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I'm excited to write this article because I have a lot of conceptual thoughts about this particular car.
So, let me begin. Did you know that South Africa, as a country or region, is listed as one of the top 10 best AMG markets for Mercedes-Benz? That says something - South Africans like power, speed and money is no object.
Another interesting fact: the world's top two best-selling SUV's are the Nissan X-Trail and the Honda HR-V. Both medium-sized SUVs targeted directly at families. South Africans follow suit - the SUV market is growing in our country, albeit on the lower and more compact side of the market, predominantly due to price. We have our lovely president to thank for that. His self-serving ways have quickly caused the Rand to weaken over his tumultuous reign as our leader.
Looking at the facts, it is easy to understand why Mercedes-Benz introduced their flagship AMG GLC 43 to our market.
Another interesting fact: the 43 (270kW) motor is less powerful than the 45 (280kW) motor used in the smaller GLA 45. Yet, the 43 features a bigger more illustrious 3.0-l V6 Biturbo engine, while the 45 features a 2.0-l 4-cylinder turbo. Strange that - putting the more powerful motor in the smaller GLA.
I prefer the 43 motor - it is old-school in its sound. A glorious V6 note that's incredibly visceral. Its growl awakens the driver in your soul.
Note, only a Grammy winner, it also does an incredible job of accelerating the GLC from 0-100km/h in an athletic 5 seconds.
It’s designed to seat up to five adults in comfort and store up to 580 litres of stuff in its trunk. I enjoyed its electronic boot operation, and the ability to fold the rear seats and move the front passenger seat forward - all automatically via the flick of a switch in the boot. Doing this makes the loading space cavernous.
It is easy to see how and why this type of vehicle is a success. It's the perfect answer for a family - space, comfort, practicality, pace and the list goes on and on.
The AMG version of the car has been infused with additional character. Character that is most appreciated by people who enjoy driving and driving quickly.
Keeping the car planted on the road is something the AMG GLC 43 does well - its 4MATIC all-wheel drive system combined with the optional Air Body Control air suspension and massive 21" wheels are the roots that keep this 1800kg secure in its quest to go where you point it.
A highly complex vehicle, the 43 is layered like an onion. Its technology wizardry hopefully won't cause you to cry trying to decipher its method of operation. Everything is customisable in this car - from how you like your lighting, seating, suspension setting and even your throttle response to accelerator input. It's a marvel.
It's not perfect though. It's instantly powerful motor is thirsty. In fact, I recorded an average of around 18-l per/100km over a mixed driving cycle.
The 43 is a Jack of all traits: it’s for those boy and girl racers who grew up and unexpectedly began parenting kids and facilitating play dates. For those who miss the sound of a roaring engine and blasting around corners because parenting duties call for sensibility. I have the sensible non-sensible car for you. Set the GLC to Eco mode, drive calmly with your growing family and just like a scene from Desperate Housewives, your life is perfect. But wait, it gets even better – after dropping your lift club off, slip the GLC into Sport or Sport + if you dare, and awaken the beast that lies within the 43. Be warned, you’ll crack a smile and pop a sweat bead.
Good looking in AMG guise.
Big rims compromise the ride quality.
Pricey optional extras.
Audi SQ5, BMW X3 35i and Jaguar F-Pace S
GLC 220 d R674 000
GLC 250 d R696 500
GLC 250 R679 600
GLC 300 R735 700
Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC R960 400
GLC 350 d R850 400
Service and Warranty
All Mercedes-Benz cars are sold with a 6 year/100 000 km maintenance plan.
GLC 220 d R674 000 – I’m too sensible!
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