engines, drive & performance
The plug-in GLCs boast strong performance from their electric motors, but ride and handling could be better
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Unfortunately, ranged against cars like the BMW X3, the Mercedes GLC doesn’t feel quite as sharp or fun to drive – in petrol-electric form at least. It’s agile enough, but its forte is quiet, urban commutes and comfortable cruising.
You’ll never hear the engine at 70mph; the only noticeable sound is a little wind noise around the door mirrors. It also strikes a slightly better balance between comfort and agility than the Volvo XC60, which can feel a little too wallowy in corners at times.
Mercedes GLC hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
The GLC 300 de is less powerful than the petrol GLC 300 e, but the engine itself has more torque. The combined output from the powertrain is 302bhp in the diesel and 316bhp in the petrol, and with 440Nm of torque from the electric motor alone, both versions are rapid from low speed when you put your foot down.
The GLC 300 e goes from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, and up to a top speed of 143mph. The electric motor alone can manage a top speed of 87mph. The GLC 300 de can go from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, which is still very quick for a big SUV like this. It has the same top speed as the petrol.
The extra weight over normal GLC models means that the GLC plug-in is less agile in bends, but the car isn’t aimed at keen drivers anyway. What most buyers will be concerned about is how comfortable it is, and while it’s not perfect – partly because all versions are high-spec and have large alloy wheels with low-profile tyres – it’s still more on the comfortable side rather than sporty.
The steering has a good weight to it and the controls are well placed in the cabin, so it’s pleasant to drive on twisty roads even though it relies on its powerful performance rather than tidy handling to make swift progress, should you want to.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe 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
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe GLC hybrid is available in petrol or diesel form; both promise around 30 miles of electric range
- 3Running costsCompany-car tax rules mean the GLC plug-in is an attractive choice in petrol or diesel form, but private buyers can save, too
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingThe plug-in GLCs boast strong performance from their electric motors, but ride and handling could be better
- 5Interior & comfortA high-tech cabin with impressive infotainment means the GLC plug-in feels luxurious
- 6Practicality & boot spacePlug-in versions of the GLC are less practical than the normal petrol and diesel options
- 7Reliability & safetyThe GLC scored highly in crash tests, but you have to pay extra to get the best assistance technology