WHAT IS IT?
Where the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was once the gold standard of executive vehicles, the GLC is that today. Yes, the C-Class is still around, and it is still excellent, but SUVs are where it's at and the GLC is now Merc’s best-selling model globally.
It’s a Merc, it’s an SUV, it’s gorgeous and it’s sublime inside. This is the second-generation GLC, with a new chassis, more space inside and loads of features. It’s the compact SUV to go for if you want something premium with enough space for the family.
The GLC is a handsome car without many standout features – it has the family face and the sporty stance that is standard these days and it is well proportioned. Beyond that there’s not much to talk about, so I won’t…
The ubiquitous massive screen dominates the interior, and otherwise it is beautifully clean and tech heavy. Accent lights emphasise the curves of the dash, and everywhere you look and touch are design elements and premium materials that add up to an air of sophistication. The GLC range comes in Avant Garde spec as standard, so it is well equipped with features.
The new model is 60mm longer than the one it replaces, and those extra 6cm actually add a fair amount of passenger and luggage space.
With 198kW and 550Nm under the bonnet, the GLC fairly shunts down the highway, and yet only consumed diesel at a rate of 6.6L/100km while I had it. The engine is a two-litre turbodiesel and it has been paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as well as 4Matic all wheel drive. It’s a brilliant all-rounder in the driving department, fun enough around corners and comfortable enough on uneven surfaces. One area that this car excels in is the intrusion of road noise – there is none, which is just what you want from an exec vehicle.
What is very surprising is that when the GLC is fitted with the Engineering package, it has adjustable air suspension that can lift the car for better ground clearance as well as rear-axle steering that makes it nimbler. All GLCs also have an off-road drive mode with cameras that show where the front wheels are in relation to obstacles – this is great when you really don’t want to scratch the 18-inch rims on rocks or cause a puncture. I drove the GLC on a track that could be described as off-road and I was very impressed.
After spending a week with the GLC 300d, it's easy to see why this is the best-selling Mercedes – it just makes sense; it has lots of highlights and very few low ones. Pricing is steep, though, and when you’re looking at budgets like this you have an endless number of alternatives available.
GO GET IT
With a sticker price of R1 418 350, the GLC is expensive, even compared to rivals such as the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3, but it is highly specced and a great all-round package. It is sold with a two-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and a five-year/100 000km service and maintenance plan. Visit www.mercedes-benz.co.za