Mercedes-Benz GLC

220 d 4MATIC Sport

Mercedes-Benz GLC, side
Mercedes-Benz GLC, front
Mercedes-Benz GLC, side, left
Mercedes-Benz GLC, side, right
Mercedes-Benz GLC, rear
Mercedes-Benz GLC, back
Mercedes-Benz GLC, interior

MERCEDES-BENZ'S GLC is a relative newcomer in the UK market, though it's not the first mid-sized SUV the car maker has produced.

It was preceded by the GLK but for some reason or other that was never produced in right-hand drive form.

As if to make up for that Mercedes has produced two different versions of the GLC - a customarily chunky SUV or a coupe-styled crossover along the lines of the BMW X4.

As one might expect from Mercedes the GLC is a practical and purposeful SUV that is also tastefully styled and looks classy.

Positioned between the smaller GLA and larger GLE it is in many ways the perfect size, managing to be neither too big or too small.

On the inside the whole environment has a very premium feel. The black ash wood trim, standard on this model, sets the tone and helps create an interior opulence that fuses old and new styles wonderfully well.

The switchgear and instrumentation are suitably top notch and all models have a seven-inch colour screen.

You can control functions in two ways, either via a rotary dial or a touchpad. It's ultimately horses for courses but the rotary dial feels a little more intuitive.

If you want sat-nav you'll need to opt for a Sport or AMG Line model rather than an SE.

The cabin is nicely roomy and open, with rear seat passengers well catered for in terms of both head and leg room.

If you have three people travelling in the rear though the person in the middle may find leg room a little compromised by the transmission tunnel.

The GLC's boot is more than big enough for the needs of most families and there is additional space below the boot shelf.

Engine-wise most UK buyers will be plumping for one of two versions of the 2.1-litre diesel unit - the 220d delivering 170bhp or the 250d delivering 204bhp.

This was the lower-powered one and it felt more than adequate. The engine is splendidly well insulated and feels suitably refined too.

A nine-speed automatic gearbox comes as standard.

If you want a bit more oomph then a 3.0-litre V6 diesel will definitely deliver, though whether one really needs or wants that kind of performance in a car like this is debatable.

Getting into even more extreme territory the GLC 43 AMG is powered a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine.

On the suspension front there are a number of options, a conventional set-up on SE and Sport models.

AMG Line models offer a stiffer set-up but there's also the optional air suspension.

That was fitted to this car and at £1,495 isn't a huge additional outlay in terms of the benefits it brings both in terms of ride quality and driving dynamics.

Overall the GLC handles nicely. There's the expected degree of pitch and roll when driven enthusiastically but it has enough of a ‘car-like' feel as an SUV to ensure driving it is fun.

Standard features on this car included LED high performance headlights, electrically folding door mirrors and automatically dimming interior mirrors, privacy glass, keyless-go, automatic climate control and heated front seats, DAB digital radio and a Garmin Map Pilot navigation system.

Other standard kit includes active parking assist and a reversing camera, as well as welcome safety features like attention assist for analysing the driver's behaviour and steering movements and collision prevention assist plus.

The latter gives a visual warning if the distance between a vehicle in front is inadequate - and will apply the brakes if the driver fails to react.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz GLC 220 d 4MATIC Sport

Price: £38,820

Mechanical: 170bhp, 2,143cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph:6.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 28

C02 emissions: 129g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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