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First Drive Review: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC is a luxe family hauler with sports car performance

The Mercedes-Benz GLC starts at $42,500 and will be on sale later this year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC is the brand's best-selling model in the United States. This year's redesign includes key updates to make sure it the GLC doesn't lose its edge. A wide range of trims with multiple engines and body styles offer choice aplenty for luxury shoppers.

The GLC is a mid-size SUV that sits above the compact GLA and below the larger GLE. It's available as both an SUV and a coupe, but this isn't a traditional coupe – it still has four doors. Instead of a two-door version of a four-door sedan, this is a sportier version of an SUV with a lower roofline.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC comes in two variants, a coupe and a SUV.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The redesigned exterior includes chrome trims that run front to rear, new headlamps, and a new contoured grille to give the GLC a bolder look. The standard LED headlamps are smaller and in back there's a revised bumper and exhaust tips. Together these changes create a more aggressive appearance.

Both the GLC 300 SUV and coupe have are powered by a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque paired to with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The SUV offers rear- or all-wheel drive while the coupe is all-wheel drive only. It's a responsive and controlled ride with smooth power delivery befitting a luxury vehicle.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC The Mercedes is responsive and delivers power smoothly.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The AMG GLC 63 has a more powerful 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine with 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque that's also paired to a 9-speed automatic. That healthy jump in power delivers stronger acceleration with a sport-tuned ride. If that's still not enough, then there's the AMG GLC 63 S, offered on the coupe only, which is specially tuned and delivers 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque - true sports car performance.

That's the lineup for now, but it will be expanding over the coming months and into next year. The GLC family will round out with the plug-in hybrid GLC 350e and the GLC 43 SUV and coupe.

Inside, the experience is luxe with rich wood and leather appointments that coddle passengers in comfort. There's ample room for five passengers and taller riders will find plenty of headroom and legroom, even in the coupe. Those who plan to use the GLC to haul cargo will find the SUV a better option with an additional 1.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 7.1 cubic feet behind the front seats.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC The Mercedes-Benz GLC features the latest version of the company's infotainment system, MBUX.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Infotainment now features the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), which can be operated with a touchpad, touchscreen, steering wheel controls, or voice simply by saying, "Hey, Mercedes." There's a standard 10.25-inch touch screen along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard safety features include brake assist, blind spot assist with exit warning, attention assist, and crosswind assist. More advanced features including active steering assist, emergency braking, emergency stop assist, active blind spot assist, and rear cross traffic alert are available at an additional cost.

Pricing for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV ranges from $42,500 to $73,750 while the coupe comes in higher with pricing from $50,000 to $84,100. Expect to see the redesigned GLC in dealerships late this year.

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David Beckham is the new face of Maserati.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

David Beckham is turning his passion for supercars into a side gig. The former Manchester United midfielder has become the new face of Maserati.

Beckham has a long history as a car nut. He's owned Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, McLarens, Cadillacs, Audis, Aston Martins, Jaguars, BMWs, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Hummers, and Jeeps, just to name a few. A year ago an Aston Martin Volante owned by Golden Balls went under the hammer and a little later in the year he was named one of the top five celebrities people would prefer to have deliver their new car to their home.

Maserati has a number of new projects up its sleeve besides partnering with Beckham. The company recently launched the new Ghibli Hybrid, a vehicle that the Modena-based manufacturer sees as a jumping off point for the new version of the brand - one where electrification and performance take center stage. Call it the Italian version of Akio Toyoda's famous "no boring cars" statement.

"The Brand is moving forward, inaugurated a new Era. Maserati is driven to challenge the status quo being innovative by nature, powered by passion, and unique by design. The partnership with David is the embodiment of all these values,: said Paolo Tubito, Maserati Chief Marketing Officer.

For 2021, Maserati also added a trio of Trofeos to its lineup. The The Maserati Levante Trofeo,. Ghibli Trofeo,and Quattroporte Trofeo are the most extreme versions of the vehicles available new from the manufacturer.

Beckham makes his debut in a new movie featuring the Levante Trofeo, performing the "audacious" act of driving a Maserati. The setting is Miami, the home city of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, an MLS soccer club that Becks co-owns with Marcelo Claure, Jorge Mas, Masayoshi Son, and José R. Mas.

Maserati and David Beckham: two of a kind www.youtube.com

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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