the German company will change the recipe for the upcoming X254 in a rather dramatic fashion.
Based on the MRA 2 platform for rear- and all-wheel-drive applications, the compact utility vehicle has been spied how-weather testing with aero wheels and a camouflaged rear bumper that appears to integrate finishers that aren’t connected to the exhaust system. The picture test mule shows a reworked grille with the M-B logo right in the center, simple LED signature lighting, full-LED headlights, and door-mounted side mirrors.
The design of the side profile hasn’t changed all that much from the X253, which is understandable if you glance over the sales of the GLC for 2020. Over in the United States, the compact utility vehicle moved 52,626 units last year while the larger GLE finished in second place.
Expected to premiere in the first half of 2022 as a 2023 model for the U.S. market, the X254 will duke it out with the likes of the BMW X3 and FWD-based competitors such as the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, and Lexus NX. The GLC will trump every single one of them in terms of infotainment thanks to a portrait display with diagonals of 9.5 or 11.9 inches. MBUX integration further translates to a clever voice assistant, Smart Home, seamless access to the user’s linked music streaming provider, as well as touch buttons on the steering wheel and an optional color head-up display.
The 9G-Tronic automatic transmission will continue to serve the GLC well, along with the M 254 mild-hybrid turbo from the C-Class sedan. A mild-hybrid turbo diesel, namely the OM 654, will be offered in Europe. Up to three plug-in hybrids are reportedly in the pipeline, including a performance-oriented PHEV with a four-pot turbo engine for the 63 series.