A Triumphant Rework

by BTM

Thu, 02 May 2019

A Triumphant Rework

Dick Potter gets behind the wheel of the latest offering from Mercedes-Benz.

The Mercedes GLC 250 Coupe SUV. Quite a mouthful huh? But then, it’s quite a car. 

The predecessor of the GLC was the GLK, which Mercedes cleverly introduced to the market before their competitors cottoned on, realising, and, more importantly, from a business angle, cashing in on the market explosion of the mid-size premium quality SUV.

That, to be fair, did not fare well. Still being fair, come on, I own a Mercedes – albeit one nearly as old as I am – their rivals in the market were the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Range Rover Evoque. Nothing in that line-up to be sniffed at you’ll agree. However, kudos to Mercedes, they upped the mark and redressed the competition successfully with the GLC.

The 2019 GLC really is an excellent drive in the luxury compact SUV market area. For my techie readers, the engines come in a multitude of muscle sizes. I had the 241 turbocharged two-litre, four-cylinder job. Great for regular and commuting use. But if you want more oomph, then I’d suggest you go for the V6, AMG GLC 43 which presents with a not too shabby 362 horses under the bonnet. 

Alternatively, there’s the awesomely quick V8, AMG GLC 63 with 469 or 503 stampeding horses which might fit your bill? Furthermore, it will beat the Porsche Macan or Audi SQ5 in a straight pace, or so I’m reliably informed, ahem, not having actually tried it myself you understand – well, to date I haven’t. (Ed, when am I scheduled to do that?)

All models present with a nine-speed transmission and paddle shift (which you know I’m a tad biased towards, oh, all right then, I love it) for smooth, quick gear changing. 

My GLC 250 with 241hp was zippy around town and smoothly fast on the highway. I personally preferred the sport mode over comfort, as I like a harder ride from a firmer suspension.

Moving on to the interior. Wow. That’s it really. I should imagine it’s leaving rivals a tad red-, and green-, faced! A glossy wood console with metal highlights across the whole dash makes for a very attractive look indeed. It’s complete with upholstery that Mercedes calls Artico, which looks and feels like leather but is actually man-made. If you want real skin, then the Merc folk can do that too. But, heads up, that’ll be a tad more dosh.

The GLC has fully electric, adjustable front seats with four lumbar support positions – a blessing for my poor back – and steering wheel position adjustment. The visibility for the driver and passengers is seriously good.

The infotainment system in Mercedes, I must say, is one of my favourite of all car manufacturers – wonder if Merc could install it in my trusty ancient model? I especially like the standard central dial controller which, once quickly learned, is so simple to use and is ergonomically cool. There are a few welcome additions from its predecessor. These include, heated seats – interesting for Bahrain – a three-zone climate control and an optional off-road package – see above note re, interesting for Bahrain. The reversing camera and front and rear sensors with a semi-autonomous system help you to steer the car into those tight parking spaces, at the mall anyone?

I would have hoped for a bit more trunk storage, however, the back seats fold down giving you enough space for the piano and orchestral woodwind section, should you be disposed to carting them about town. The Missus loved the big door pocket storage area. I swear she almost fitted her substantially large handbag into the central console compartment thingy – no mean feat that!

This GLC really is a great buy. You get a lot of bang for your buck and it has a superior feel of class and opulence to its competition. Mercedes, they seldom go wrong. I quite literally vroomed back to the Al Haddad showroom at 4.59pm, a minute to spare before pumpkin hour, and very reluctantly handed the key back...sob.
Auf wiedersehen pet.