HomeMILESTONEFrom Kompakt to Coupé

From Kompakt to Coupé

Mercedes-Benz GLC

When the first Mercedes-Benz GLC compact luxury crossover SUV was unveiled in 2015, it was introduced as the replacement for the GLK model produced from 2008 to 2015, debuting at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show. The GLK acronym stood for Geländewagen Luxus Kompaktklasse, and the name was taken from the larger Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

The GLK-Class shared its platform with the W204 C-Class W204, and interestingly, a Smart version (called the ForMore) was also considered but never made it into production. The GLK went on sale in Europe in June 2008, but the compact SUV was never made available in right-hand drive markets, including South Africa.

The reason? The driveshaft operating the front wheels on 4WD versions of the GLK occupied the same space as the steering column for right-hand drive models, and as such, the two configurations were incompatible, eliminating the possibility of a RHD version. As the SUV coupé trend followed only later, such a version of the GLK was never considered.

In 2015, the GLK-Class was replaced by the GLC to conform with the revised terminology adopted by the Stuttgart automaker. The base name “GL” was retained but was followed by the model’s placement in the Mercedes-Benz hierarchy – the GLC being the SUV equivalent to the C-Class.    

The following year, a coupé version of the X253 model GLC, following in the tracks of the GLE Coupé, was unveiled. Ironically, a “long” version with a longer wheelbase was introduced in 2018, exclusively for China, and the range was slightly facelifted the following year. 

The second-generation X254 Mercedes-Benz GLC, based on the W206 C-Class, was unveiled globally about 18 months ago, with a coupé SUV version included. Still, by now, the smaller GLB range was a closer match for the original GLK in size and styling.


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