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MERCEDES-BENZ GLC COUPE

Driven recently joined Mercedes-Benz South Africa for the local unveiling of the latest GLC Coupe in the Western Cape. The popular coupe sibling of the updated SUV from Mercedes-Benz has undergone a sporty transformation to enhance its allure and offer buyers a wider array of options.

The Mother City recently played host to the unveiling of the updated Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, where we had the opportunity to put the newcomer through its paces on a variety of roads, from winding mountain passes, the urban hustle, and stretches of highway, for a thorough assessment of the new car’s pros, and cons. 

IRRESISTABLE EXTERIOR

Following on the heels of the second-generation GLC SUV, the updated GLC Coupe entrenches its sportier character with its sleek roofline and captivating curves. While it shares its foundation with the traditionally styled SUV, the Coupe variant distinguishes itself with its streamlined silhouette, making it an appealing choice for those who prefer a more streamlined silhouette. 

While the most obvious change is the GLC’s sloping profile, several key exterior enhancements also play their part in this much-needed GLC Coupe update. Most notably, a new grille brings the Coupe on par with the SUV, while the latest LED headlights (Digital Matrix lights can be added), and alloy wheel options ranging between 18” and 20” add style and sophistication to the mix. At the rear, the Coupe gets two-section LED taillights, while a large panoramic sliding sunroof adds a classy touch. 

Also added with this update are side steps and a front skid plate that impart an appropriately rugged off-road look, but don’t add too much practical value.

UP-TO-DATE INTERIOR

As expected, the interior of the GLC Coupe doesn’t differ significantly from its SUV sibling, albeit a vast departure from the previous generation GLC Coupe. Most prominently, the latest MBUX system and number of premium amenities have increased the Coupe’s luxury appeal. Sitting prominently on the centre console, the large digital screen accesses everything from an infotainment point of view, echoing the C-Class base from which the GLC is derived. The digital instrument cluster is typically Merc, too, and there is wireless charging and smartphone connectivity to boot. 

Like all SUV-based coupes, the rear passenger compartment is snugger than the standard GLC. Thankfully, not significantly so, as the overall height difference between the Coupe and the SUV is a mere 35 mm. Where the Coupe loses a few points is the rear visibility that it concedes as a result of the smaller angle of the rear windscreen.

FAMILIAL PERFORMANCE

We had the opportunity to experience the 220d variant during the launch, representing the entry-level engine option. Powered by a four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, the 220d delivers a commendable 140 kW and 440 Nm of torque, providing ample power for varied driving conditions.

All GLC Coupe models, including the 220d and 300d, boast a four-cylinder turbo diesel mild hybrid configuration, offering impressive claimed fuel efficiency of just below 6-l/100 km for both variants. Enhanced by a 48V electric power assist system, these engines deliver an additional 17 kW and 200 Nm of torque, effectively minimising lag and enhancing acceleration while optimising fuel consumption.

Optional features such as the 4.5-degree rear-axle steering improve overall manoeuvrability in tight spaces at low speed, and contribute agility to the driving experience when travelling above 40 km/h. Despite its sporty demeanour, the GLC Coupe maintains a smooth and composed ride, with minimal noise intrusion into the cabin, even during spirited driving.

LAST WORD

Although positioned at a relatively higher price point, the GLC Coupe offers exceptional value as a premium family SUV, seamlessly blending style, performance, and practicality. With its sleek and compact silhouette, the GLC Coupe should resonate with those who want a refined yet versatile compact SUV option, and are prepared to pay a little extra for the privilege.

MERCEDES-BENZ GLC COUPEENGINEPOWER 
(kW @ r/min)
TORQUE 
(Nm @ r/min)
TOP SPEED
(km/h)
0-100 KM/H
(seconds)
FUEL 
(l/100 km)
PRICE
Mercedes-Benz GLC220d coupe 4Matic AvantgardeIn-line 4-cyl; 1,993 cc turbodiesel162 @ 3,600440 (+200 e-boost) @ 1,800-2,8002258.15.1R1,398,422
Mercedes-Benz GLC300d coupe 4Matic AvantgardeIn-line 4-cyl; 1,993 cc turbodiesel215 @ 4,200550 (+200 e-boost) @ 1,800-2,8002496.45.5R1,454,940
Mercedes-Benz GLC220d coupe 4Matic AMG LineIn-line 4-cyl; 1,993 cc turbodiesel162 @ 3,600440 (+200 e-boost) @ 1,800-2,8002258.15.1R1,483,322
Mercedes-Benz GLC300d coupe 4Matic AMG LineIn-line 4-cyl; 1,993 cc turbodiesel215 @ 4,200550 (+200 e-boost) @ 1,800-2,8002496.45.5R1,539,840

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG JR | Images © MERCEDES-BENZ SOUTH AFRICA

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