Mercedes-Benz GLC Class
2.1L AMG Line GLC250d
The GLC is beautifully designed throughout and its interior is especially dazzling, with high-quality materials and a smart tablet-style infotainment screen.
It’s roomy enough for families, yet compact enough to make city driving easy. It eats up long journeys thanks to its comfortable seats and high driving position.
The diesel engines are most popular but there’s a wide range of models to suit all lifestyles, including high-performance petrol models. If the GLC isn’t sporty enough for you there’s a coupe version that’s identical in most other respects but has a more tapered roofline and a few other small design changes.
The GLC is luxurious. It has a wide centre console with a minimalist design and lots of appealing materials that enhance the feeling of quality in the cabin.
The driving position is good, with plenty of adjustment controls to help you get comfortable. There’s a driving information screen between two elegant dials ahead of you and a tablet-style infotainment screen that’s linked to the control pad between the seats. It’s like using a mouse with your laptop. Buttons on the steering wheel allow you access to a range of functions without taking your hands off the wheel.
The GLC excels as a family car, with large door openings that make it easy to get adults, dogs, kids or luggage in and out. There’s masses of space too. Taller adults will be comfortable in any seat, although if you go for the coupe they might find their headroom slightly compromised.
Boot space is very good at 550 litres (500 litres in the coupe model). That’s more than you get in some large family cars and more than enough to fit in three large suitcases. You can fold down the seats for a van-like 1600 litres of space (1400 litres in the coupe).
The GLC is good to drive and it’s comfortable, with soft suspension and supportive seats that make long stints behind the wheel painless. The high driving position and good visibility make it easy to drive around town and there are rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera that help with any tricky parking spots.
While it’s not as agile or responsive as its key rival the BMW X3, the GLC feels quite spritely for an SUV, while multiple driving modes let you set things up to either be relaxed on long journeys or to enjoy the GLC’s performance on a twisty road. Coupe models sit closer to the ground and have standard sports suspension. These are a little more sporty, but not uncomfortable.
There are lots of engine options, with a variety of diesels and petrols to choose from. Unusually, there’a a choice of plug-in hybrid models that combine either a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. All provide good performance and the high-powered petrol models are exceptionally quick.
The GLC is closely matched to its rivals, the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, when it comes to price and overall running costs. As you’d expect, you’ll pay more for fuel and tax than you would for an equivalent saloon or estate car because the extra size and weight of an SUV makes them less efficient.
Ownership costs for the high-powered petrol models are high whichever way you look at it, but the majority of versions are very efficient for what they are, with most diesel models averaging nearly 50mpg. The plug-in hybrid models do even better than that and if your commute is quite short they may enable you to travel to work and back on electric power alone.
Mercedes has a good reputation for reliability and the GLC feels like a well-built car. Safety is excellent, with a five-star rating from safety organisation Euro NCAP and a wealth of driver assistance systems fitted as standard. These include Collision Prevention Assistance and Brake Assist Plus, which monitor the road ahead and brake automatically to help prevent a collision.
Best for economy - 220d AMG Line
Best for family - 250d AMG Line
Best for fun - 43 AMG S
The GLC comes well-equipped, with the entry-level Sport trim having features such as a reversing camera and electrically operated tailgate. AMG Line versions add sat nav and heated seats while the Urban, Night Edition and Premium models also get leather trim. The AMG high-performance models come with a huge amount of equipment and are very, very quick.