The Mercedes-Benz GLC-class is the best-selling car or SUV in Mercedes-Benz brand history. But, when the new 2023 Mercedes GLC goes on sale next year, it will face some stiff competition from other luxury brands from its home country. Audi, BMW and Porsche all make worthy competitors to the current GLC, and each is very similar. The new GLC is slated to have even more power, with an electric hybrid booster added to its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder motor. Benz will also likely tap its AMG wizards to pump up the horsepower with other special editions.
Mercedes found a winning formula with the GLC
The 2022 GLC300 is known as one of the most luxurious small SUVs that offers a leather interior, all-wheel-drive, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it earned a five-star crash rating from the NHTSA. It may only have 255 hp, but it can still get to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC starts at $43,850 and can seat five.
Mercedes hasn’t released many details about the 2023 GLC. But, why mess with the GLC’s winning formula?
The Audi Q5 is similar, but less expensive
The 2022 Audi Q5 is a little bit less expensive and is a great value when compared to the base GLC. It’s pricing starts at a little more than $43,000. The Audi offers similar levels of interior refinement, as well as quattro all-wheel-drive and special S Line sporty exterior options.
The Benz can be optioned with AMG trim and engines from the brand’s performance arm. The Audi offers the SQ5 version, which turns the tall SUV into more of a hot hatch, like a VW GTI. Audi also offers the e Plug-in Hybrid version, which is features a 2.0-liter four cylinder paired to an electric motor for a total of 362 HP. The company claims a 5,0 0-60 mph time for the Plug-in, and an 85-mph top speed in electric mode.
Mercedes offers the Q3 in a four-door “coupe” version, while Audi calls its truncated-rear version the Sportback.
The BMW X3 is a close competitor
The BMW X3 specs aren’t too different from the GLC, and they match up very well. The BMW is a bit sportier than the Mercedes GLC and BMW calls it a Sports Activity Vehicle. Like the Mercedes GLC, the base X3 sDrive301 has a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four cylinder engine, however the BMWs makes 248 hp. BMW says the base X3 will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and earns a combined 25 miles-per-gallon rating.
If you want all-wheel-drive, BMW offers the X3 as the X3 xDrive30i.
Like Audi and Benz, you can also order the X3 in a hopped-up packages. The X3 M with 473 hp will accelerate to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, according to BMW, with the Competition Package. The M comes with a larger infotainment screen, larger wheels and brakes, and sport seats that provide more lateral support.
Porsche’s Macan puts the sport in sport utility vehicle
The Porsche Macan is the sportiest in the class and its base model also has a turbocharged four-cylinder motor. The Porsche makes 261 horsepower, but is mated to the PDK, which is Porsche’s automated dual-clutch transmission, which is known for its quick, smooth, shifts. It can also be ordered with a all-wheel-drive, and it comes in several high-performance flavors, including the GTS, which has 434 hp.
The small luxury SUV segment is where it’s at right now, and the Macan is Porsche’s best selling model. Consumer Reports also has good things to say about it, saying that it’s one of its most satisfying compact SUVs. The Porsche is, however, a bit more expensive and starts at $54,900.
The 2023 Mercedes GLC will face some still competition from its German rivals, to be sure, but the SUV will likely be able to hold its own if Mercedes sticks to its winning formula for a compact, powerful, capable and roomy five-passenger small SUV.