JOHANNESBURG - The Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLC Coupe are the final members of the ‘C’ family to get their mid-life makeover, and the new models are now on sale in South Africa, starting at R786 100 and offering three engine options.
Both SUV models receive a new front end design as well as fresh engines and infotainment gadgets.
The key visual changes take place at the front end, where you’ll find a larger and more angular grille flanked by pointy new LED headlights, which come as standard, although buyers can also opt for Multibeam LED headlights as an option. At the back end you’ll tell the new GLC models apart by their redesigned LED tail lights.
As before, the GLC takes the form of a regular SUV, while the ‘Coupe’ is - despite what Mercedes will tell you - still an SUV, only with a more sloping rear roofline inspired by two-door coupes.
Inside, the basic dashboard design remains as before, but there is a new digital instrument cluster and the models also upgrade to the company’s latest MBUX infotainment system with ‘artificial intelligence’ that learns the owner’s habits. The system can be controlled via touchscreen, touchpad, gesture control or advanced voice control. Furthermore, the navigation now sports an augmented reality function that adds useful navigation info to a video image of the surroundings.
New engines under the bonnet
The new GLC models debut with a pair of brand new four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, both displacing 2-litres.
The sole petrol option for now comes in the GLC 300 derivatives, and here owners are treated to 190kW and 370Nm. The all-new diesel motor is available in two guises: a GLC 220d with 143 and 400Nm and a GLC 300d that’s good for 180kW and 500Nm.
On the AMG front, the 287kW GLC 43 and 375kW GLC 63 performance models will also be part of the mix in the near future.
In all cases, the engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
As for suspension, buyers can opt for a steel suspension, with either conventional shocks or adaptive damping, or an even cushier air suspension system, which can raise or lower the vehicle by 15mm.
The GLC and GLC Coupe are also available with new semi-autonomous driving assistance systems, including Active Distance Assist Distronic as well as Active Steer Assist, which can help change lanes and form an ‘emergency corridor’. Another new feature is the Trailer Manoeuvring Assist, which can assist the task of trailer reversing that so many drivers struggle with.
Those aforementioned features are on the options list along with many other advanced features, while standard kit includes dual-zone climate control, the MBUX infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, Distronic Plus, Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.
As is the standard Mercedes after-sales deal, the vehicles are sold with a two-year, unlimited kilometre warranty and five-year / 100 000km maintenance plan.
Although the GLC and GLC Coupe are closely related, you are looking at a premium of around R140 000 for the extra style that the latter offers.