Mercedes-Benz GLC 250 Coupé

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You might think of Mercedes GLC Coupé’s rivals as being BMW X4 or Porsche Macan, etc., mid-sized SUV’s in the same price bracket, to give some idea of its target audience. Basically, it is for people who want what a mid-sized SUV offers over a sedan, namely a bigger more versatile cabin, but now Mercedes has modified the existing GLC SUV to lower its back end into a more stylish, sloping fastback shape, giving an elongated coupe silhouette appearance (called a coupe because of the new roofline, a bit confusing when it has four doors).

Mercedes-Benz GLC 250 Coupé

This gives buyers another variation of vehicle style to choose from, which of course is good - more choice as to what suits you best.

As well as restyling away from the clunky traditional SUV appearance, the coupé received AMG Line exterior and interior extras, such as special front/rear bumpers, 20'' multispoke light alloy wheels, brushed aluminium-look rubber-studded side stepping boards, black trim cabin elements in piano-lacquer, leather upholstery and horizontal trim element in silver chrome on the dashboard. The front intake features a single sporty looking louvre, inside a diamond grille with chrome plated pins.

There is standard keyless entry and go and dynamic body control and suspension, Drive Assistance Plus, Active Lane Keep and Blind Spot Assist, as well as a host of other safety and assistance standard or optional features.

You might view the GLC Coupé, and also the GLC SUV, as a slightly stretched and raised C-Class. That familiarises its makeup pretty much right away and explains why the interiors are so similar, which is a good thing. Borrowing the already developed and refined dashboard from the C-Class gives the GLC 250 Coupé a cosy cabin that looks classy and actually feels rich in character and taste. It is also more robust that of the larger and more expensive GLE-Class.

Switchgear is all very familiar in that the Mercedes rotary dial controller takes centre stage, working in conjunction with a freestanding (non-touch) screen, although the confusing touchpad surface from the C-Class also makes it over. It is hard to decide when to use that and when to use the rotary button, and though the graphics look lovely, the menu system is bit of a head-scratcher until you learn and use it for a while (the saying goes “if all else fails read the user manual”!)

Space in the back is a little comprised by the now stylish roof, but testing it there is ample room for four six footers to be seated in comfort. With the rear bench down, the GLC Coupé will transport up to 1,600 litres.

The GLC 250 Coupé is a pleasure to drive. Acceleration from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine is good and punchy right through the rev range, with handling surprisingly taut for a car meant for light off-roading.

During the drive, there is excellent body control from the suspension (without a jarring ride over bumps) and the stability control system tends to keep things well in control without feeling intrusive. It makes for a machine that can be punted around aggressively and one that serves as a good example of how a well-sorted SUV can now be as fun to drive as a car.

Something many people will find useful is the rotary selector for various drive programmes ranging from “Eco” to “Sport +”. On “Eco” you will probably average 10km per litre in city traffic, while on the “Sport and Sport +” modes the GLC Coupé becomes noticeably more aggressive.

155kW of power and 350Nm of torque from the GLC’s forced-induction 2.0-litre, four-cylinder heart sends the coupe from zero to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds.

Even under inconsistent stop-start traffic conditions, cog swaps are sublime and you barely realise when the car has decided to make a gear change. If there is one thing that the GLC Coupé does extremely well, it would be the levels of driving comfort it provides. Suspension, although firm, is not invasive and new heat and noise-insulating acoustic glass in the front doors translates into a drive that is so very tranquil.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé should shake up the segment and give the Porsche Macan and the Bavarians a good run for their Euros. We have slowly fallen victim to the GLC’s refined charm and we are only reluctantly returning it!
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 16V direct inject turbo-petrol four-cylinder
  • Power: 155kW at 5,500rpm
  • Torque: 350Nm at 1,200-4,000rpm
  • Transmission: 9-speed 9 Gtronic automatic all-wheel-drive
  • Dimensions mm: L4732 W1890/2096 incl mirrors H1602 WB2873
  • Turning 11.8m
  • Kerb Weight: approx. 1850kg
  • Consumption: 7.4L/100km, using 95 RON
  • CO2 173g/km
  • Tank: 66 litres
  • Safety rating: 5-star ANCAP
  • From $80,100 plus on-road costs
  • Warranty: 3-years/Unlimited