2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic – quick drive

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic

Our 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic came as a refreshing surprise compared to the GLE350 Coupe we tested a few weeks ago.  (On the GLC’s big brother GLE SUV, we complained about the difficulty of entry and exiting the vehicle due to the low roofline, overly wide door sills that made it difficult for even tall folks to exit without soiling one’s leg.)

But the GLC suffers from none of these design maladies.  In fact, the GLC, built on Mercedes’ excellent C-class platform, is a compact, tidy vehicle with a lot of pluses.

Styling 

The GLC’s styling features the classic 3-point star grille.  As a remake of the boxy, tough looking GLK, the GLC is smoother, more refined simply looks more grown up.

Unlike the former GLK which was more controversial in design, the GLC’s rounded shapes continue the family resemblance of Mercedes’ larger vehicles.  This is one CUV that’s got terrific ‘curb appeal.’

Rear quarter view shows the GLC's rounded styling. Nicer to our eye than the previous GLK's boxy, utilitarian styling

Rear quarter view shows the GLC’s rounded styling. Nicer to our eye than the previous GLK’s boxy, utilitarian styling

Engine and transmission

The GLC is fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine pumping out 241 horsepower, matched to a very nice 9-speed automatic transmission.  This powertrain works beautifully and we actually got the GLC to show it shifted into its top, ‘overdrive’ 9th gear on the highway.  (That’s a feat would could NOT get a Fiat 500x with 9-speed automatic to achieve.)

Front seat adjustments are controlled by classic Mercedes door mounted switches, shaped like the seat

Front seat adjustments are controlled by classic Mercedes door mounted switches, shaped like the seat

Fuel economy

The GLC’s turbocharged gasoline engine and automatic transmission combo is officially rated at 11.1/8.5 L/100 km (City/Hwy).  We achieved a reasonable 12.4 L/100 km in urban (winter) driving conditions.

Pricing

In the premium luxury category, the GLC starts off at a very affordable $44,950, but optional packages quickly add up.

Our test unit arrived $13,700 dollars’ worth of options pushing the list price up to $62,640 (not including $2,495 Frt/PDI, AC tax or GST.)  Sport Package ($1,500), LED Lighting System ($1,700), Intelligent Drive ($2,700), Premium Plus Package ($2,900), and Premium Package ($4,900.)

GLC's instrument cluster

GLC’s instrument cluster

Front seats are atypical for most German vehicles; they feel softer and more comfortable than the usual very firm padding the Germans seem to prefer

Front seats are atypical for most German vehicles; they feel softer and more comfortable than the usual very firm padding the Germans seem to prefer

On road dynamics

Driving the GLC is a pleasurable experience.  Like the majority of German vehicles, the GLC sports a nicely firm suspension that gives a good balance between responsive handling possessing the ability to soak up rough roads.  Mercedes engineers have done a good job at tuning the GLC’s suspension, even with its low profile 19-in. AMG wheel and tire combo.

While the steering feels slightly over-boosted for my taste, it gives decent feedback to the driver.  I particularly liked the of accuracy in the steering.  Point the GLC into a corner and you’re rewarded with a feeling of precise control; the CUV makes you feel like you could thread a needle with it.

The cabin is quiet in city and highway driving; wind and road noise is barely noticeable, so if you’re a keen skier, the GLC would be an ideal family hauler, especially with the standard equipment fulltime all-wheel-drive 4Matic system.

IMG_8668

Overall

Overall, we really liked the GLC300.  It’s one of those ‘right-sized’ vehicles that’s easy to drive and luxurious.  The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 9-speed automatic complement each other perfectly.  The GLC delivers excellent on-road dynamics and it feels just like a Mercedes-Benz should – bank vault solid with nary a creak or rattle no matter how rough the road is.

Would I buy the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic with my own money?  Absolutely!

Highly recommended.

Likes

  • Classic Mercedes build quality – bank vault solid
  • Excellent on-road dynamics, responsive and secure handling
  • Quiet interior
  • Base price is competitive

Dislikes

  • Optional packages and options quickly inflate the price

2 Comments

  1. Denis says:

    Glad to hear that you like it after reading numerous review it seems that most of everyone agree that it is a good choice in that category, as you said it could get a bit expensive as the majority of German vehicles, motorcycle included, when you start adding up the options. Your review makes Louise happy about her choice.

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