Mercedes GLC 300 vs. GLC 350e: 6 Differences & Which Is Best

Mercedes GLC 300 vs. GLC 350e: 6 Differences & Which Is Best

So, you’re torn between the GLC 300 and the GLC 350e, right?

Let us break it down for you.

The main difference between the Mercedes GLC 300 and GLC 350e is that the GLC 300 has a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo engine, while the GLC 350e is a plug-in hybrid that uses the GLC 300’s engine with an 85 kW electric motor.

6 Differences between the Mercedes GLC 300 and GLC 350e

Ready to put the Mercedes GLC 300 and GLC 350e head-to-head?

Here are all the differences between them!

1. Powertrain

Let’s start with what makes these cars tick: the powertrain.

Here is an overview of the engines of the GLC 300 and GLC 350e and their performance:

MercedesEnginePower (hp)Torque (lb-ft)0 to 60 mphTop speed
GLC 3002.0-liter four-cylinder 2552736.4 seconds155 mph
GLC 350e2.0-liter four-cylinder + electric motor3155166.2 seconds155 mph

The GLC 300 has a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine with 255 horsepower. It’s the kind of car that swiftly moves through traffic and offers a smooth drive.

Meanwhile, the GLC 350e has the same 2.0-liter engine, but it’s paired with an 85 kW electric motor. This combo produces a combined 315 horsepower, making it even more powerful.

Mercedes GLC 350e engine

However, while the GLC 350e has significantly more power, you’ll find their performance comparable.

That’s mainly because the GLC 350e weighs much more than the GLC 300, which we’ll get to in a moment!

2. Transmission

The GLC 300 comes equipped with what’s called a 9G-TRONIC® 9-speed transmission.

In practical terms, this gives you super smooth transitions between speeds and an overall seamless driving experience.

Now, the GLC 350e takes a slightly different route.

It features a 7G-TRONIC® 7-speed transmission.

You might wonder, “Why fewer gears?”

The reason lies in its hybrid nature. The 7-speed transmission is optimized to work efficiently with its electric motor, ensuring that every ounce of energy is used wisely without wasting any power.

In the end, both transmissions are top-notch!

Mercedes GLC 300 interior

3. Fuel economy

Now, when we talk about cars, especially luxury ones like Mercedes, our attention goes to the engine’s power.

But fuel economy is equally important, especially if you’re mindful of the environment or your wallet.

The GLC 300 delivers 29 MPG combined. Quite efficient, wouldn’t you agree?

But here comes the GLC 350e with its hybrid drivetrain. It can return up to 56 MPGe!

Mercedes GLC 350e Coupe exterior rear white

Now, the ‘e’ in MPGe stands for ‘equivalent.’ It’s a way to compare the efficiency of hybrid and electric cars to traditional gas vehicles.

Basically, in the ideal scenario, the GLC 350e would give you a whopping 56 miles per gallon!

Reader’s tip: Mercedes GLC: Regular Or Premium Gas? Find Out What’s Best!

3. Rear-wheel drive vs. all-wheel drive

Let’s talk about how these cars deliver power to the ground.

If you’ve ever heard terms like “rear-wheel drive” (RWD) or “all-wheel drive” (AWD) and wondered what the fuss is all about, here’s a quick and easy breakdown.

Imagine you’re on a slippery floor in socks.

If you push yourself forward using only one foot, that’s like RWD. But if you use both feet, giving you more balance and control, that’s like AWD.

Simple, right?

The Mercedes GLC 300 gives you the freedom of choice.

It’s available in both variants – RWD, for those who enjoy a traditional drive feel and perhaps a bit of playful slide in their corners, and AWD (branded as 4MATIC by Mercedes), which offers better grip on the road, especially in trickier conditions like rain or snow.

The Mercedes GLC 350e comes standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

Mercedes GLC 4MATIC badge

The idea here is to optimize the hybrid system’s performance by ensuring the vehicle has the best possible traction at all times.

This is especially handy when you want the electric motor and gasoline engine to work in harmony, providing a consistently smooth and controlled ride.

5. Weight

Next up, let’s talk about weight.

Now, you might wonder, “Why does weight matter in a car?”

Well, think of a car like a runner. The weight of the car (like the weight of a runner’s gear) can affect its speed, fuel efficiency, and even its overall feel on the road.

A lighter car can feel more agile, while a heavier one might feel sturdier.

The GLC 300, with its traditional setup, tips the scales at 3,889 lbs. It’s balanced, nimble, and versatile. The weight gives it a certain agility on the road, making it easier to maneuver.

However, the GLC 350e, with its additional electric motor and battery pack, is a bit on the heftier side, weighing in at 4,555 lbs.

Think of it as a runner with a weighted vest; it’s carrying some extra pounds but for a good reason.

That additional weight comes from the hybrid technology that offers the impressive fuel economy we talked about earlier.

Mercedes GLC 350e driving modes - e-mode

Sure, it might not dart around corners as nimbly as its lighter sibling, but it offers a sense of solidity and stability, especially at higher speeds or on rough terrains.

6. Retail price

Ah, the moment of truth for many of us: the price tag.

Starting with the GLC 300, it comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $42,500. Considering its features, powertrain, and luxury pedigree under the Mercedes brand, many would argue it offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Meanwhile, the GLC 350e has an MSRP that starts at around $51,900.

At first glance, it might seem like quite a leap from the GLC 300. However, remember that this version has advanced hybrid technology, which offers better fuel economy and more horsepower.

It’s also worth noting that, in many regions, hybrid vehicles like the GLC 350e might qualify for tax incentives or rebates, which could reduce the overall cost of ownership. Plus, potential savings from fewer trips to the gas station can also add up over time.

What is the best choice? (Mercedes GLC 300 vs. GLC 350e)

Having discussed all the differences between the Mercedes GLC 300 and the GLC 350e, it’s time for the million-dollar question: Which one should you choose?

Let’s put things into perspective.

If you’re a purist at heart and prefer a more traditional drive, the GLC 300 provides that authentic experience with its conventional powertrain and the choice between RWD and AWD.

On the other hand, if you’re environmentally conscious or just love the idea of cutting-edge hybrid technology, the GLC 350e has got you covered. With its electric motor, you’ll enjoy quieter rides and the satisfaction of leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

Also, money matters. If you’re looking for luxury without going overboard on expenditure, the GLC 300, with its attractive $42,500 tag, is enticing. But remember, the GLC 350e, even with its higher initial cost, might pay for itself in the long run.

Mercedes GLC 300 4MATIC SUV - exterior rear - blue

One last tip is that if you ever want to get close to the power of the GLC 350e in your GLC 300, you can always consider getting a RaceChip.

RaceChip is a company offering Plug & Drive tuning box systems for many car models. They can be installed by yourself without needing any specialist knowledge or tools.

In fact, it will only take 10 to 15 minutes, and when you buy a RaceChip, you’ll receive car model-specific installation instructions!

Using a RaceChip, you can give your Mercedes GLC 300 a performance boost of up to 54 horsepower and 50 lb-ft of torque:

Mercedes GLC 300 best chip tuning - RaceChip

And the best thing is that a RaceChip is much more affordable than the upgrade from a GLC 300 to a GLC 350e. You can check out RaceChip’s website here!


And there we have it!

We’ve put the Mercedes GLC 300 and GLC 350e head-to-head, examining the differences in their drivetrains, fuel economy, weight, and more!

If you’re considering these models, we highly encourage you to take them for a test drive.

After all, nothing can truly replicate the feeling of being behind the wheel, experiencing the drive for yourself.

You might just find your dream car in the process!

More comparisons

Not sure yet about these GLC models? If so, check out our other comparisons here:

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