Engineering a car to have more pluses than minuses is the surest way of creating a good product overall.
In theory, yes. But as any enthusiast will say, you don’t make a car just to satisfy requirements and tick boxes. The car must also be able to connect with the driver. Emotionally, if possible.
Well, the Mercedes-Benz GLC300, the updated version of the GLC250, has plenty of enhancements. But does it appeal to drivers?
Changes to the Mercedes-Benz GLC exterior are minor compared to the upgrades to the interior and drivetrain.
However, keen-eyed buyers will be able to spot the new headlights. LED High-Performance units are standard. There are new “torch-design” daytime running lights, too.
There have also been slight revisions to the two-bar grille and front bumper. At the rear, the tail-lights, bumper and exhaust tips are all new.
BIGGER CHANGES INSIDE
The biggest update to the Mercedes-Benz GLC cabin is the new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system.
MBUX consists of a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 10.25 touchscreen interface for the infotainment system.
The former replaces the analogue meters in the older Mercedes-Benz GLC. Meanwhile, the latter is in addition to the large touchpad control surface and smaller multi-function touchpads on the steering wheel.
You also get a voice-activated assistant, which “wakes up” when it hears you say “Mercedes”. In fact, it’ll get activated whenever it thinks it heard “Mercedes” spoken.
Oh, and Keyless-Go (keyless ignition) is now standard. So, you don’t have to fish around for the key to start the car.
NEW (OPTIONAL) SAFETY FEATURES
For safety-conscious buyers, the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 can be equipped with the Driving Assistance Package.
This suite of features includes coast mode or “sailing mode” in the Eco setting, route-based speed adjustment and Active Steer Assist.
There’s also an exit warning function that warns of an approaching vehicle or cyclist when the car is stopped an a door is opened.
EVEN CUSHIER RIDE
The Mercedes-Benz GLC now gets Dynamic Body Control suspension. That’s Mercedes’ fancy way of saying that the car has adjustable dampers.
What you need to know is that the Mercedes-Benz GLC is even more comfortable than before. There’s a silky refinement to it that Mercedes fans will love.
The ride is utterly forgiving. You could select Sport or Sport+ and the ride quality never becomes harsh.
Speaking of which, Sport and Sport+ are the most ideal driving modes for the Mercedes-Benz GLC300.
After all, you want to be able to exploit the turbocharged motor’s added muscle. There’s now 258hp and 370Nm at your disposal, up from 211hp and 350Nm in the GLC250.
With 47hp and 20Nm more, the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 now hits the century mark in 6.2 seconds. That’s a massive 1.1 seconds quicker than before.
To put that in perspective, that timing is around two seconds faster than the more powerful Lexus RX350L.
…COMES AT A COST
The Mercedes-Benz GLC300 may be peppier, but it’s also thirstier. Its combined fuel consumption figure of 12.5km/L is worse than its predecessor’s 14.1km/L.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
It’s comfort-biased, so agility is not its strong suit. In fact, with its emphasis on refinement, the sensation of speed is dulled.
That’s good news for those who love going on road trips. With very little engine or road noise, long drives will be less tiring.
But I must say that your left foot is going to be a bit sore. The footrest, which can only accommodate half of your foot, hasn’t been improved. In the interest of big changes, this tiny but significant one was overlooked.
In such a position, it feels like half your foot is “dangling”. You’re then forced to alternate between that, drawing your leg back and extending it.
Frankly, neither of the three positions is comfortable.
WHO IS THE GLC FOR?
The Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic is for a buyer who wants a relatively complete five-seater luxury SUV.
It’s got plenty of poke, a high-tech cabin and excellent optional safety features. And the ride’s pretty pliant, too.
The only thing it cannot do is form an emotional connection with the driver. But for most buyers who just want more pluses than minuses, the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 will do just fine.
Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1991cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 258hp at 5800rpm
MAX TORQUE 370Nm at 1800-4000rpm
GEARBOX 9-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 6.2 seconds
TOP SPEED 240km/h
CONSUMPTION 12.5km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $240,888 (after $10k VES surcharge)
AGENT Cycle & Carriage Industries