Mercedes GLC joins the premium SUV crowd
Mercedes has taken the wraps off its new midsize soft roader. Joining the GLAand GLE in Mercedes’ rapidly expanding model range, the GLC is designed to tackle the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
Mercedes has adapted the design language debuted on its high-riding GLC Coupeinto the GLC production model. Gone is the low rear rooflineand coupe-aping window line, although the sleek styling resulting from Mercedes' effort to ignoretraditional four-wheel drive design cues remains.
The new GLC is significantly longer and wider than the GLK it replaces.It's wheelbase has been extended by 118 mm (4.6 in), helping create an extra57 mm of rear legroom and allowing Mercedes to create a wider door openings –both seemingly insignificant details that could still make a difference tofamily-oriented buyers on the showroom floor.
The GLC’s enginelineup will be far more efficient than the range available on the car itreplaces, offering fuel savings of up to 19 percent. The entry-level car atlaunch will be the diesel powered GLC 220d 4MATIC, which offers up 125 kW (170hp) and 400 Nm of torque: good enough for a 0-100 km/h (62mph) time of 8.3seconds. Fuel consumption is the 220d’s real strong suit, using just 5.5l/100km on the combined cycle and emitting between 129 and 143 g/km of CO2.
There is no economy penalty for stepping up to the GLC 250d,which returns identical fuel use figures but hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.6seconds thanks to an extra 25 kW (34 hp) and 100 Nm of torque over the entrylevel diesel. Although less efficient than its diesel stablemates, the petrolpowered GLC 250 with its 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 Nm is the quickest to 100km/h, topping the ton in just 7.3 seconds.
Flying the eco-friendly flag the highest is the GLC 350eplug-in hybrid, which can cover 34 km in all-electric mode. Thanks to a combined240 kW (327 hp) system derived from that in the S-Class and C-Class hybrids,the car will also hit 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of235 km/h (146 mph), while Mercedes is claiming CO2 emissions of just 60 g/km of CO2.
Although they’re attached to the idea of the raised rideheight and visibility that comes with buying an SUV, buyers also demandcar-like handling, something Mercedes is aiming to address with the GLC’s AirBody Control. The system is coupled with Mercedes’ Dynamic Select system, andis able to lower the suspension by 15mm when drivers get into the twisties.Alternatively, the ride can be raised up and softened for cruising, but stiffensitself up within just 60 milliseconds if it senses particularly vigorousdriving that might lead to a rollover.
In the (perhaps rare) event that the luxury SUV heads off-road, the ride height can be raised by 50mm for greater ground clearance.
As you’d expect of a luxury car like the GLC, there is a raft of active safetyfeatures available, including a crosswind assistance system that stops the carbeing set off course by a strong cross breeze on the freeway.