Motoring

A close look at the Mercedes-Benz GLC

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is one of the most popular premium midsize SUVs. Despite being one of the oldest offerings in the segment, it is still a strong seller for the brand.

In 2019, Mercedes-Benz gave the GLC range a mid-life refresh, and now for 2021, the carmaker has stuffed it with some new features. Priced at ₹57.36 lakh for the petrol and ₹63.13 lakh for the diesel, this 2021 version sees a price hike of ₹1.50 lakh and ₹2 lakh over the respective 2020 versions.

We get behind the wheel of the GLC 200 petrol, and touch upon all that is new across the 2021 range.

What’s new?

The GLC carries forward its contemporary styling from the 2019 update, so it still sports LED lights, a large two-slat grille flaunting an oversized three-pointed star, stylish 19-inch wheels and some butch-looking elements to go with its SUV persona.

What is new is that Mercedes is now offering two new paint shade options in 2021 — High-tech Silver and Brilliant Blue (as seen in this review). Our test car came with all-black interiors.

One of the talking points about the interiors is the new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster (which it shares with other models) that offers multiple display options for the speedometer, tachometer, navigation, and more. Mercedes has also added a 360-degree camera to the equipment list, and what is nice is that the camera quality and display are top-notch.

When it comes to seat comfort, the already plush front seats of the GLC now boast a massaging function; and while it is barely as intense and as effective as what you would expect from a ‘massage’ seat, it is still a nice option to have.

What is more is that the brilliant MBUX infotainment system that made its debut on the 2019 GLC, goes a step further in terms of connectivity. In addition to the connected car features via the ‘Mercedes Me’ application, which allows users to check the vehicle status, lock/unlock the car remotely, locate the vehicle, call for services/assistance, the 2021 update also features remote engine start and operation of the windows and sunroof via the mobile application.

With Alexa and Google home integration, users can avail all the connected car functions from the comfort of their living room or office via voice commands to their supporting devices.

Overall, the GLC’s cabin remains a nice place to be in, with high-quality materials, comfortable and supportive seats, a spacious and practical layout, and ample glass area all around.

What is it like to drive?

Previously, the petrol was offered with a 245hp/370Nm engine in the ‘300’ guise (now discontinued), whereas in its current ‘220’ iteration, this 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine is down on numbers, making 197hp and 320Nm.

Compared to the ‘220d’ diesel, this motor makes 80Nm of torque lesser. So, does the torque deficit hamper performance significantly? The simple answer to that is — no.

Mercedes offers the GLC 200 petrol only in a two-wheel-drive configuration (power is transmitted to the rear wheels), compared to the all-wheel-drive diesel. This makes the petrol much lighter, and therefore the torque deficit is scarcely noticeable.

The engine feels just as sprightly and as energetic as the diesel right from the get-go; it is smoother too and does its job in a silent, refined manner. Even the build-up of speed is linear, and it has got more than adequate performance to keep most users satisfied.

Complementing this engine is a 9-speed automatic transmission that performs seamlessly, and the flexibility of nine ratios means the turbo-petrol engine will spin lazily at lower revs at cruising speeds, thus aiding fuel efficiency to a certain degree.

This 2021 version carries forward the same suspension tweaks that featured in the 2019 facelift. So, even though it wears tall 19-inch wheels, its suspension has been softened, and strikes a good balance between ride comfort and driving manners.

Should I buy one?

The GLC is a well-rounded SUV packing in space and comfort, equipment, mature driving manners and wears the very desirable three-pointed star.

While the 2019 refresh leased the GLC a new life, this 2021 update, although minor, certainly enhances its appeal with a 360-degree camera, digital speedometer console, front seat massagers and new connected car features.

If your usage is strictly on the beaten path, the two-wheel-drive GLC 200 petrol is not only more refined and smoother than the diesel, but it is also cheaper by ₹5.77 lakh, thus making a strong case for itself.

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    Printable version | May 15, 2021 5:11:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/a-close-look-at-mercedes-benz-glc/article34205431.ece

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