Car Review: Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupé
A practical family car, but with luxurious touches.Damien Reid June 20, 2017
As far as small SUVs go, the Mercedes GLK was a stand out when it hit the market in 2009 because it was an anomaly in the SUV landscape: small enough to flit around town yet still possessing decent carrying space and a modicum of offroad-ability.
The GLC is its successor, but unlike the square-edged GLK, the GLC follows the current trend of coupé-style roundness in an attempt to grab a few sales from the likes of the BMW X4.
Power comes from a 2-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and while it’s claimed to weigh 80kg less than the GLK, I felt it could do with a few more horses under the bonnet whether it’s driving through all four wheels or just two.
With so many cogs to choose from its nine-speed auto transmission, which is primarily to maximise economy, it was eager to hop between gears but rarely settled, especially on mountain roads.
Suspension is multi-link all round with significantly wider tracks than the GLK. Ground clearance is 181mm and although AMG examples have firmer sport suspension springs, it doesn’t affect its ride height. An off-road package delivers another 20mm of ground clearance with improved approach and departure angles.
Additionally, Mercedes also offers height-adjustable air suspension that extends ground clearance to as much as 227mm which betters all of its rivals except the equally air-suspended Porsche Macan.
Power is transmitted through a permanent four-wheel drive system with a 45 per cent front to 55 per cent rear split of power. The interior closely resembles that of the C-Class so it’s a heady mix of leather, timber veneer or carbon fibre and polished alloy surfaces giving a quality look and feel of a car that’s at least a class above where it currently sits.
Thanks to its 118 extra millimetres in the wheelbase, 120mm of extra length overall and being 50mm wider than the old model, there’s more room inside with up to 1,600 litres of storage space.
The GLC 300 is a good mix of practical family transport with a luxury feel of a larger Mercedes model; my only issue was that it lacked the performance I was expecting.