2018 GLC 300 New Car Test Drive
One year ago, the rounded-edge Mercedes-Benz GLC midsize crossover SUV supplanted the previous, boxy GLK. For the 2017 model year, a Mercedes-AMG GLC43 model with twin-turbo V6 power, promising more intense performance, joined the four-cylinder GLC300.
Also for 2017, Mercedes-Benz offers new saddle brown leather upholstery. Blue is a new body color choice, the GLC Coupe gains LED headlights, and Premium option packages have been revised. Otherwise, little has changed. Plans for a diesel-engine model are on hold.
Serving as a complement to the C-Class sedan, the GLC has an eye-catching front end, resembling the larger GLE model.
Two body styles are offered: a conventional crossover wagon, and what Mercedes-Benz calls a four-door coupe, due to its dramatic roofline slope. Though stylishly distinctive, the Coupe version loses some cargo space for taller items.
Offered with rear-drive or 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the GLC300 holds a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Rated at 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, the latter available at a mere 1300 rpm, the four-cylinder mates with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Ready to deliver an extra helping of power, the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 unleashes a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that produces 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque.
With its steering and suspension developed by Mercedes-Benz's AMG performance division, the GLC43 rides firmly, but is compliant for everyday driving. Fitted with paddle shifters, the 9-speed automatic transmission includes a sport mode. Each GLC43, SUV or Coupe, comes with all-wheel drive. Cosmetic detail work gives the GLC43 a bit stronger presence than its GLC300 mate. An air suspension with Dynamic Select settings, standard on the GLC43, enhances comfort, as well as stiffening body control.
Plenty of active-safety features are available, but most cost extra, offered in an expensive option package. Attention Assist (drowsiness detection) is standard. So are a rearview camera and low-speed Collision Prevention Assist Plus. The Premium 3 package includes adaptive cruise control with steering assist, full-speed automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot assist, and Pre-Safe Plus to detect imminent rear-end collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash-tested the GLC. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given it Good ratings in side-impact and moderate front-overlap testing.
Mercedes-Benz intends to launch a GLC63 SUV and Coupe for the 2018 model year.
GLC300 ($39,150) comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, glossy wood trim, cloth upholstery, a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, rearview camera, power driver's seat with memory, power liftgate, Pre-Safe, and Collision Prevention Assist Plus. All-wheel drive adds $2,000. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $925 destination charge.)
GLC300 Coupe ($45,950) includes 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Standard equipment essentially mirrors the SUV-bodied GLC300, adding a sunroof and LED headlights.
AMG GLC43 ($54,900) gets the V6 engine and AMG sport suspension, MB-Tex synthetic suede/leatherette upholstery, blind-spot assist, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
AMG GLC43 Coupe ($59,650) features black exterior and aluminum interior trim.