The original Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class had one of the smaller cargo areas among compact luxury SUVs, but as my luggage test proved, it had a lot more than its rinky-dink 19.4-cubic-foot cargo volume would suggest. As I’ve subsequently discovered, that would be because Mercedes measures cargo volume to the top of the back seat, whereas most car companies do it to the roof. I’d say there’s logic to that considering my luggage tests do not load to the roof, either.
For the new 2023 Mercedes GLC, the cargo area has been enlarged by 2.5 cubic-feet. Officially, it’s 21.9, so Mercedes is still measuring the same way. Let’s see how that translates into carrying actual stuff.
You can’t actually tell much of a difference here when looking at 2022 and 2023 side-by-side (which is why I didn’t provide the old pic). If you’re wondering, the stripes are just due to vacuuming.
Would you look at that! A test car that actually includes the cargo cover! It’s a good thing, too, because its inclusion allows me to see one area where the GLC has improved.
As in every luggage test, I use two mid-size roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
The GLC is 2.5 inches longer for 2023, and it absolutely makes a difference here. The height has also increased. Note how the cargo cover fits over the big gray bag on the far right. It could not before.
That’s a big deal since it means the cargo cover is far more useful.
Now, I usually test with and without cargo covers in order to be mindful of a scenario where you find yourself needing max cargo capacity but forgot to leave the cargo cover at home. In this case …
All the bags actually fit inside along with the cargo cover relocated inside the cargo area as you see here. I’m almost certain the old GLC also could fit all the bags with the cargo cover relocated in the same manner, except …
Look where the fancy bag is. It couldn’t fit where it does for 2023 because those two bigger bags couldn’t be stacked in an outboard position. There’s your added length and height right there.
I’m not done yet. Let’s remove the cargo cover entirely.
Obviously, the fancy bag would fit in this remaining spot with the cargo cover removed, but then so would one of the medium bags. Above right, I kept that foreground medium bag’s original place (upper right) vacant and simply relocated it in front. There’s no way I could do that in the last GLC.
This still isn’t as good as what the Acura RDX and Volvo XC60 can fit, but it betters the Audi Q5, Genesis GV70, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and BMW X3 with spare tire.
Unlike the X3, getting a spare tire in the GLC doesn’t mean the cargo floor gets jacked up like a stage. Also, unlike a lot of competitors, that spare tire exists. Good job Mercedes, spare tires are much better than goo, a pump and/or a tow truck.
Another nifty feature, which admittedly is a common Mercedes one. A little hook resides underneath the cargo floor, which lets you prop open the cargo floor so you can grab that spare tire. Simple but terrific.
And finally, the GLC has another long-standing Mercedes feature: both a tailgate lower button and a “tailgate lower and lock all doors” button. Once you’ve had one of these and get another car that doesn’t, you’ll constantly be annoyed by the omission.