A small but classy SUV
Not everyone is a fan of the BMW X6 or the X4 SUV Coupés, particularly their amalgam of looks, but they’ve sold well enough for Mercedes to explore the same sector. The GLC Coupé is the smaller of the two entrants from Mercedes, although the front end does share a lot of similarities with the bigger GLE.
From there backwards there is a lot of the C-Class saloon in evidence, so we’re already getting into a mash-up of styles and influences. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so let’s see what our eye can discern.
If we peer under the bonnet we’ll find either the 2.1-litre four-pot diesel or the bigger six-cylinder engine – the engines in the 250d and 350d respectively. The smaller engine can feel a bit pushed if you’re pressing on, and it does make its presence known to a minor degree, with a bit of vibration and grumble. The six-pot is altogether a smoother, more powerful performer that never feels stressed.
Whether the increased buying and running costs of the bigger engine will cause you stress is only something you can decide. However, if you had any budget left we’d recommend opting for the air suspension as it really does a good job of soaking up our roads, even with 19-inch AMG Line alloys on.
You can use Sport mode to stiffen things up further, but whatever you do you’re still not going to imagine you were in a Porsche Macan. There’s quite a bit of body roll, the sort of thing most SUVs do have to deal with.
However, the corollary is that the ride is more comfortable, and you sit in a cabin of outstanding quality. It’s classier in there than a BMW X4 and maybe even classier than a Porsche Macan. The driver gets a load of adjustment to ensure a comfy driving position, and the standard reversing camera neatly overcomes the lack of visibility brought on by that sloping rear roofline.
That roofline doesn’t impinge much if at all on the rear passengers, so you’ll still find room for four six-footers quite comfortably. The boot is about on par with the competitors, but again that sloping roofline makes itself known since it means loading tall items into the boot is a bit more problematic.
One of the issues with this vehicle is that you can’t have the new four-cylinder diesel that you can have in the latest E-Class. The 2.1-litre diesel in either of its two power outputs is not as fine a unit, but at least it’s a well-known and sorted one. Power and emissions are about par for the course, but obviously the 3.0-litre unit will be more expensive to run.
Adding options will bang up the price remarkably quickly, but there is a reasonable amount of kit as standard, including leather, climate control, heated front seats and more. Safety tech includes a collision prevention system and tyre-pressure monitoring, and the car keeps an eye on you to see if you’re getting sleepy at the wheel.
What might keep you awake is the nagging thought that Mercedes could only come 32nd out of 37 manufacturers when it came to reliability. A thought to offset all that apparent beauty.