2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 SUV and Coupe Get More Power, Better Looks
- The Mercedes-AMG GLC43 SUV and coupe models are being updated following their more powerful GLC63-badged siblings’ upgrades for 2020.
- Both the GLC43 SUV and GLC43 Coupe models gain 23 more horsepower, as well as visual enhancements and a new infotainment setup.
- The 2020 GLC43s will go on sale by the end of 2019.
With Mercedes-AMG’s introduction of the updated GLC43 SUV and coupe models, the Mercedes GLC-class lineup is officially fully worked over for 2020. The four-cylinder GLC300s were freshened earlier this year, as were the eight-cylinder GLC63s. And now the middleweight six-cylinder GLC43s have joined the party.
The 2020 GLC43 SUV and coupe models inherit the same freshened headlight and taillight designs and infotainment upgrades as their GLC300 and GLC63 counterparts, plus a few 43-specific extras including more horsepower and a new grille with grinning vertical strakes in place of last year’s tamer horizontal slats. On the rear of both GLC43s, Mercedes-AMG also rounded off the previously angular exhaust outlets.
Whereas the GLC300 received an all-new engine, the GLC43 carries on with the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 it used before. AMG swapped the turbos for larger units and mounted them closer to the engine. Besides adding 23 horsepower, bringing the GLC43’s total to 385 ponies, the new forced-induction arrangement should reduce lag between the driver stepping on the gas and the turbos spooling up and boosting power. This wasn’t an issue we noted in the previous GLC43s, however. Peak torque is unaffected by the engine changes. It’s the same substantial 384 lb-ft, and it lands at the same 2500 rpm as before.
The GLC43 SUV and coupe twins don’t get all-new engines, as did the GLC300s for 2020. Instead, they share the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 as before, albeit massaged for 23 extra horsepower. Total output now stands at a healthy 385 ponies; peak torque stays the same at 384 lb-ft, starting at the same low 25o0 rpm as before. Those figures are safely below the 469 and 503 horsepower available in the GLC63 models, yet better than the 255 coughed out by the GLC300s.
AMG says the 43s’ additional horsepower comes thanks to new turbochargers mounted closer to the engine, a location change that should help mitigate the lag between the driver stepping on the gas and the turbos spooling up and boosting power. The engine upgrades are joined by a new AMG Dynamics drive-mode selector, which offers Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and customizable Individual settings. A nifty new mode controller with its own little display sprouts from the right spoke of the new flat-bottom AMG steering wheel.
Speaking of buttons, there is a rash of new ones on the steering wheel and center console for interacting with the GLC43’s latest MBUX infotainment system. A 10.25-inch touchscreen replaces last year’s smaller, non-touch, click-knob-controlled display, and can also be manipulated via a touchpad on the console, a touch-sensitive pad on the steering wheel, and voice controls. (You can address the system by saying “Hey Mercedes” and asking it something; in other Benzes with this system, we’ve found the setup’s responses need work.) Ahead of the driver sits a new 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with a reconfigurable appearance, which is manipulated via a different touch-sensitive pad on the steering wheel.
We have yet to drive the new GLC43 SUV and coupe, but we predict a few things will remain the same: First, that the 43s will represent the ideal, just-right option in the GLC range (more powerful and fun to drive than the GLC300s but not goofy expensive like the 63s); and second, that the hunchbacked coupe version is an acquired taste, no matter which engine or badge it has. Pricing begins at $60,495 for the GLC43 SUV and $63,995 for the GLC43 coupe, and both go on sale before the end of 2019.