Mercedes-Benz is known to build strong and luxurious sedans since the very beginning of the automotive age and over time, its adapted well into the SUV era such as the brutish G glass series and into sports car territory with its GT series. Now, times are changing again. Crossovers are almost everywhere and MB has taken the mantle of perfecting the CUV (Crossover-Utility-Vehicle) in its own way. Mercedes has replaced the GLK series and has been renamed for the GLC Class for its second generation, and the two-row luxury crossover comes with plenty of standard and optional features. We get to drive not just one but two variants of its CUV line up - The GLC 250 and The GLC 43 Coupe and find out exactly how good it is.
Whats under the hood?
The GLC250 is the entry-level CUV in its class. Its powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission which is the only transmission it offers. The 2018 Mercedes GLC is also available in AMG-spec performance trim with the GLC 43. The GLC 43 packs a twin-turbo V6 that produces 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. That’s plenty of motivation for a crossover of its size, but for those who want serious need for speed can consider the range-topping GLC 63 with its twin-turbo V8 which is good for 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque or the GLC 63S which is a tuned version of the standard GLC 63’s twin-turbo V8 which produces 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Apart from the rear-wheel-drive GLC 300, which offers all-wheel-drive as an option, all GLCs come with AWD as standard.
What about the looks?
The most obvious difference between the two models is their body-type. The GLC Coupe can easily be mistaken for a car at first glance but is considered more of a crossover with coupe styling, which gives it an aggressive and luxurious look that only a few other vehicles can match. The GLC 250 looks pretty much the same as the GLC 43 with an exception to the rear. Its roof continues to go back further and angles down sharply when it gets to the hatch section. The view from the front is nearly identical. The GLC face nearly mirrors that of the bigger GLE. The proportions change at the fenders, lower here and less emphatic in their utility. The GLC has a more subtle shape than the GLE, and we think it’s more charming. There’s also some voluptuousness that’s lost on the X3 and Q5.
Let’s talk about the Interior
The 2018 GLC receives high marks for its interior quality and standard features. Its cabin is well equipped with top-notch materials and expensive looking details. It comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, 14-way power adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control and a seven-inch infotainment screen that’s controlled via a touchpad located in between the driver and the front passenger. It doesn’t end there though, the GLC packed with the latest in standard safety technology which includes forward collision alert, rain-sensing wipers, crosswind assist, trailer stability assist and a collision preparation system which rolls up the windows and tightens the seatbelts when a crash is imminent. Other available safety features include active parking assist, a 360-degree surround view camera, blind-spot assist, autonomous braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist
and radar cruise control with steering assist. The GLC’s cabin quality, standard safety and luxury features is what sets it apart from most competitors. Its wealth of standard and luxury features means buyers won’t have to break their bank account to the “Mercedes experience”.
What do we think?
These days the compact luxury crossover platform is seriously crowded, but the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC only really competes with its fellow Germans like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The GLC class packs a good number of standard features into its luxurious cabin and offers a variety of engine options and if you are in the market for a luxury compact crossover we recommend giving the 2018 GLC a test drive because it’s just that good and well equipped.