By: Jason Woosey
Johannesburg - If seeing the words “coupè” and “crossover” in the same sentence makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, you'll be pleased to know that there's yet another sporty high-rider on offer in South Africa.
BMW might have gotten the ball rolling with its X6 almost 10 years ago, but whatever BMW throws into this growing segment, Mercedes-Benz seems to have something to counter it and after chasing the X6 with the GLE Coupè, the Stuttgart-based carmaker is now challenging Munich's X4 with its new GLC Coupè.
It goes without saying that the newcomer is closely based on the regular GLC crossover-SUV, but distinguished by a shapelier, lower-slung body featuring curvy shoulders and a coupè-inspired sloping roofline.
For the record, it's a good 4cm lower and 8cm longer than the regular GLC and Mercedes-Benz says it offers identical entrance height as well as leg, elbow and shoulder room, although that racy roofline means Lurch will have to get a lift with someone else. Boot space remains decent, however, at 491 litres with the rear seats in place.
In keeping with its sporty positioning, the GLC Coupè comes standard with sports suspension, although buyers can still choose between steel springs and Merc's Air Body Control air suspension system, both featuring continuously adjustable damping. As with the regular GLC, 4Matic all-wheel drive is also fitted across the board.
Six engines to choose from
Mercedes SA is offering a rather wide range of turbo-charged engines, with three petrol and three diesel units to choose from, all mated to the nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox.
Quickest of the lot is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 variant, powered by the division's 270kW/520Nm twin-turbo V6, allegedly capable of catapulting the crossover from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds.
The other two turbopetrol models are powered by a 2-litre four, pushing 155kW and 350Nm in the GLC 250 and 180kW/370Nm in the GLC 300, with respective sprint times of 7.3 and 6.5s.
Brawniest of the diesels is the GLC 350d, powered by a 3-litre V6 oil burner rated at 190kW and 620Nm. The two lesser variants are powered by the familiar 2143cc motor, with the GLC 250d rated at 150kW/500Nm and the GLC 220d good for 125kW/400Nm. The three respective variants sprint to 100 in 6.2, 7.6 and 8.3 seconds.
Smart, well-appointed cabin
The cabin remains similar to that in the GLC and buyers can add some attitude by opting for an AMG Interior line package that comes with dual-tone sports seats.
Equipment across the range includes the Audio 20 CD infotainment system linked to an 18cm colour display as well as dual-zone climate control, keyless start, reverse camera, automatic tailgate and front seats with partial electric adjustment. As for the keeping safe bit, Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist and Crosswind Assist are also fitted across the board.
GLC 250 4Matic Coupé - R745 600
GLC 300 4Matic Coupé - R801 398
GLC 43 4Matic Coupé - R1 029 362
GLC 220d 4Matic Coupé - R738 522
GLC 250d 4Matic Coupé - R757 522
GLC 350d 4Matic Coupé - R900 486
What's the price premium?
As you see above, style comes at a price in the case of the GLC Coupè. In fact, model-for-model, the range commands price premium of between R92 000 and R95 000 over the regular GLC SUV.
What are the alternatives then?
BMW X4 xDrive 2.0d - 140kW/400Nm - R722 226
BMW X4 xDrive 28i - 180kW/350Nm - R786 988
Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d Pure - 132kW/430Nm - R778 966
Jaguar F-Pace 3.5t R-Sport - 250kW/450Nm - R1 085 046
Porsche Macan S Diesel - 180kW/580Nm - R1 088 000
Porsche Macan S (petrol) - 250kW/460Nm - R1 113 000
* The above is a small selection, for the full line-ups see our Price Guide.
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