The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
You sit suitably high up, even though the driver’s seat isn’t as far from the road as it is in some large SUVs, such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
You shouldn’t, in theory, have much bother finding a comfortable driving position; every GLC has front seats that are at least part-electrically adjustable, and include four-way adjustable lumbar support to help prevent back pain on longer journeys. There’s a good range of steering wheel movement, too, although the pedals are offset a little too far to the right. We’d also point out that the seats in entry-level Sport models are rather thin and unsupportive, and can’t be upgraded.
AMG Line Premium Plus trim and above adds memory seats; these can remember exactly how you left them and reposition themselves at the touch of a button after someone else has been driving. The standard instruments are analogue, with a screen in the middle that can show a variety of economy and vehicle information. In their place, AMG Line Premium models and above and above get a 12.3in digital instrument cluster with crystal clear graphics, which can display a vast array of driving information, but it’s a little trickier to customise than Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
From the driving seat, you’re treated to a commanding view of the road ahead, but the way the windscreen pillars are angled back farther than is the case in many SUVs has the effect of restricting visibility at junctions. It’s certainly easier to see out of an Audi Q5.
Over-the-shoulder vision is perfectly adequate by the standards of the class, and all models come with a rear-view camera for a bit of extra help. All trims also have front and rear parking sensors as well as a system that can help to steer the car into a parking space. AMG Line Premium Plus and Ultimate trims add a 360 degree camera that provide a virtual bird’s-eye view to help you manoeuvre in tight spaces.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every GLC gets a 10.3in colour infotainment screen with sat-nav. It’s mounted high up on the dashboard and is controlled using a touchpad that’s mounted between the front seats. This touchpad is duplicated in miniature on the steering wheel, and you can also operate the system through a touchscreen or with your voice. Although the overall system isn’t quite as easy to use as the BMW X3’s – thanks to its rotary dial interface – you’d be surprised at how much you can do in the GLC without taking your hands off the wheel.
The menus are, for the most part, easy to navigate and the graphics are certainly pin sharp. AMG Line Premium trim adds augmented reality to the navigation system; this overlays arrows and text onto a video feed of the road and can help at times, but you might still find yourself taking your eyes off the road for quite some time at the critical moment.
For sheer visual wow factor, the GLC’s interior beats all of its rivals, treating your eyes to a giant gloss black (or matt black wood) centre console, with eye-catching metal highlights sprinkled across the dashboard. However, It’s true that you’ll notice unwelcome creaks if you prod some of the fixtures (including the aforementioned centre console), so we’d recommend the Audi Q5 or BMW X3 if you’re more impressed by quality than style.
Most trim levels get seats trimmed in a material that Mercedes calls Artico. This looks like leather but is actually a man-made substitute, although it doesn’t feel too plasticky. The real deal is available if you’re prepared to pay extra for AMG Line Premium trim.
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