The GLC is the latest allotment in Mercedes’s growing SUV puzzle. If you’ve not been befitting track, this latest archetypal joins the A-class-based GLA, the GLE (formerly the ML) and GLE Coupe, the GLS (formerly the GL), and of advance the G-Wagen, artlessly accepted as G beneath the company’s latest nomenclature.
The GLC, as you adeptness imagine, appearance GL crossover and SUV attributes on a belvedere of almost C-class size. Visually, it’s like a abate GLE (previously ML, remember?) with C-Class akin engines and autogenous features. To added acquaint or abash you, the GLC replaces the old GLK, which was never awash in the UK.
The UK receives three agent engines and one petrol model, the closing in the appearance of the AMG GLC 43.
The GLC 220d 4MATIC and GLC 250d 4MATIC both use Mercedes’s all-over 2143cc, inline four-cylinder turbocharged agent powerplant. In the 220d it develops 168bhp from 3000 to 4200rpm and 295lb ft amid 1400 and 2800rpm. In the 250d, these numbers cool to 201bhp at 3800rpm and a 369lb ft torque aiguille from 1600 to 1800rpm (though it’s safe to accept the 250d makes at atomic as abundant torque as the 220d beyond the bottom engine’s added range. The 250d additionally sends added adeptness rearwards in accustomed active – up to 67 per cent).
Next up is the GLC 350d, with a 2987cc turbocharged agent V6 and a 252bhp output, with a able-bodied 457lb ft of torque accessible from alone 1600rpm. That’s added torque alike than the accepted range-topper, the GLC 43 – it makes 384lb ft from 2500rpm, admitting counters with 362bhp at 5500rpm from its twin-turbo, 3-litre V6.
All use Mercedes’s latest nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automated transmission, which varies its cog-swapping attributes depending on the active access you’ve alleged – in Eco it’ll drag up to ninth as anon as altitude allow, while Sport and Sport adhere assimilate apparatus for best and change bottomward earlier. The aftereffect is an 8.3sec 0-62mph birr for the 220d, 7.6sec for the 250d, 6.2sec for the 350d and a active 4.9sec for the AMG.
The GLC’s best absorbing appearance are abominably ones whose talents few owners will anytime experience. Firstly, there’s an Off-Road band trim package, whose college advanced and rear bumpers acquiesce for a 28-degree access and abandonment angle.
Secondly, GLCs are accessible with alternative air suspension, alleged Air Anatomy Ascendancy in Mercedes parlance, which automatically adjusts abeyance acme depending on alley altitude or the weight onboard.
Finally, there’s the alternative Off-Road Engineering package. This adds bristles added appearance to the accepted Dynamic Select active settings – Slippery, Off-road, Trailer, Incline and Rocking Assist, the aftermost of which automatically rocks the car ahead and aft to chargeless it from a adhesive situation.
Most of the ambit is almost unremarkable, on the alley at least. Alike so, this is absurd to put off buyers of such a vehicle. It does the important things right: the ride is accurately adjustable on all but decidedly corrugated surfaces (at which point the air abeyance struggles to accord with accelerated intrusions). It steers able-bodied abundant too, with appropriate weight and admirable accuracy, admitting the anatomy takes a few moments to achieve afterwards any accustomed ascribe – adventurous active is not the GLC’s forte.
It feels abundant too. Both 220d and 250d tip the scales at 1845kg, a acceptable 180-250kg added than an agnate C-class Estate. It’s consistently angry adjoin this mass, whether cornering or in a beeline band (where GLCs are about bisected a additional shy of a analogously engined acreage in the 0-62mph sprint). The agent feels able-bodied in airy driving, but won’t adventure if you up the pace.
Where it does account awful is refinement. At low speeds the 2.1-litre diesel’s ballyhoo is admirably muffled, and while the agent gets a little articulate beneath load, it’s apparently the quietest appliance of this accurate assemblage yet.
The GLC is additionally thoroughly absorbing off-road. On alley tyres, and utilising the modes of the Off-Road Engineering package, the GLC navigated obstacles we’d never accept anticipation possible, including 70-degree inclines on shale and gravel, appropriately abrupt declines and alongside slopes as abrupt as 27 degrees. Anniversary time we anticipation we’d become stuck, bland appliance of the burke gave the cyberbanking academician the adeptness it bare at anniversary caster to get affective again. It’s no Land Rover on the asperous stuff, but it’s a 18-carat benevolence that around no chump will get to acquaintance its adequacy off the baffled track.
Since our aboriginal drive abroad, we’ve additionally had a adventitious to sample the GLC in the UK, best afresh in AMG form.
As you’d expect, the AMG is firmer than approved GLCs, and its ride is beneath acclimatized than that of the agnate C-class. The added ride acme does accord it added adeptness to absorb up absolutely asperous surfaces admitting and there’s accord of apperception in alive that craters in the alley and washboard surfaces can be tackled with hardly added aggressiveness than a low-slung saloon, auto or estate.
It’s still a abundant agent (1845kg, analogous the diesels) but the firmer bureaucracy agency anatomy ascendancy is bigger than in approved GLCs and added tied-down still back Sport or Sport modes are selected. There’s still added cycle than in a C-class, but it’s not boundless and there’s abundant front-end anchor to acquiesce you to comedy with the weight to acclimatize the antithesis of the car.
The turbocharged V6 is a absolutely acceptable assemblage to use too. While it doesn’t decidedly feel like an AMG agent in the way we’re acclimated to, it’s smooth, punchy, acknowledging to burke inputs, and emits a adorable agenda from the bankrupt beneath beyond burke openings.
GLC motoring, on-road or off, starts at £35,580 for a GLC 220 d 4MATIC in SE trim. For the above akin of blueprint with the beyond 250 d agent you’re attractive at £36,735 – we’d say the added adeptness is account the money – while prices acceleration to £50,870 for a GLC 43 in Exceptional Additional specification.
You can of advance again absorb bags of pounds added – tens of thousands, alike – prettying the autogenous and exoteric with Mercedes’s War and Peace-style options list. A set of 20-inch admixture auto is £595. The Exceptional backpack (ambient lighting, keyless go, anamnesis seats and a across-the-board sunroof) is £1695, and to get the Exceptional Additional package, including the above additional a Burmester complete system, COMAND infotainment and cartage assurance assist, is £2995.
At £495, the Off-Road Engineering amalgamation looks like a bargain, admitting accustomed how few owners will seek out scenarios that would crave it, conceivably it’s not account active that box.
It’s the accepted suspects: BMW’s X3, Audi’s Q5 and the left-field Lexus NX. BMW still edges the others on active appeal, admitting none are as acceptable bottomward a arced alley as their accepted acreage equivalents. Alone Audi, in the SQ5, offers a achievement archetypal agnate to the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 (at £52,300), but the Q5 is due to be replaced anon so it may be account cat-and-mouse for that one.
The Ambit Rover Evoque has no accepted acreage equivalent, but it’s additionally account a attending – it charcoal the best candidly design-led of the exceptional crossovers. It’s not a B-road abstruseness (and as such, little altered from its rivals), but the Ambit Rover brand has its own address and like the Mercedes, it has a reasonable amount of off-road ability.
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