March 03, 2024
Wheels

GLC 300 continues its luxury appeal, adding few changes for 2024

This year’s Mercedes-Benz SUV is all about the cabin tweaks, versatility

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 offers the expected luxury in a versatile SUV.

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 SUV continues the brand’s legacy of combining opulence with dynamic performance, creating a compelling package for luxury SUV enthusiasts. After being completely redesigned last year, the GLC 300 SUV carries over mostly unchanged.

This 2024 iteration refines the impressive GLC lineup, offering a sophisticated driving experience with cutting-edge technology, elegant design, and versatile functionality that only occasionally borders on tech overkill.

Great looks

I tested the 2024 GLC 300 4MATIC SUV which had a base price of $49,100. Given the brand and the expected level of refinement, it’s not a deal-breaker for many luxury enthusiasts and even premium owners thinking of making a jump up.

The GLC 300 is refined and seamlessly blends modern aesthetics with the distinctive Mercedes-Benz design language. The SUV features sleek lines, a prominent grille, and LED lighting that not only enhances visibility but also contributes to the overall sophisticated appearance. I like the more athletic and it certainly prepares one for the potential elevated performance possibilities.

Performance

The GLC 300 is powered by a very capable 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with a 48-volt mild hybrid assist motor. It delivers 258 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with a choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive (4Matic), I found my tester to be nimble and fun to drive around town.

This is a very capable SUV that is as adept at climbing a mountain road in the Alps as it is climbing a parking garage ramp in the city. I found myself keeping the SUV in the optional Sport setting most of the time, which significantly tightens up the suspension and steering response. The GLC does have slick paddle shifters tucked behind the back surface of the steering wheel for easy quick-shift fun.

The rear-drive configuration is slightly more efficient than the AWD variant, delivering 26 city, 33 highway, and 29 combined mpg. My GLC 300 SUV with 4Matic has an expected mpg rating of 24/32/27.

Cabin comfort

Step inside the cabin, and the GLC 300 impresses with its luxurious interior. Premium materials, meticulous attention to detail, and a spacious layout create an inviting environment for both driver and passengers. The dash and interior feature soft-touch surfaces, and real wood and metal. Ergonomically designed seats offer excellent comfort for long journeys, and the intelligent interior ambient lighting adds to the overall sense of refinement.

With all the seats down, it has 59.3 cubic feet of storage space. With the rear seats raised, it has 21.9 cubic feet, which is better than average for this segment SUV, though the second-row seating does not pay a price for the added cargo room. I found the second-row seating to be quite roomy and accommodating.

While I’m smaller in stature and found the GLC 300 to be quite comfortable up front, I do see where some criticism might emanate from the narrow shoot between the center console and the driver door. The wheel is not as multi-positioning as you might like and the console might make larger adults feel cramped.

Tech

The 11.9-inch touchscreen delivers crisp color and bold graphics. A 12.3-inch instrument screen offers bold visuals and a selection of designs that will accommodate any passenger’s mood.

Mercedes-Benz continues to lead in automotive technology, and the 2024 GLC 300 4MATIC is no exception. The infotainment system is intuitive, featuring a user-friendly interface with a high-resolution display. Advanced driver-assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, enhance safety and provide an added layer of confidence on the road. Smartphone integration, voice command functionality, and a premium sound system further elevate the driving experience.

My biggest gripe with the tech in my tester comes from the touch-sensitive buttons on the doors, steering wheel, and along the bottom of the infotainment screen. These were frustratingly imprecise and, along with the steering wheel controls, more of an annoyance than an asset. Not what you expect from Mercedes-Benz.

Final thoughts

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC SUV stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to luxury, performance and innovation. With its striking design, sumptuous interior, fun performance and cutting-edge tech, it caters to drivers seeking a sophisticated yet dynamic driving experience.

The GLC 300 4MATIC SUV starts at $49,100, but with add-ons my tester managed to climb to $56,650. No worries, it is still a very compelling choice in the competitive luxury SUV segment.

• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations and new vehicles.