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 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.

Cadillac is moving the car buying experience into an interactive video-based platform as the brand works to gain new customers.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Edmunds.com is predicting hat sales of used cars will rise through 2020. At the same time, used car prices are expected to decline. That's a recipe for success for used car buyers according to Carvana. The online used vehicle retailer is predicting four trends for used car shoppers.

Mainstream Cars Stay Hot

Carvana believes that demand for used cars from mass-market brands like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan will continue. In 2019 small and mid-sized cars showed the strongest price appreciation in the used-vehicle market, a trend that is expected to continue in 2020.

Consumers Choose Quality Over Everything

According to Carvana, "A recent study from Brandwatch asked consumers what attributes were most important for brands in the auto industry, quality was the most popular option with 30% of the vote. Affordability followed, with 21% of respondents choosing it as the most important attribute. Carvana has more than 8,000 cars available on their site for local buyers priced under $15,000."

Customers Continue to Get Comfortable Shopping Online

If there's one thing America can agree on, it's not politics. It's that they generally hate going to car dealerships. Shopping for vehicles online has grown tremendously over the past decade and Carvana expects that to continue, a trend driven by the ability for customers to "do it all" from financing to browsing to scheduling delivery without ever having to talk to a salesperson.

According to Carvana, 75% of car buyers are willing to purchase a car online and 97% of car buyers do online research before a purchase.

The Digital Economy Will Continue to Transform Car Buying

Technology is making it easier than ever to buy a car. New online initiatives like Cadillac Live allow customers to talk to a salesperson without leaving their couch. Getting a 360-degree view of the vehicle is possible thanks to sights from most manufacturers, and CarFax offers reports on used vehicles.

Oscar-winning auteur Spike Lee will introduce the 2021 Cadillac Escalade in Hollywood on Tuesday, Feb. 4, with the premiere of "Anthem," a short film he directed.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

We've seen the redesigned 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, and GMC Yukon. Now, it's natural the redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade's turn. On Tuesday, February 4 Oscar-winning auteur Spike Lee will introduce the model at the premiere of his new film "Anthem".

What ties the two together? According to Cadillac, "Filmed with Lee's signature Double-Dolly technique, which heightens the sense of motion to draw viewers closer to the character, the film captures the presence, innovation and movement of the next-generation Escalade, with reverence for its more than two decades as a cultural icon."

2021 Cadillac Escalade The Escalade will feature industry-fast OLED screen technology.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

"As one of the greatest storytellers and most creative filmmakers of his time, Spike Lee's unique perspective is the perfect conduit for sharing the passion and spirit of the 2021 Escalade," said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president. "It is an icon reimagined."

Along with bold new styling, the 2021 Escalade will feature industry-first curved OLED screen technology. It is likely that the vehicle will be for sale via Cadillac's new virtual car shopping experience, Cadillac Live.

The 2021 model will be the first in the fifth-generation of the Escalade.