Not much more than a decade ago, a coupe SUV was essentially unheard of.
However, as SUVs have grown in appeal, manufacturers have had to get creative to offer even more choice to buyers. BMW was the first to offer a true coupe SUV with its X6, but it didn’t take Mercedes long to join in as well – first with a sleeker version of the GLE and then with the smaller GLC we’re trying here.
Alongside the regular GLC, the Coupe model was updated last year, which introduced subtle but welcome styling updates to give it a fresher look, along with additional driver assistance kit, and importantly a new infotainment system, which is known as the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX for short.
Can these updates help to improve the GLC Coupe further, though? It’s time to find out…
When it comes to powertrain choice, there’s certainly no shortage of options with the GLC, with petrol, diesel, hybrid and hot AMG models all available. All models feature a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive, too.
We’ll start with diesels, with a GLC 220d model kicking the line-up off with a 191bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine. That should really offer all the performance you would need, as it’s able to reach 60mph in 7.7 seconds, but if you fancy a bit more poke, the GLC 300d is available with 242bhp, which cuts the 60mph time down to 6.4 seconds.
Diesel is also what powers the plug-in hybrid model (the GLC 300de), too, which mates together the engine from the 220d model with a 120bhp electric motor and 13.5kWh battery. This offers a great mix of performance and efficiency, and is the pick of the range for us, though you’ll have to stump up lots of money for it in the first place.
In terms of regular petrol options, the only non-AMG option is the GLC 300, which features a 254bhp 2.0-litre engine, which allows for a 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds.
Ride and handling
Aside from the coupe-like styling, Mercedes has also tweaked the way the GLC Coupe drives next to its regular SUV sibling to give it a sportier feel behind the wheel.
It certainly feels that way, as while the regular model is quite plain to drive, the Coupe feels noticeably sharper, though it’s hard to hide the fact that this is a chunky SUV. There’s plenty of grip, though, and it feels very safe and secure, if not particularly exciting, but nor does it need to. The nine-speed automatic gearbox is also brilliantly smooth, and almost hardly noticeable with the way it changes up and down gears.
The only real downside behind the wheel of the GLC is the rather firm suspension. Mercedes understandably designed it to feel sportier, which has just made it a bit too harsh for a family SUV. It’s far from uncomfortable, but it’s definitely worth sticking with the standard 19-inch wheels for the best ride quality.
Interior and equipment
The biggest difference on this new GLC is on the interior, with the outdated infotainment system being replaced by a much cleaner infotainment system that helps to make the GLC feel far more modern. That said, the cabin doesn’t quite have the wow factor of more modern Mercedes models, such as the E-Class and new GLA. However, what can’t be faulted is the quality, which is superb throughout.
As for practicality, unsurprisingly the GLC Coupe with its sloping roofline isn’t as roomy as the regular SUV. That said, taller adults should still be able to get comfortable in the back, while it still has a large 500-litre boot - though that’s 50 litres down on the standard car. The boot shape itself is also quite narrow, while a tall boot lip can make loading heavier items into the back a bit of a pain – something worth considering, depending on what you need to use your car for.
Unlike the standard GLC, the Coupe misses out on an entry-level Sport trim, meaning it’s only various AMG Line models you can choose from.
Standard equipment is impressive, including an electric boot, 10.25-inch touchscreen, 19-inch alloy wheels, a sporty styling kit and a reversing camera to name but a few features. Upgrade to the AMG Line Premium model to get larger 20-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, ambient lighting and wireless phone charging. AMG Line Premium Plus then adds a sunroof, keyless entry and a Burmester sound system, while top-spec Ultimate versions feature adaptive air suspension.
Unsurprisingly given the GLC Coupe’s premium nature, it’s not a cheap car, with prices starting from £45,255, though even with the standard engine and trim, that should be all the car you’d ever need. High spec versions (not even AMG ones) also approach £60,000, which is just too expensive in our eyes, meaning a lesser trim makes much more sense.
It’s also worth noting that Coupe versions cost around £3,000 more than the equivalent SUV. That’s quite a lot of money, but if you’re financing or leasing your car, the cost will likely make little difference on a monthly basis.
If you think with your head, the standard GLC is definitely the choice to go for. It’s more comfortable, cheaper and roomier as well.
However, it’s the style of the GLC Coupe that will win you over, with its glamorous lines and shape making this Mercedes feel even more special, and it’s helped by the sportier driving experience. Add into that the fact it has a high-quality interior and is available with a choice of great powertrains and it’s a very appealing choice indeed.Enquire on a new Mercedes GLC Coupe