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REVIEW | Why the Mercedes-Benz GLC makes sense

2020-04-14 11:30

Imraan Buccus

Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Image: MotorPress

In line with trends around the world, SA has an ever-growing SUV market. SUV's just makes more sense for many South Africans. Reasons for acquiring a SUV range from extra seating capacity (with some SUVs offering seven seats), safety, additional cargo capacity, off-roading (even though many don't really use it for that purpose), and often impressive styling.

But with a struggling economy (and our worrying state of politics) people are looking for options that make greater economic sense. Even the German SUV buying types are looking for the usual features they expect from a Mercedes but in a smaller vehicle. And dare I say, cheaper.

This means that those that may have previously opted for the larger, more luxurious GLE are now looking at the GLC. Taking into account my introductory rant above, this makes sense. The GLC features in a competitive price sector, and the new facelifted GLC has the makings of a potential sector leader.

Oh, and before I forget a vital piece of information – the GLC now has a standard tow bar and full-size spare wheel. With cycling being the fastest growing sport in SA, those keen on getting their bike racks on will undoubtedly be pleased with this decision. 

Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Image: MotorPress

Styling, inside and outside

The GLC has the new MBUX infotainment system – this is a step ahead of other vehicles as this system digests the owner's habits. And pairing you're your smartphone is super easy. Enhanced digitisation is the direction being taken, and Mercedes falls in line.

While there aren't significant changes from the previous iteration, there are notable improvements. Advanced voice control and even gesture control add to controlling the system via touch screen. Touch screen is perhaps dated for this vehicle. There are also digital improvements to the navigation system with clear images of the surroundings. 

The GLC remains a five-seater, and those with a keen eye will immediately be able to see the exterior improvements. There's detailing on the grille, and the front bumper has a new shape. 

The rear is particularly sexy. The smaller LED lights stand out, and the light clusters have a more distinct rectangular shape. The steering wheel is noticeably redesigned and somehow give you a feeling of enhanced control. 

In addition to the tow bar mentioned earlier, the outdoorsy types will also welcome the extra boot-space.

With improved styling, prospective buyers should also keep the following in mind: The GLC has Trailer Manoeuvring Assist – having that trailer and reversing is now easier. The vehicle has semi-autonomous driving assistance systems, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, Distronic Plus, Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Image: MotorPress

Critical change - new engines 

The 2.0-litres are a thing of the past, and the GLCs now have new four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. A fair segment of the market prefers petrol. Here the option is a GLC300 with 190kW and 370Nm. With more and more people choosing diesel, Mercedes has done well to offer the GLC 220d with 143 and 400Nm, and a GLC 300d with 180kW and 500Nm.

For those wanting to live on the edge, the AMG offers the GLC 43 with  287kW and 375kW. The over-the-top GLC 63 is expected later. As has come to be expected from Mercedes engineering of this stature, the 4Matic system translates into all-wheel drive traction.  

Engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. 

Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Image: MotorPress

Pricing and speed

While one won't necessarily buy the GLC for speed, the GLC300d is impressive. Zero to 100km/h is claimed at 6.5 seconds. Pricing below is for the non-AMG models, only;

Mercedes-Benz GLC 
GLC 220d 4Matic diesel   R817 080   
GLC 300d 4Matic diesel  R857 230
GLC 300 4Matic petrol     R879 200

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 
GLC 220d 4Matic diesel  R951 080   
GLC 300d 4Matic diesel  R986 560   
GLC 300 4Matic petrol     R1 010 200   

The GLC comes in a regular SUV, while the 'Coupe' (also an SUV, albeit sexier) has a sloping rear roofline. It comes with a two-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and five-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24. 

Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé. Image: MotorPress

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