One-Day Drive

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 GLCThe 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 GLCThe 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 GLCThe 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 performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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