The SUV is the new sedan. As sales of sedans and hatches slide, SUV sales rise. Designed for practicality first, most are boxy and lack an aesthetic eye-catching design, albeit in recent years, there is the introduction of sportier coupé variants. These “pseudo coupé GT” SUVs offer a flashier look versus their standard variety counterparts.
Within the premium mid-sized sector lies a few options for choice: The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé, BMW X4, Range Rover Evoque, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Porsche Macan.
After more than four years on the market, the GLC and GLC Coupé have accounted for a staggering 1.5 million sales within the mid-sized premium segment. This makes this range the most popular within the brand’s SUV offering of eight models.
Freshly revised, the GLC Coupé marks itself out with its dynamic appearance and elegant lines. This model shows how harmoniously the design features of a coupé can be reconciled with those of an SUV, with a descending roofline, a greenhouse that blends perfectly into the silhouette, the character line in combination with the distinctive chrome strip on the high beltline plus the muscular shoulders.
Both the GLC and GLC Coupé are now equipped with LED High Performance headlamps as standard. Their contours have been significantly changed so that they are now smaller and flatter. This makes the torch-like outline of the daytime driving lights even more prominent, and the typical Mercedes-Benz light signature even more recognisable. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available as optional equipment. Redesigned all-LED rear lights are also included as standard.
In the interior, a high-quality of finish and high-grade materials such as open-pored wood are combined with user-friendly controls. As standard, both versions of the GLC feature the modern, learn-capable infotainment system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. Its strengths include intuitive control using a variety of inputs such as touch control, gesture control (with the help of the MBUX Interior Assistant) and the optimised voice control system ("Hey Mercedes") as standard. The MBUX augmented reality function for navigation adds useful navigation information to a video image of the surroundings. The mood of the interior is enhanced with a rainbow-coloured spectrum of lighting options.
Being a German vehicle, optional extras abound with features like Lane Changing Assist, Blind Spot Indicators as well as MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as outlined above. Unfortunately, these extras are pricey.
The most noticeable changes regarding the drive of the GLC Coup é versus the GLC I reviewed in the past, are the dynamic steering and suspension set up. As an example, the turning circle of the vehicle is small, making only minor steering adjustments mean bigger directional changes on the road. This is in keeping with a sports car’s character. Despite its size, height and weight the GLE Coup é feels sportier on the road too.
The test vehicle, glistening in a black metallic paint finish and fitted with 20” rims, is truly eye-catching. Great to look at, the large sports rims certain complete the athletic look of the SUV. Sadly, in practice, our poor road quality together with the small tyre profile affect the ride quality. I would err on the side of caution and spec a smaller rim with a larger tyre wall for added cushioning as a result.
The GLC Coupé is up against some stiff competition. Ultimately, this is a great situation for customers because any of the cars in this class would all score well. Including the Mercedes. So, if you have a budget of R1 000 000, you are in luck.
GLC Coupé 220d 4Matic R1 010 000
GLC Coupé 300d 4Matic R1 048 000
GLC Coupé 300 4Matic R1 070 000
Service and Warranty
5 years 100 000 km maintenance contract. No customer contribution. Additional extension plans can be purchased. These range between 6 years 120 000 km and up to 8 years 160 000 km, with other alternatives available too.
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