Next to the GLC250, the Mercedes-Benz GLC200 is somewhat of a letdown. Not that it is a bad car per se, but it is noticeably less sparkly than its more powerful twin.
With 184bhp and 300Nm to its name, it has 25 percent less power and 14 percent less torque than its sibling.
And although it is 30kg lighter on account of it being a rear-wheel-drive – versus all-wheel-drive GLC250 – this does not compensate for its smaller output.
It takes one whole second more to complete the zero to 100km/h dash and top speed is 10km/h off the 250’s peak. This may sound inconsequential, but on the road, it translates to what is best described as a lumbering amble.
You feel the weight of the car. And you feel you need to step hard on it each time you need to overcome inertia or when you need to power out of a corner. Or when you want to pass that lane-straddling car in front.
It will, however, deliver some semblance of verve if you are heavy-footed or if you drive in sport mode.
Perhaps this is why the stated fuel consumption remains hardly changed at 14.3km per litre (14.1km per litre for the 250). It goes to show that being lighter and being a two-wheel-drive do not help much if an engine has to work harder.
Performance aside, the GLC200 is reasonably inoffensive. It offers a solidity the brand has stood for for eons, an old-school SUV styling (angular, plain and decidedly rugged) and Merc-only conveniences such as a single wiper-cum-turning signal stalk, the easiest cruise control and hold functions in town.
Modern-day features such as a touchpad infotainment screen, LED illumination, collision warning and prevention, drive select (five modes) and rain-sensing wipers are part of the package.
All work well except for the rear wiper, which has poor blade-glass contact.
In terms of luxury, you get convincing faux leather (complete with stitchings) lining the dash and pretty much every other part your body comes into contact with.
A hands-free motorised tailgate, keyless system, and heat-and noise-insulating glass are some of the other premium features.
But among them, the Merc has by far the most generous wheelbase of 2873mm.
This translates to a roomy cabin for a mid-size SUV. Its boot space is especially generous.
For its price, the GLC200 offers a pretty decent choice for those who just don’t want to spend that bit more for a GLC250. It is also less costly than its German rivals.
If the car is a tactical move to make Merc fans pick the more powerful – and slightly pricier – GLC250, it will probably work.
Mercedes-Benz GLC200 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1991cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 184bhp at 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE 300Nm at 1200-4000rpm
GEARBOX 9-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 8.3 seconds
TOP SPEED 212km/h
CONSUMPTION 14.3km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $213,888