- Great to look at
- High levels of tech
- Decent levels of practicality
- Diesel only
- Expensive list price
- BMW’s X3 is better to drive
It seems that we have been waiting on the Mercedes-Benz GLC for quite some time, and within in that time, BMW with the X3 and Audi’s Q5 have stole a march on the Mercedes as they already have loyal followings.
So how is Mercedes going to turn this around and make the GLC a winner?
Well it is from our point of view the best looking car in the class while it also has a good level of tech and equipment. Read on to find out how the GLC fares.
On the Road
At present only diesel engines are available on the GLC but Mercedes has mooted that this model will have a similar range of petrol and hybrid engines to the C-Class saloon.
One engine is offered at present, a 2.1-litre diesel with two power outputs,
168bhp and 201bhp.
In case you are wondering which unit to choose, our advice is to go for the unit producing 168bhp. Les is more trust us.
The 220d is almost as fast and costs less than the 250d so it really is a no brainer. The 220d will get from zero to 62mph in 8.3 seconds and go on to 130mph.
If you really do want the 250d then it will complete the benchmark sprint in 7.6 seconds and has a top speed of 138mph.
The GLC may not be at the top of the class, vying for top honours against the BMW X3 or the Porsche Macan, but it’s not bad to drive. It’s just, erm, not as true as the ‘Beemer’ or the Porsche – enthusiastic drivers just don’t get that feeling, you never feel at one with the car. It’s a shame, however, the GLC has a calm and composed ride and thanks to the standard 4MATIC four-wheel drive and raised ride height, it will get you through the rough stuff, if needs be too.
All UK cars will get steel springs and adaptive dampers as standard. There are four modes to choose from, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes, while the dampers help the ride comfort.
Mercedes has always been held in high esteem for comfort and the GLC majors on this refinement. Inside the cabin, journeys quickly pass by. Road, tyre and engine noise are all minimal making the GLC one of the most pleasant cabins in the whole sector.
In the car
Three trims are offered. SE, Sport and AMG Line all come available with SE Executive, Premium or Premium Plus packages.
A decent level of kit is offered, even on the entry-level. It includes an automatic tailgate, reversing camera, privacy glass, DAB, keyless go, 17-inch alloys wheels, tinted windows.
Mid-range Sport models add larger rims, heated seats, satnav and a new interior lighting package.
AMG Line receives larger wheels, more aggressive styling and bespoke interior options, as well as park assist, satnav and heated front seats.
We mentioned a number of packages above. The SE Executive Package adds heated front seats, park assist and sat-nav to the base SE, while the Premium Package adds memory seats, a panoramic roof ambient lighting and keyless entry. The final package, Premium Plus comes with online connectivity, road sign assist and a Burmester stereo.
Up against the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, the GLC fares well when it comes to practicality. There are numerous storage spaces dotted around the cabin while the doorbins are spacious and there are nets in the boot to keep your good from sliding around. Interior space is good, even six-footers will be happy whether in the rear or front of the car.
With the seats in place, the boot has a load space of 550 litres, which is identical to that of the BMW X3 and 10 litres larger than the Audi Q5. Fold the seats and the boot expands to 1,600 litres, which should be more than enough space for most.
Mercedes claims that both the 220d and the 250d will average a claimed 56.5mpg and emit 129g/km of CO2.
According to Mercedes, a plug-in hybrid 350e will follow, but not until late 2016. Mercedes claims that the hybrid model will average 109mpg, and emit 60g/km – one for company car drivers, no doubt.
Servicing and maintenance will be in line with its luxury rivals but our advice is to check out the service packages as they should keep running costs low.
Mercedes is renowned for top quality and the GLC looks like it will stand the test of time. The plastics are of a good quality while the mechanicals are well proven.
We expect the GLC to achieve five Euro NCAP stars when tested by the independent safety experts. Safety kit is high on the GLC. Standard kit includes ESP with Dynamic Cornering Assist, Crosswind Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, numerous airbags and seatbelt reminders.