Review: 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

The GLC has been a massive success for the German brand. This year, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 enters its 2nd generation and tries to build off the success of the previous iteration. So what new features and changes has Mercedes made to improve this GLC?

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic


Engine – Under the hood, the 2023 GLC 300 is still powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It produces 255 hp & 295 lb-ft of torque (190 kw & 400 Nm) which allows this 1,925 kg (4,244 lbs) crossover to accelerate from a stop to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds (according to Mercedes-Benz). The power is the same as the mid-cycle updated version of the previous generation but the torque of this new GLC is a significant bump. The reason for this is the addition of a 48-Volt mild-hybrid system.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Just like the inline-6 engines that are found in the bigger GLE models, this new 4-cylinder benefits from the addition of “hybridization” in a few ways. This, however, is not a traditional hybrid like a Toyota Prius. Instead, it aids the engine in providing instant torque at low rpms. The electric motor can provide 23 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque (17 kW & 200 Nm) for brief moments. Additionally, this mild-hybrid configuration can not only provide a smooth auto start/stop system but it can also turn off the engine while in the Eco drive mode. Of course it’s only for brief periods and only when the car is coasting. As soon as you touch the throttle pedal or the brake pedal hard enough, the engine fires up again. It does this so that the car can coast for a slightly longer distance without any engine braking to slow it down, thus, improving fuel economy.


Fuel Economy – With the 4Matic AWD system, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 is rated for 10.4 L/100km (22.6 MPG) in a city and 9.1 L/100km (25.8 MPG) on a highway. However, with the addition of the mild-hybrid, it’s possible to get even better fuel economy as I managed to do. During the almost 500km (310 miles) that I drove the GLC during my week with it, I averaged 8.6 L/100km (27.3 MPG). Granted, I was trying to drive economically which meant mostly driving in Eco mode, smooth acceleration from stops and braking, and driving roughly 70% of the time on highways. Of course, most will probably not drive like this but it is possible to stretch a tank of fuel. 

Transmission – This engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. It does a great job of providing smooth gear changes. They’re barely noticeable. In the Eco & Comfort drive modes, the reaction time to a stab of the throttle isn’t the fastest but this reaction time improves slightly in Sport mode. Additionally, expect a slight delay should you want to change gears yourself with the paddle shifters. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Braking – I am happy to say that the brake pedal feel is normal. The reason I say this is because the last two Mercedes vehicles that I’ve driven, C300 & EQS SUV, have both had strange feeling brake pedals. For the first 10% or so of pedal travel, there was no resistance against your foot. It’s as though you’re stepping on air. Only when you press harder on the brake pedal do you begin to feel pedal resistance but at that point, it’s too much force and it makes for rough & choppy stops. 

Thankfully, the brake pedal on this GLC300 feels absolutely normal. It provides resistance as soon as you touch it. This allows for smooth stops without any head bobbing. The brakes themselves are plenty strong to stop the SUV in emergency situations.

Handling – The Mercedes GLC 300 has never been a sporty driving crossover SUV. That is, ignoring the AMG badged models. This standard GLC focuses more on providing a smooth drive which it does very well. It’s easy to maneuver the SUV in parking lots and it’s stable on highways. It’s an easy SUV to drive. Additionally this crossover SUV is capable of towing up to 3,300 lbs. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic


Ride Comfort – As this is a crossover SUV that focuses more towards luxury, the ride is just that; luxurious. Big potholes don’t upset the ride quality with a great feeling of isolation in the cabin from the road. The seats have big bolsters to keep you firmly planted in them should you take a corner too quickly and they have enough adjustments. However, they’re a bit firm compared to some other luxury SUVs in this category. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Interior Space – The Mercedes-Benz GLC has always been one of the larger crossover SUVs in this segment. This new generation is no different. It has a longer wheelbase than its closest competitor, the BMW X3, which means almost an inch more rear legroom than the X3. But the back of the front seats are made out of hard plastic instead of soft leather so if the driver brakes hard enough, your knees could be digging into that hard plastic. Otherwise, there’s plenty of space for adults in the new generation Mercedes GLC 300. 

Cargo capacity with the rear seats up is 620 L (21.9 cu-ft) and that space increases to 1,594 L (56.3 cu-ft) when folding down the 40/20/40 rear seats. If you lift up the floor of the trunk area, you’ll find the spare wheel and the car’s battery.

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 has a really quiet cabin. It’s almost as quiet as in an EV. Very little road noise is audible while on highways, wind noise is non-existent, and engine noise is also minimal under normal driving conditions. The auto start/stop is also smooth as it gradually starts up the engine rather than bump starting it like some other vehicles. But if you still don’t like it, there’s an off switch right underneath the engine start/stop button to turn off this system. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Odds and Ends

Pricing – The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic is an expensive SUV when compared to the likes of the BMW X3 30i xDrive of Audi Q5 Quattro. It starts at $58,900 CAD ($49,100 USD) and can easily cost close to $80,000 CAD ($73,000 USD) before fees & taxes. This demo vehicle came equipped at $74,085 CAD ($63,525 USD).

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Gadgets – As standard, the 2023 GLC 300 has heated front seats, Artico synthetic leather (which does not feel that great to the touch), heated steering wheel, power liftgate, 64-color ambient lighting system, heated power folding exterior mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, & power front seats with memory.

Optional features include ventilated front seats, rapid heating function for the front seats, heated rear seats, leather upholstery (which I think is much better than the Artico leather), panoramic sunroof, and keyless entry which honestly, I think should be standard. 

The GLC can also be equipped with a parking assist function that can detect and park the car without any driver inputs. Impressively, this system can detect parking spots even if there aren’t any cars in between spots. In the past, this was the only way this type of system could detect parking spots. But now in 2023, it recognizes the lines on the asphalt and gives you a representation of where the car would be. You just have to press “start” on the infotainment screen and it’ll do the rest for you. But it is quite slow to perform the parking maneuver which could test the patience of other drivers behind your GLC.

The 11.9” touchscreen is plucked from the Mercedes S-class and features the latest iteration of MBUX. It has natural language understanding that works pretty well and it allows for wireless CarPlay & wireless Android Auto connectivity. This infotainment system is fairly easy to navigate around but you’ll have to dig through it to change some functions which would be distracting to use while driving. And herein lies the problem I have with modern day Mercedes-Benz vehicles. A lot of the most commonly used functions (climate control, fan speed, etc) are integrated into a touchscreen rather than individual buttons like the previous generation GLC. It’s much more distraction and forces you to take your eyes off the road to make sure that you selected the item you wanted to select.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Interior Design – The design of the 2023 GLC 300 interior takes a lot of its cues from the S-class. It has the same touchscreen that flows into the center console and it uses the same 12.3” digital driver display. The air vents are typical Mercedes-Benz twist to lock type and the center console has a large lid that slides forward to reveal the two cup holders and the wireless phone charging pad, if equipped. 

But, as I stated earlier, a lot of the physical buttons & toggle switches are gone with the functions integrated into the touchscreen. Furthermore, the steering wheel mounted controls are now just four pieces of plastic with either swipe or hard press functions. Half the time, the swiping feature thinks you’re swiping your fingers up or down instead of left or right to change something on the driver instrument cluster. All of these things require more concentration and thus distraction while driving. 

Having said that, the cabin design looks great. This is especially true at night with the ambient lighting system. But now that the dashboard is essentially just two screens and a few air vents, it makes me wonder where the craftsmanship of the old Mercedes vehicles has gone?

Exterior Design – While the interior of the 2023 GLC has seen a big change, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the exterior hasn’t changed at all. The grille has the same overall shape as the last while the headlights retain the same overall shape as before. The LED daytime running lights are different but it’s a subtle change. The taillights have also been changed but again, very subtle tweaks. One item about the design that irks me are the fake exhaust tips. The real ones point downward behind the bumper cover. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Safety – The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 comes equipped with a lot of standard safety features. All of the important safety & driver aids are present such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot sensors (which also function when the car is at a stop light), vehicle exit warning, 7 airbags, and much more. Some optional features include active lane keeping assist, a built-in dashcam, surround view cameras, trailer stability assist, and evasive steering assist among many more.

Warranty – Just like every other Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the 2023 GLC 300 comes with a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle warranty. It also comes with 4 years / unlimited km roadside assistance, 4 year / 80,000 km surface corrosion, and 8 year / 130,000 km warranty for certain emission parts. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For U.S.A. warranty information, click here.


Conclusion – I have no doubts that this second generation Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 will continue to be a big success for the German brand. It’s quiet, smooth, spacious, and luxurious. All features that one expects of a Mercedes-Benz. Sure, there are some things that I don’t like about the interior but these are personal preferences which others may like. At the end of the day, this 2023 GLC 300 is an improvement on a tried and tested recipe that Mercedes got right.

Thank you to Mercedes-Benz Canada for providing the vehicle.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic Gallery

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