Mercedes Benz has been on a bit of a roll lately. Their all new E-Class and GLC have invigorated the lineup and taken the luxury sales crown in the US. Our friends at LimitedSlipBlog got some wheel time in the GLC Coupe to see first hand why things are going so well.
The GLC Coupe is all new for 2017 and represents the entry level SUV coupe in the Mercedes lineup. Whether or not the swoopy SUV style is your cup of tea, the lines on this particular car really work. It has an attractive side profile and a slight lift, which Americans love these days. Keep in mind that the coupe is lower and longer than the “regular” GLC SUV. The corporate fascia fits well here, and the sport package gives some added aggression to the wheels and exhaust note.
The inside of our GLC coupe was extremely well equipped with the Premium 3 package and designo leather. The seats were immensely comfortable the view out was spectacular. Unlike some coupe styles, the rear visibility wasn’t as bad as expected. Like its competitors, headroom is limited in the back seat, but that comes with the territory of a sloped roof. The COMAND interface is a little clunky and has no touchscreen ability, but after a week of adjusting it became easier to use. The upgraded Burmester surround sound was not as good as the top-end unit we experienced in the S63 a couple of years ago, but it was excellent nonetheless.
Driving the GLC coupe was a bit of a perplexing experience. Now, you wouldn’t mistake this for a full-on SUV, but it certainly was not easily mistaken for a car, either. The seating position is definitely taller than a car, but not quite as high as an SUV. The steering has a quicker ratio, and was more direct than you’d expect from an SUV or crossover. There was very little feel, but confidence grew the longer we drove. The chassis was very compliant and the optional air suspension was compliant over bumps as well as staying level when cornering.
The engine is the familiar formula; a two liter turbocharged four cylinder with 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The motor is coupled to a nine speed automatic transmission which is extremely smooth. The wheel-mounted paddles weren’t really necessary since the transmission always seemed to be in the correct gear and always made the car feel faster than its 0-60 time of 6.4 seconds. As mentioned before, the sport exhaust would pop and burble when shifting near red-line making the car sound sportier than it perhaps it really is.
The GLC 300 is well balanced; it offers the right amount of luxury, comfort and performance. For some, the idea of a SUV coupe is an acquired taste. But over the past year or so, it has grown significantly in popularity. Some may not want to sacrifice the backseat and trunk space, but if you’re willing to look past the lost cubic feet, you’ll find the curvy lines of the coupe will win you over every time.