Automakers love to promote every change they make to a vehicle, but most mid-cycle updates are limited to some subtle exterior and interior updates and a handful of new paint colors.
Not so the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC. The compact crossover is battling for space in an increasingly crowded segment and the German maker has wisely recognized that it will take more than just a new fascia to draw in buyers.
The 2020 GLC update isn’t a complete makeover, but there are still plenty of things to make note of, starting with the addition of an all-new four-cylinder engine, as well as the addition of Mercedes’ new MBUX personal voice assistant, and other new technologies.
From a visual point of view, the German automaker set out to make the new GLC look a bit more sporty. Both standard LED headlights and taillights have been updated to make them seem more aggressive, while there are changes to the front and rear fascias, as well.
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The AMG edition, in particular, seems more distinctive with its chromed diamond grille, front apron and twin exhaust tips.
The big news inside the cabin is the updated infotainment system. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC now comes with a 10.25-inch, landscape-oriented screen. And, in keeping with the brand’s general direction, traditional, analog gauges now can be upgraded to a 12.3-inch digital display.
The German automaker was an early entrant into the infotainment field with its original COMAND system. It revealed a major shift in direction in January 2018 when it unveiled the MBUX system at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The system essentially marries an Amazon Alexa-style voice assistant with the COMAND system, allowing a motorist to operate functions with plain English, rather than often obscure, commands. It even lets a user search for destinations by coming up with three descriptive words.
Now, add the ability to use hand gestures to operate the MBUX system, as well.
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Other new tech features for the 2020 refresh include the Keyless-Go start system, and an “Augmented Video” using a forward-facing camera to augment the navigation system.
And, from a safety standpoint, there’s a new lane centering system that makes it easier to stay properly planted between the lines, as well as an active noise system that can help prevent ear damage in the event of a crash.
Globally, the GLC will offer a wide range of gas and diesel engines, though the powertrain line-up will be more limited in the U.S. But the 2020 model adds a new 2.0-liter turbo-four that now makes 255 horsepower – 14 more than before – and 273 pound-feet of torque. It will be paired to a nine-speed automatic.
At the high end, there’s the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 which was first introduced for 2019.
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The newly updated GLC will be one of a flood of new products coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month. Expect it to reach U.S. showrooms later in the year. And while Mercedes isn’t announcing pricing yet, it’s likely to rise a bit above the current model, which starts at $41,995, to reflect the added content.