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Mercedes Updates Swoopiest GLC for 2020, Still Calls It a 'Coupe'

Competes with: The common sense to buy a regular GLC … OK, and with the BMW X4

Looks like: The also-updated 2020 GLC SUV minus — as it goes for such “coupe” SUVs — cargo space, driving height and visibility

Drivetrain: 255-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Late 2019

If you roll your eyes whenever an automaker brands an SUV or sedan as a coupe, Mercedes-Benz’s latest update will give those extraocular muscles their latest workout. (Also, join the club.) For 2020, the German luxury brand has updated the swoopier of two GLC-Class variants, dubbed the GLC Coupe, and is set to debut it at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. Unfortunately, the update didn’t involve the name, which Mercedes rationalizes as something that “demonstrates how the design features of a coupe can be seamlessly harmonized with those of an SUV.”

Coupe, evidently, lives on. Ophthalmologists are standing by.

Related: More New York Auto Show Coverage

Fans know this has been coming since early 2018, when three separate announcements proffered as many versions of the related — and also updated — C-Class sedan. The refresh hit the C-Class coupe and convertible around the same time, then reached the related GLC-Class SUV in February. Now comes an update to the GLC Coupe, of which the base model, dubbed the GLC 300, debuted today. Go-fast AMG GLC versions are doubtless nigh.

Not that the GLC 300 goes slow. Like the C300 and GLC300, it gets a slight bump in power with the refresh, along with a new multimedia systems and styling tweaks to bring the SUV in line with the more angular grilles and lights elsewhere in Mercedes’ lineup. Hitting dealers in late 2019, it has few direct rivals beyond the BMW X4.

Exterior

For 2020, the GLC 300 Coupe adopts a kayak-paddle opening on its front bumper, at least on the AMG Line models shown in the photos above. Still, that’s a look you couldn’t get on the 2019 model until moving all the way up to an AMG GLC63 variant. It’s subtler than the 63’s extruding ribbon of an opening, and it sits below a more angular framework for the headlights and grille. Changes are fewer in back: The taillights carry the same shape but have some rejiggered light piping within. As before, dual tailpipes peek through bumper-integrated cutouts.

Interior

Cabin updates to the GLC Coupe mirror those of both the GLC SUV and C-Class sedan. The screen perched atop the dashboard is now a standard 10.25 inches, up considerably versus the outgoing SUV’s 7 to 8.4 inches, options depending. It’s also a touchscreen, at long last; earlier versions operated only through a knob-and-touchpad controller near the cupholders. Should you still want to operate things through an arm-level controller, the touchpad remains, though the knob is gone. Voice recognition comes by way of the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience. MBUX is standard, as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Options include a navigation system with augmented-reality video, which can overlay real-time directions on a forward-camera video feed through the touchscreen. Virtual gauges, 360-degree camera systems, Burmester premium audio, wireless smartphone charging and heated rear seats with a rear climate zone are also optional.

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Under the Hood

Output for the GLC 300’s engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, is now 255 horsepower; that’s up 14 hp from before. Torque, at 273 pounds-feet, remains unchanged. Mercedes didn’t cite zero-to-60-mph times, but the outgoing GLC300 Coupe is a few ticks slower than the base-engine X4, per their respective manufacturer estimates; the power bump might close the gap. As before, a nine-speed automatic is standard. Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive, which is optional on the GLC SUV, is standard on the GLC Coupe.

Safety and Self-Driving Features

Already equipped with options like lane-centering steering and adaptive cruise control down to a stop, the GLC Coupe adds active lane change assist and route-based speed adaptation, that latter feature able to slow you down in anticipation of a forthcoming curve.

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