2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e Review: Sells by Itself

Lionel Kong
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

The top-selling Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV is completely redesigned for its second time out

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e

Launched: May 2023 – Price S$415,888 with COE and VES (May 2023)
Five-door, mid-sized luxury SUV, five seats
313hp, plug-in hybrid, VES A2, 0.6l/100km

Very good in EV mode
High tech cabin
Decently spacious for five people

Touch panels everywhere instead of buttons
Small boot space


10 months after news of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC was made public, the car made landfall in Singapore to the tune of S$400k with COE. Its predecessor, the first-generation GLC that was launched in 2015, is the best selling model in the Mercedes-Benz lineup in the world, so the new car certainly has a lot to live up to.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

The basics of it is that the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a five-seat, medium-sized luxury SUV with all-wheel drive and the ability for some light off road driving, designed to see off cars like the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX 350h.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

When it was first launched, the car was sold as the SUV version of the C-Class sedan, which of course helped many loyal C-Class owners make the leap into SUV ownership when they traded in their sedans for something a little trendier. Now the new car, driven here in GLC 300e guise, aims to continue that line progression.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e seen here is the more expensive and techier version out of the two GLC variants available in Singapore. The base model is the GLC 300, which features a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 48V mild hybrid assistance. This here is the GLC 300e, which is a full plug-in hybrid, or PHEV. It combines a 2.0-litre turbo engine with an electric motor that has a 31.2kWh battery pack, for a combined power output of 313 horsepower.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

PHEVs are unique in that they feature more powerful electrified drivetrains than standard petrol-electric hybrids. The electric motor component can also be recharged separately, so you’ll find both a fuel filler cap and a power charging socket on a PHEV. While earlier generation PHEVs usually have smallish batteries that give around 50km of electric-only range, the GLC 300e is upping the game and claims more than 100km of range on battery power alone. When the battery is completely depleted the car switches over the standard petrol-electric hybrid drive mode.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

The major drawback of PHEVs, from a technical perspective, is that they are essentially carrying two complete powertrains in one chassis. The car is heavier, and the potential for electrical gremlins is of course more present. The GLC 300e tips the scales at 2,355kg, while the GLC 300 weighs in at 1,925kg. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

Getting into the car involves stepping over a pretty little accessory that’s in reality something of an inconvenience. Like a similar design element in the EQC 400, there’s a full-length ‘side step’ that adds some rugged style, but it’s too narrow to actually be used as a proper step. It’s also just wide enough for you bang your shins as you hop on board, and makes the side sills twice as wide as they need to be. The underside of the sills are clad in plastic, so it doesn’t offer any real underbody protection on rocky terrain off road either.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

Once inside, you’ll find that the cabin is packed with present state Mercedes-Benz technology, which means lots of customisable ambient lighting, plenty of big screens, and voice activated functions. Saying “Hey Mercedes” will prompt the car to ask you what she can do for you. The tricky part is that the activation is very alert and any mention of the word “Mercedes” aloud in the car can quickly awaken the A.I. listening system. The good news is that you can customise the trigger word to something else entirely.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

The car measures 4.7 metres in length, but unlike the slightly smaller EQB which can cram seven people into it, the GLC 300e has space for only five people. You’ll all be reasonably comfortable though, and the air-conditioning has plenty of power without getting noisy too. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

Design and graphics of the screens remain very dynamic, and one of the best in the business, but the swipe and click ‘buttons’ on the steering wheel, very much a standard feature on Mercedes-Benz these days, continue to be difficult to use as they do not have any tactile feel. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

Another drawback of the PHEV is that when you go round to the boot, you’ll find that it has a very high floor as the batteries and some electronic components are underneath it. Officially the boot has a nominal capacity of 470 litres. Compare that against the base model GLC 300, without the extra EV gear, which has a deeper floor and a boot space of 620 litres. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

The car starts off in EV mode by default. On paper Mercedes-Benz claims an electric-only range of up to 138km, but in real world use, in urban Singapore, a range of somewhere between 100 to 110km is what you can expect. It’ll stay in electric-only mode up to a speed of 110km/h, beyond which the petrol engine will start up to help the car maintain its quicker speed. An electro magnetic detent also gives your right foot a stopping point at what feels like about 70 percent of the accelerator pedal travel. You can push it past this point, at which the petrol engine will again fire up for rapid acceleration.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

If you have convenient access to a charging station or one installed at home, you can, in theory, never need to use the petrol engine onboard the car. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

Once the batteries run out, or if you select it from the drive mode menu, the car reverts to hybrid drive mode, which is like every other petrol-electric vehicle rolling around. The batteries can be recharged slightly by braking and coasting downhill, enough to give short periods of electric-only driving, but don’t expect the batteries to be meaningfully refilled at all this way. We recorded a fuel economy of around 8.0l/100km in hybrid drive, which is what we typically expect from a car of this size and weight.

The maximum range you can practically get out of the car when it is fully topped up with electrons and petrol is around 900km. On petrol alone, with some intelligent use of regenerative braking and coasting, you could still manage 700km+ between fill ups. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

It’s a sturdy, but somewhat heavy car so isn’t as agile as you might expect it to be in corners. However the all-wheel drive system is rear-biased, with the rear wheels getting 69 percent of the power output by default and this gives the car a good punch when accelerating. Of course the electronic stability system can shuffle the torque outputs back and forth a little, and along with the suite of active safety systems the car always feels very composed.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e in Singapore

Sales figures from the first three months of 2023 in Singapore show that PHEVs account for just 51 out of more than 6,000 cars sold here. They remain a niche segment simply because there are so few of them around, but are a good way for people to dip their feet into the world of EVs without feeling like they have left the safety net of the internal combustion engine behind. For peopl that do long drives into Malaysia, a PHEV does offer the best of both worlds, and you never have to worry about not being able to find a charging station. 

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e 4Matic AMG Line

Drivetrain typePlug-in hybrid petrol-electric
Engine1,999cc, in-line 4, turbocharged
Power204hp at 6,100rpm
Torque320Nm at 2,000rpm
Gearbox9-speed automatic
Electric Motor134hp, 440Nm
Battery Type / CapacityLithium ion / 31.2kWh
Charging Time / Type(10-100%) 3.8 hours / AC 11.4kW
Electric Range138km
System Power313hp, 550Nm
Top Speed218km/h
0-100km/h6.7 seconds
Fuel consumption0.6L/100km
Electricity consumption20.4kWh/100km
VESA2 / -S$15,000
PriceS$415,888 with COE and VES
AgentCycle & Carriage Mercedes-Benz
VerdictA Mercedes Benz C-Class in SUV form, with the comfort and feel to match, and an impressive electric-only range.


GLC mercedes-benz GLC 300e SUV

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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