REVIEW: Mercedes-Benz GLC 300d Coupe is a very attractive offering
JOHANNESBURG - It used to be that when a car was given the coupé moniker it donated a sleek two door sporty means of transport that would get heads turning.
That's not so much the case any more as manufacturers seem to call any number of cars with a sweeping roofline and low enough stance a coupé.
That's also the case with the four-door Mercedes-Benz GLC 300D which is actually more SUV than coupé, but there you go.
Not that it makes any difference to the car's ability or all-round competence because as a whole the GLC 300D is a very decent package.
Have you noticed that once you decide to buy a car and have decided on a make and model you suddenly see many of them around during your daily travels?
It's what happened to me when I drove around in the GLC 300d because I noticed that there were a lot more on the road than what I had previously experienced.
And it's easy enough to understand why; fitting in between a fully-flung SUV and a sedan. With a low slung roofline and bulky gym-bunny-type lines that give it a bit of a Camel Man appearance the GLC certainly isn't a wallflower.
Giving it more credence is the Mercedes 2.0 litre turbo diesel under the bonnet that's good for an impressive 180kW and 500Nm. It pushes the power to all four wheels with Merc's 4Matic all-wheel Drive via a very smooth nine-speed automatic transmission.
It takes a very short moment for the turbo to spool up and once it does it gets away very quickly indeed with a 0-100km/ time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 231km/h and even if you drive it in sport or sport plus mode consumption hovered just under 8l/100km while in comfort over long distances it's bound to be a whole lot better.
The test vehicle was fitted with standard suspension which on highway surfaces proved to be fine but on pot-holed roads and over those infernal suburban speed bumps tended to be on the harsh side. The optional 20-inch low profiles obviously didn't help but either way the optional Dynamic Body Control with adjustable damping that changes according to the driving situation and road surfaces and is also available with air suspension allowing you to raise or lower the GLC by 15mm.
The drive takes nothing away from the interior though which delivers a truly comfortable and roomy premium package.
Despite the low slung roof there was enough room for two adult passengers but it does have an adverse effect on the boot and we had to lie a standard cooler box on its side for the tailgate to close. The roof does limit your view out of the rear window though and it took a while to get used to it.
The cabin material is as you would expect is top-notch and was fitted with the optional open-pored wood and as standard the GLC is fitted with the latest generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system which can be operated with touch, gesture or voice control.
So with a "Hey Mercedes-Benz" you can adjust temperature settings, change radio stations or make a call.
The dash, leather and suede seats, metallic accents and comfortable driving position makes any trip, even a quick one down to the mall, an absolute pleasure.
It also gets the semi-autonomous driving safety systems with distance assist, steer assist, trailer manoeuvring assist and automatic braking if you're not concentrating on where you're driving.
It's no wonder that I saw as many GLC 300d Merc's as I did. Its sleek look, economy, plush interior, performance and handling characteristics make it an attractive offering but for things like electric front seats, navigation, the open-pore wood trim and running boards that wrap up the look nicely, you'll have to reach some more into your pocket.