Read Caroline’s Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e review for everything you need to know about buying Mercedes’ new mid-size plug-in hybrid SUV.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is one of Mercedes’ bestselling models in Ireland, outselling classic saloons like the C-Class and the E-Class. Now Mercedes is introducing an all-new version of the GLC in 2023.

The GLC is of course the SUV version of the C-Class and shares a platform with that car. Yet these days SUVs tend to be even more desirable – though the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a fine machine in its own right.

So there’s plenty to look forward to with this new GLC – a gorgeous high-tech interior and new plug-in hybrids with a class-leading electric range in excess of 120 kilometres.

The new GLC is available from €80,310 for the 220 d diesel and from €91,510 for a petrol plug-in hybrid. So it does command a higher list price than rivals like the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5 – but could it be a bit more desirable and luxurious than the rest?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC on test for Changing Lanes!
The Mercedes-Benz GLC on test for Changing Lanes!

What’s so special about the Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The new GLC is longer and lower than the model it replaces with increased track width for a more powerful and dynamic stance on the road. It’s a subtle evolution of styling for the GLC but this car still oozes style and class.

All GLCs on sale in Ireland come as standard with the AMG Line Plus package, which includes 19-inch alloy wheels, AMG styling kit, diamond radiator grille, and a sporty chrome rear apron with a diffuser look.

Power comes from a choice of petrol and diesel engines with mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid technology. The petrol plug-in hybrid (300 e’) is capable of travelling up to an incredible 129 kilometres on a single charge of its 31kWh battery – one of the longest EV ranges for any plug-in hybrid on sale.

And it will be EV driving in style as it’s the cabin where the GLC truly shines. The modern interior is inspired by the latest C-Class and there’s lots of interior space to get really comfortable too.

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC

Inside the GLC

The previous version of the GLC was starting to feel old inside so it was important that Mercedes got the interior right for the new model. Nothing to worry about, it’s simply wonderful inside!

The design is similar to the cabin of the C-Class so new features include a full digital driver display and large portrait-style touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard with latest MBUX infotainment. It looks high-tech and is simple and intuitive to use. Ventilation is now controlled from the screen but is relatively easy to adjust.

Wireless smartphone charging also comes as standard, as does stunning ambient lighting with 64 colours and 10 colour moods.

The material quality of the cabin is excellent and the GLC feels nothing short of a luxury SUV. Synthetic leather upholstery comes as standard, with a few colour options too. There’s also a glamourous new steering wheel finished in black Nappa leather.

There’s a longer wheelbase than before so new GLC feels more spacious for rear sear passengers. There is a large transmission tunnel in the centre, but generally this is a comfortable back seat for a few children or adults.

Petrol and diesel versions are best for boot space with a generous 600 litres, 50 litres more than the previous GLC. It’s worth noting that if you opt for a plug-in hybrid GLC, the volume goes down to 400 litres to accommodate the battery under the boot floor.

The GLC 300 e has an incredible electric driving range for a plug-in hybrid SUV
The GLC 300 e has an incredible electric driving range for a plug-in hybrid SUV

Driving the GLC 300 e hybrid

The GLC range kicks off with the well-proven 220 d with 197hp from a 2.0-litre mild hybrid diesel that offers some of the best economy of the range, with no need to plug it in.

But no matter which version of the GLC you go for, a smooth nine-speed automatic comes as standard – as does 4Matic four wheel drive.

The new GLC 300 e petrol plug-in hybrid is one of the most powerful of the range with 313hp and a healthy 550Nm of torque. It’s a heavy SUV but the performance stats would have you think otherwise. 0 to 100km/h is just 6.7 seconds. The power delivery is effortless and smooth, making the GLC 300 e a great companion on the road.

Mercedes has added more sound insulation to the latest GLC. The improved aerodynamics also make it quieter in the cabin at high speeds.

The sports suspension keeps the GLC 300 e surprisingly composed and athletic through bends without feeling too brittle or performance-biased. There is some firmness over bumpy rural roads, but the GLC still makes an excellent cruiser.

For the best efficiency, the GLC’s considerable 31kWh battery needs to be topped up. But with AC charging possible up to 11kW, charging the battery to full can be done in as little as 2.5 hours.

Rear legroom in the Mercedes GLCa
Rear legroom in the Mercedes GLC

Did you like it?

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC is a fine luxury SUV with lots of kerb appeal and plenty of choice still when it comes to power options. It stands out for its upmarket interior with lots of high-tech features and equipment as standard.

The 300 e plug-in hybrid is a good choice with an excellent EV driving range for any plug-in hybrid on sale at the moment. It means this GLC would be excellent for emissions-free driving in town or on short commutes, with the petrol engine on board for back-up on longer trips.

It’s a smooth, powerful and refined drive after all that, offering a premium driving experience amid the comfort of a top-class cabin. An expensive car but there’s a lot to like about the new GLC.

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e
Price: From 
2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid
Power: 313hp
Torque: 550Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 6.7 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is on sale now
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC is on sale now