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Mercedes-Benz vehicles are among the most recognized on the road. These German luxury cars can make just about any driver happy, and millions of people proudly own one. Of all the models the brand offers, one has become a consumer favorite. However, the most popular Mercedes-Benz model last year is having a hard time this year. 

2022 and 2023 Mercedes-Benz U.S. sales figures

The Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 Mercedes-Benz U.S. car sales figures were nothing short of impressive. Overall, the company sold 350,949 units in 2022 for a 4% gain over the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the luxury automaker sold 73,019 units. Moving ahead to the first quarter of 2023, Mercedes-Benz saw U.S. sales figures of 61,531.

In 2022, the most popular Mercedes-Benz model was the GLC luxury compact SUV, moving 65,531 units. It surpassed the GLE luxury midsize SUV, which is the best-selling Mercedes vehicle so far in 2023. Supply-chain issues hurt 2022 sales, but crossover vehicles were top sellers. The GLC proved to be one of the most sought-after luxury crossovers last year.

A silver 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE parked on fake ice
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE | MBUSA

Now that the first- and second-quarter sales figures are out, we can take a look at Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model. Surprisingly, it isn’t the GLC. The GLE has sold more units year-to-date — 29,681 — than any other model in the lineup. Although it has seen an 8.5% decrease since 2022, the GLE greatly exceeds the numbers of every other model.

By contrast, the GLC hasn’t been doing as well in 2023 as it did the previous year. It sold 16,910 units in Q1 2022. And this year, the GLC sold only 3,649 in Q1, a significant 78.4% drop compared to Q1 2022. However, sales picked up in Q2, when the compact SUV sold 14,252 units. Those figures add up to year-to-date GLC sales of only 17,901. It’s pacing 11,780 behind the popular GLE.

So, why is the Mercedes-Benz GLC having such a hard time when in recent years it was flying off dealership lots? The most obvious reason is that the redesigned 2023 GLC didn’t hit showroom floors until this past spring. Also, car shoppers might not like the new GLC’s refreshed look, but that’s just speculation.

In addition, electric vehicles in the EQ lineup could be stealing sales from other Mercedes models. In its most recent report, MBUSA touts EV sales growth of 608% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 in 2022.

Another plausible reason could be the same one affecting plenty of automakers: Production and delivery problems continue to stifle sales.

Overview of the redesigned 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC

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The Mercedes-Benz GLC is mechanically similar to a sedan but with a slightly higher ride height. It packs a standard 255-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, a 48-volt hybrid system, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 2023 model also boasts plenty of tech upgrades, including a vertically oriented touchscreen infotainment display and advanced driver-assistance systems. In addition, it touts generous cargo space, comfortable seating for five, and an optional coupe body style for a sportier look. 

Thanks to its hybrid system, the 2023 GLC gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. This luxury compact SUV also boasts competitive warranties, including a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and four-year/50,000-mile powertrain coverage.