GLC’s real progress is inside
Mercedes-Benz South Africa has launched its upgraded GLC coupe and estate SUVs in South Africa featuring a range of subtle styling changes and a few significant tech updates now including MBUX infotainment across the board to keep it sharp in a busy market sector. You’ll be hard pressed to spot the external tweaks, but, look closely and you will pick out slimmer LED headlamps, a re-profiled grille, tweaked taillights and restyled bumpers front and rear to mark this out as the newer car.
Step inside and you will soon discover all the major changes though, as GLC finally gains the the latest Benz electronic architecture from A and E and now featuring an MBUX 10.3in infotainment touchscreen with ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice command. The large new central touchpad may be sleeker but it seems less intuitive than the old rotary dial, although Mercedes' latest steering wheel brings easy driver-car interaction once you understand the quite simple logic.
GLC however retains conventional analogue dials flanking a 5.5in trip computer screen, while AMG Line Premium models and above get a fully configurable 12.3in digital dial pack. This can also be ordered as an option on lesser versions.
The range comprises a pair of 2-litre turbodiesels in 143kW 400Nm get-up in 220d, while the more tuned 300d makes 180kW and 500Nm and the 2-litre turbo petrol 4-pot 300 makes 190kW and 370kW. All engines turn Merc’s 9G-Tronic+ nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Mechanical changes are modest, but the new 300d turbodiesel replaces both the old 250d and 350d with a more powerful version of the OM654 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine already used in the A and E-Class. That’s nearly as powerful as the old 350d but produces the same twist as the 250d .
Standard cars carry over coil springs and adaptive dampers, with AMG Line versions getting a subtly stiffer set-up, while Air Body Control three-chamber air suspension is an option. A new is the stability control system now calibrated for every on and off-road driving mode, is however new.
Available in traditional SUV estate or sleek coupe version in all three engine configurations with the additional choice of an AMG Line package, several additional options include Lane Tracking, Driving Assistance, Stowage Space and Offroad Packages for that silently swelling population of mud-pluggers among you.
The GLC 300 is quick — Merc promises 6.5 seconds to 100km/h, together with effortless mid-range muscle for ultimate cruising with that four-pot murmur that becomes a growl when asked. But it does not pretend to major on the 'sports' in SUV, GLC is rather a versatile family cruiser that promises to be lovely to live with everyday. - Michele Lupini
Mercedes-Benz GLC Pricing
220d 4Matic R789K
220d 4Matic AMG Line R847K
220d 4Matic coupe R932K
220d 4Matic AMG Line coupe R990K
300d 4Matic R829K
300d 4Matic AMG Line R887K
300d 4Matic coupe R968K
300d 4Matic AMG Line coupe R1.02M
300 4Matic R848K
300 4Matic AMG Line R906K
300 4Matic coupe R991K
300 4Matic AMG Line coupe R1.04M