Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLC Years

We've ranked each Mercedes-Benz GLC model for every generation so you can avoid picking the worst Mercedes-Benz GLC years and pick the best one.

In this article, we’ll navigate through the best and worst years of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, highlighting key aspects that define its luxury and performance.

Drawing from reliable sources such as the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, we aim to provide a detailed analysis of Mercedes-Benz GLC’s journey across its generations.

Focusing on Mercedes-Benz GLC’s technological and safety features, common problems, recalls, and overall owner satisfaction, you’ll uncover what defines the best and worst years.

Let’s dive right in!

Related:Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLE YearsBest & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLK Years

Table of ContentsShow

Mercedes-Benz GLC Generations

The Mercedes-Benz GLC, first introduced in 2016, marked a significant step in the evolution of the luxury compact SUV segment.

As a successor to the GLK, the GLC offered a harmonious blend of elegance, comfort, and performance, setting new standards with its advanced safety features, sophisticated interior, and efficient yet powerful engine options.

Below is a table listing the generations of the Mercedes-Benz GLC from its launch.

1st Generation (X253)2016-2022
2nd Generation (X254)2023-Present

The significant changes between generations, especially in design, technology, and performance, might be the deciding factor for potential buyers or enthusiasts.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the best and worst years for the Mercedes-Benz GLC, our rankings and categorizations consider a broad spectrum of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

A forthcoming graph will display the combined ratings from these sources.

Mercedes Benz GLC Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

We present a table categorizing all model years of the Mercedes-Benz GLC as the best, neutral, and worst years to offer a straightforward guide for potential buyers and enthusiasts.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st Generation (X253)2021
2nd Generation (X254)2023

“Neutral Years” may represent a solid choice for buyers looking for a dependable vehicle without the standout features or issues of the best or worst years.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can significantly impact a vehicle’s reliability rating. A higher frequency of complaints and recalls suggests lower reliability for the affected model years.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Mercedes-Benz GLC 1st Generation (2016-Present)

Mercedes Benz GLC 1st generation 2016 model
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC

The Mercedes-Benz GLC, introduced in 2016 as a first-generation model, represented a significant step in the evolution of luxury compact SUVs, combining sleek design, advanced technology, and robust performance.

The 2021 and 2022 models are the best Mercedes-Benz GLC years to buy, while the worst years to avoid span between 2016 and 2018.

The Best Years: 2021, 2022

The 2021 and 2022 model years are the best years for the first-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC.

These models come equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged I4 engine, producing a commendable 255 hp, paired with a smooth and efficient 9-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel efficiency is notable, with an average of 22 city/29 highway MPG.

The introduction of the latest Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, featuring augmented reality for navigation and voice control, significantly enhanced the cabin experience.

Safety features were also top-notch, with the inclusion of advanced driver assistance systems.

These models stood out for their reliability, with fewer issues reported compared to earlier years, solidifying their status as the most desirable in the GLC lineup.

The Neutral Years: 2020

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC serves as a neutral year in the lineup.

While it maintained a high standard of luxury and performance, it was subject to a few recalls, including issues with the rearview camera display, incorrectly aimed headlights, and potential problems with the power steering control unit wiring harness.

Despite these concerns, the 2020 GLC offered a potent 2.0L engine and featured enhancements such as a new steering wheel with touch controls, updated safety features, and the MBUX system, making it a solid choice for those less impacted by the recalls.

The Worst Years: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The initial years of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, particularly from 2016 to 2019, faced several problems, making them the worst years to avoid.

These models experienced more frequent issues related to the engine, including broken pistons and complete engine failures, which raised significant reliability concerns.

Additionally, there were problems with the fuel system and brakes, including PCV valve failures and squealing brakes.

Safety recalls during these years were concerning, addressing airbags, fire risks, inadequate low-beam illumination, and sunroof panel separation.

See NHTSA 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Mercedes-Benz GLC 2nd Generation (2023-Present)

Mercedes Benz GLC 2nd generation 2023 model
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC

The second generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, debuting in 2023, represents a significant advancement in the luxury compact SUV segment.

Building on the success of its predecessor, the new generation GLC introduces a more refined design, cutting-edge technology, and enhanced performance capabilities.

The Best Years: 2023, 2024

Which GLC model is the best? The 2023 and 2024 models of the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC stand out as the best years since the model’s inception.

These years introduce an upgraded powertrain featuring a 2.0L turbocharged I4 engine, now integrated with a mild-hybrid system for improved fuel efficiency and performance.

The engine delivers around 255 hp, and when combined with the 48-volt mild-hybrid system, it provides an additional power and efficiency boost.

These models also showcase a 9-speed automatic transmission, ensuring a seamless and responsive driving experience.

Regarding technology, the latest GLC models are equipped with the newest version of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which includes a larger touchscreen, augmented reality capabilities, and advanced voice control.

Safety features have been significantly enhanced, with the inclusion of more sophisticated driver-assist systems like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and an improved parking assist system.

The interior sees a significant uplift, with higher-quality materials, customizable ambient lighting, and additional luxury features available in higher trims like the GLC 300 and GLC 300 4MATIC.

These models represent the pinnacle of luxury, performance, and technology in the compact SUV segment, with no significant issues reported to date.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Resale Values

Explore this graph showing the average resale values of Mercedes-Benz GLC models from 2016.

Mercedes Benz GLC Average List Price


What is the best Mercedes GLC to buy?

Through our analysis, the 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC models emerge as the best years for their enhanced features, reliability, and performance, while 2016 to 2019 are the model years to avoid due to their initial issues.

What qualities do you value most in a luxury compact SUV like the Mercedes-Benz GLC?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.