Expert Insights

Mercedes GLC350e Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Laurance Yap
April 17, 2024
If you’re not yet ready to make the switch to a fully-electric SUV, Mercedes-Benz has good news for you. Its new GLC350e has the maximum flexibility of a plug-in hybrid with enough EV range for most of your daily driving. Is it the best of all worlds?
GLC350e Plug-In Hybrid parked in the driveway

New PHEV Mercedes SUV

Mercedes-Benz offers some of the most advanced, and most efficient, electric SUV and sedan models on the market, but like many automakers, the company realizes that not all of its customers are ready to fully commit to electric driving. For buyers not yet ready for an EQ SUV, the company has just announced a new plug-in hybrid version of its popular GLC. Arriving in the second half of 2024, the 2025 GLC350e has very impressive specs, and the luxury and standard equipment you’d expect of a Mercedes-Benz.

Plug-In Hybrid Mercedes SUV driving in the mountains

Sophisticated Plug-In Drivetrain

Based on the well-reviewed and high-selling compact GLC SUV, the GLC350e offers a great combination of design, technology, performance, comfort, and around-town agility. The addition of a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain means that, with home charging, owners will be able to do most of their daily commuting without ever using any gasoline, but have the flexibility of quick refueling on longer trips. Impressive technical specs also mean no range anxiety at any time.

The GLC 350e has a new, sophisticated plug-in hybrid drive system which pairs a turbocharged 201-hp four-cylinder engine with a 134-hp electric motor. Using a permanently-excited synchronous design with an internal rotor, the motor produces 325 lb-ft of instantaneous torque for quick acceleration, even without the aid of the gasoline engine. Total output of the complete drivetrain is 313 hp and 406 lb-ft, which will make the GLC a light and lively drive around town, while offering relaxed cruising and instant passing power on the freeway. The EV motor is powerful enough that the GLC350e can cruise at up to 87 mph without using any gasoline.

Mercedes GLC350e Range and Charging

More impressive than its power, though, is the GLC350e’s electric range. Thanks to a sizeable 24.8-kWh battery, and relatively light weight compared to a fully electric vehicle, the GLC350e has the ability to drive up to 81 miles on electric power alone, according to the European WLTP testing standard. That’s more range than almost any other plug-in hybrid SUV on the market – and more than enough to cover most daily American commutes, which generally average less than 40 miles. Range is further enhanced by a sophisticated regenerative braking function which can recuperate up to 100 kW of power when the vehicle is slowing down.

The GLC350e’s battery can be charged in a couple of hours on a home or public Level 2 charger, and it is one of the few plug-in hybrids on the market that also offer Level 3 fast charging. With 60 kW capability, the battery can be fully charged in about 30 minutes. There is a wide choice of drive modes, including a “hybrid” program which mixes EV and gasoline driving in the most efficient way, and an “electric” program which locks out the gasoline engine completely. There’s even an “off-road” drive mode that allows the GLC350e to drive electrically off-road, which offers much better precision and control than driving on gasoline.

GLC350e Interior Dashboard

Luxury Equipment and Customization Options

Like all of the other GLC models available in the U.S., the GLC350e plug-in hybrid offers a wide variety of color, upholstery, and wheel options so buyers can customize their vehicle to their personal tastes. Inside, there’s a new floating 12.3-inch digital instrument panel as well as an 11.9-inch central touchscreen display on the console that operates the latest-generation MBUX infotainment system. The system has a new “routines” function; powered by AI, it learns your regular habits, such as if you call home on your commute every day, or navigate to certain destinations at different times of the week. It can also learn when you unplug in the morning, and have the vehicle warmed up to your preferred temperature while it’s still plugged in.

Of course, the usual array of Mercedes-Benz tech features are here and present as well, including a sophisticated navigation, keyless go and keyless start, dual-zone automatic climate control, adjustable ambient lighting, power cargo liftgate, and a powerful audio system. Safety gear includes blind spot assist, adaptive high-beam assist, rear-view camera, and an active parking assistant.

Mercedes-Benz GLC350e Pricing and Availability

Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz GLC350e will be announced closer to its on-sale date later this year. Customers will have access to Mercedes’ excellent charging ecosystem, which has arrangements with multiple charging networks as well as a growing number of Mercedes-branded locations across the country. Mercedes has partnered with Buc-ee’s to open convenient fast chargers at 30 locations, and is also one of seven automakers involved in Ionna, a new company that will open 30,000 rapid chargers across North America.