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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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New SUV

New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

The Compass gets a major update for 2022.

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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The new Grand Cherokee L is on its way to dealers now.

Stellantis

The all-new three-row Grand Cherokee L was unveiled earlier this year, and features an ultra-premium interior, a load of new tech, and sharp styling that shouts back to Jeep models of the past. Just a few weeks ago, we learned pricing and feature details for the new model, and now Jeep says the vehicle is on its way to dealerships across the country.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L is the first three-row Grand Cherokee.Stellantis


In terms of styling, the L's shape has been reworked from previous Grand Cherokee models to be more reminiscent of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The automaker says that the grille has been tilted forward and is now wider for better air flow and a more dramatic appearance. The idea was to make the Grand Cherokee L look rugged, but keep it sleek and technical in the process.

The stretched Grand Cherokee retains the engines that powered its predecessors. That means a 3.6-liter V6 is standard, which delivers 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter V6 is optional, and makes 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or al-wheel drive. Either powertrain option will provide decent towing capability, but the V8 is unsurprisingly more powerful. With a V6 on board, the Grand Cherokee L can tow 6,200 pounds, while V8-powered models can pull 7,200 pounds.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L's styling is modern but nostalgic.Stellantis


Inside, Jeep says the L can be equipped with the latest tech and entertainment features. Running the latest Uconnect infotainment software, the Grand Cherokee L will be capable of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be had with a head-up display, a rear-seat monitoring camera system, and a 950-watt 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. At the top end of the lineup, the Summit Reserve model gets Palermo quilted leather, open-pore waxed walnut wood, and 21-inch wheels.

Pricing for the L starts at $38,690 after destination, which buys the base Laredo trim. The range-topping Summit Reserve model starts at $61,690 after destination. Dealer deliveries are underway now, supported by almost 5,000 employees at Stellantis' Detroit Assembly Complex.

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