Is it a wagon? Is it a car? The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC is, quite simply, a luxurious crossover with the best features of the C-Class and the E-Class together in one snazzy midsize SUV. Bigger than the 2015 GLK-Class, it still manages to exude elegance and the Mercedes-Benz cachet while being one of the most reliable SUVs on the road.
It wasn’t just one of the hottest luxury SUVs in 2016, either. We reported that it was still in high demand on the used car market in 2018, selling faster overall than either the Porsche Cayenne or the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Today, you can still get the same luxury experience at almost half the original retail price.
The look and feel of the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
Let’s talk about the exterior. The large grill, long nose, and balanced countenance let you know it’s a vehicle to take seriously. While bigger than its predecessor, it doesn’t mean this model is cumbersome or awkward. The smooth lines and contoured hood quietly command your attention, softening what could otherwise be an imposing silhouette.
When first introduced, our gearheads at MotorBiscuit proclaimed the Mercedes-Benz GLC as one of the 10 Best Car Interiors for 2016. According to Car and Driver, the roomy cabin is made possible by the addition of three inches to the width, a higher ceiling, and a more vertical position for the windshield.
The tasteful wood and chrome accents combined with the butter-soft leather seating in the cabin is more than window dressing: there is a 17 percent increase in cargo room over the GLK, and it can seat five adults comfortably.
Taking only 6.8 seconds to go from 0-60 mph, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine gives the acceleration you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz. What you don’t expect is how surprisingly quiet it is. In the Consumer Reports test drive, they called out the ride of the GLC as “one of the most comfortable rides of any small SUV.” The steering is responsive, and at 241 hp, it is rated to tow an impressive 5,000 lbs.
Kelly Blue Book named this SUV the best affordable luxury SUV. The original retail price hovered just over the $40,000 mark. You can pick one up used starting around $23,500 now, according to KBB.
Compared to its competitors, the Audi Q3 SUV, the Lexus NX SUV, and the BMW X1 SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLC certainly seems to be holding its value better than even the Certified Pre-Owned versions of those Audi, BMW, or Lexus models.
Pros and cons
The GLC offers all the luxury of a Mercedes with a spacious cabin. It has a silent, smooth ride and quick acceleration while still maintaining an average of 22 mpg. It’s easy to enter and exit with high doors and ceilings. The rear camera is standard. Seats are cushioned and comfortable but offer enough support to stay comfortable on long road trips.
Consumer Reports found the stability control a little too eager, causing the GLC to brake hard and quickly. Similar adaptive cruise control functionality as well as leg-, head-, and cargo room are available in less expensive domestic SUVs. The V6 options in its nearest competitors offer more power than the four-cylinders of the GLC.
In summary, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC stands the test of time. While nothing is perfect, the few detractions fade away easily in comparison to the advantages of owning this luxury SUV. We still believe that this midsize luxury model is one of the most reliable SUVs on the road. It is still a great price for a luxury SUV, holding up in value against its nearest competitors of the same year.