That Special Feeling: The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC.
Five-passenger SUVs are ubiquitous. Everywhere.  Everyone makes one, everyone sells one.  A good one, well-equipped, is going to be ten grand either side of $50,000.  So how do you choose?

Mercedes-Benz is on a roll right now---making vehicles that, as befits the marque and its heritage, look and feel special---and make the driver feel special, too.

Rear 3/4 view of 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

I've been writing about cars for 23 years now.  I drive more than 100 cars a year.  I should be pretty immune to charm and flattery.  But damn if I don't just love how I feel at the wheel of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC.

Hood open on 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Engine in 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Under the hood, it's a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbo with 255 horsepower, 273 pounds per foot of torque and a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, all running through Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

Before you turn up your nose at a five-passenger SUV with less than 300 horsepower, I'll mention that 0-60 in the GLC 300 4MATIC happens in a mere 5.4 seconds.   And fuel economy is solid, too, at an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon city/28 highway. 

And it handles.  In a 100-mile loop of Sierra foothill backroads that took me roughly halfway from TireKicker World Headquarters in Folsom (suburban Sacramento) to South Lake Tahoe and back, the GLC 300 behaved more like a sport sedan than an SUV, delighting in the winding roads that weave their way up into the mountains.

Mercedes is also setting the base prices for its current generation of SUVs at surprisingly reasonable levels.  The GLC 300 4MATIC starts at $44,500, and that includes ECO start/stop, dynamic select, an anti-theft alarm system, brake assist system, adaptive braking technology, electronic stability program, attention assist, crosswind stabilization, blind spot assist, active brake assist, rearview camera, automatic light-sensing headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, LED headlamps, LED taillamps and all-season tires.

Tailgate open on 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Interior view of 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Rear seat in 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Front seats in 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Also standard for $44,500:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless start
  • Bluetooth
  • Mercedes me connect services with trial period
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience)
  • Voice control
  • Touchpad
  • Power heated front seats
  • Memory function for driver seat, steering column and exterior mirrors
  • Split-folding rear seats
  • Power-folding side mirrors
  • Power liftgate
  • Cargo cover
  • Roof rails
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Rear window wiper/washer
Instrument panel in 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Gauge cluster in 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Infotainment and HVAC in 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

That's great feature content for $44,500.  But as we noted in our recent review of the GLB 250 4MATIC, upscale vehicles, especially European upscale vehicles tend to end up at a very different price point after extra-cost options.  And our tester had nearly $20,000 of those:

  • designo Cardinal Red Metallic paint ($1,000)
  • 20-inch AMG Y 5-spoke wheels ($750)
  • Ventilated front seats ($450)
  • Panorama roof ($1,500)
  • Head-up display ($1,100)
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster ($750)
  • Three-zone climate control ($760)
  • Burmeister surround sound audio system ($850)
  • Heat and noise insulating front-side dual-pane glass ($150)
  • Heated rear seats ($580)
  • Inductive wireless charging and NFC pairing ($200)
  • Driver Assistance Package ($1,700, including Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, active steering assist, active lane change assist, active lane keeping assist, PRE-SAFE PLUS, active blind spot assist, active brake assist with cross-traffic function, evasive steering assist, active emergency stop assist, active speed limit assist and route-based speed adaptation)
  • Parking Assistance Package ($1,290, including active parking assist, surround view system and hands-free access)
  • Exterior Lighting Package ($800, including LED intelligent light system and adaptive highbeam assist)
  • Multimedia Package ($1,250, including navigation, augmented video for navigation, live traffic and speed limit assist)
  • designo Platinum White Leather Package ($3,800, including two-tone Platinum White Pearl and Black Nappa leather, natural grain black ash center console wood trim and aluminum doorsill trim, designo floor mats, MB-Tex dashboard and upper door sills with contrast stitching, power passenger seat with three-position memory and adjustable thigh support)
  • AMG Line ($1,600 including AMG body styling, brushed aluminum sport pedals with rubber studs, AMG floormats, perforated front brake discs with Mercedes-Benz calipers)
  • Premium Package ($500, including Keyless Go, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with free trial, 64-color ambient lighting and illuminated door sills)
Front view of 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Side view of 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

Rear view of 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC

With $995 destination and delivery charge, the bottom line on the window sticker read $64,405.

And, as we've said before, it's only a shock when compared to the surprisingly reasonable base price.  The as-tested price is right on target for a well-equipped SUV in this price class---and this one's a Mercedes.