Like a Stephen Curry jump shot, it’s hard to find flaws inside the Mercedes GLC.
In fact, from its classic Linder wood trim to its finely stitched leather seats, the compact ute’s welcoming cabin pretty much nails it.
“Everything plays well together here, with materials and tech all matching up to make for an inviting and functional place to be,” one judge notes on his scoresheet.
“Beautifully done; close to perfection,” sums up another.
What’s most impressive is Mercedes manages such a top-notch presentation in a vehicle that resides near the low end of its CUV lineup. Every design element exudes quality, from the honeycombed headliner material that extends all the way down the A-pillar to the brushed-aluminum accents adorning the center console, steering wheel and door trim.
Sure there are some noticeable differences between the $54,000 GLC300 and the over-the-top $124,000 AMG GLE63 that also turned up in this year’s 10 Best Interiors field, but strip away just a little of the GLE’s fluff and you end up with an interior that is amazingly close to the GLC’s.
Our test vehicle’s striking Silk Beige upholstery and trim, contrasting perfectly with the dark wood trim, didn’t hurt its chances, either. And not only are the multi-adjustable power seats nicely finished, they’re comfortable too, including in the rear compartment, which offers space well beyond what should be expected for a vehicle in the GLC’s size class.
But Mercedes didn’t stop with design, fit and finish. The GLC, which replaces the GLK in the lineup under the brand’s revised nomenclature, also is easy to use. Its display screen, now more freely floating above the center stack, is a snap to operate through the console-mounted controller – clearly one of the industry’s best human-machine interfaces.
Operation is intuitive, and pages flip by smoothly, accurately and quickly with a simple spin of the dial. If any questions do arise, there are plenty of animated tutorials within the system that can supply the answers.
There also are just enough redundant buttons and switches for the climate controls, outstanding (Burmester) surround-sound system and navigation along the dash and steering wheel to bring functionality up another notch, but leave the interior clean and uncluttered.
Mercedes combines sport and luxury touches in creating the GLC’s instrumentation, with crisp gauges recessed within binocular-like tunnels trimmed out smartly in brushed aluminum.
There’s also plenty of technology onboard, including a full complement of safety features that are part of the optional Distronic Plus package considered “the gold standard” by one tester. Its smart cruise-control system with automatic braking operates flawlessly, and displays that tell what it is doing are big confidence boosters for the driver.
The GLC300 was matched up against plenty of tough CUV competitors in this year’s 10 Best Interiors contest. But the comfort, quality and functionality of its interior, not to mention its bang for the buck, make the Mercedes the go-to model in its class.