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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, April 23, 2016
Mercedes-Benz GLC is
good-looking and practical
MERCEDES-BENZ Australia has
been waiting for the GLC for years.
Previous models in this class, with
a tag of GLK, weren t fitted with
steering wheel on our side so couldn t be
imported. Now the local importer finally has a
competitor in one of the most fiercely fought
of all market segments in Australia, that of
upmarket midsize SUVs.
In case you re wondering, the new Mercedes
model numbering system indicates the body
type in the first two letters and the Class in the
final letter. Thus GL means it s an SUV, and
C means its a C-Class, model. (To add to the
confusion Mercedes is known to be developing
a GLC coupe, with an entirely different rear
We have just had the pleasure of reviewing
a brace of this new model. The $$64,500
Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d diesel we tested for
our first week had 19-inch wheels, keyless entry
and start, powered front seats, power tailgate,
and LED Intelligent lighting. After dropping it
off we picked up a $$67,900 turbo-petrol which
was really loaded with standard gear: These
vehicles have 20-inch wheels, a Keyless-Go
package, leather upholstery, privacy glass and
Driver Assistance Package Plus, more about the
latter in our Safety segment of this review.
A big, bold front end with one of the largest
three-stars badges in the centre leaves
absolutely no doubt what you re driving. The
rest of the body s shape is tidy, but tends
to focus on practically ahead of look-at-me
Our cars were fitted with the Mercedes
Comand system including satellite navigation
with voice input, or you can use the reasonably
intuitive touchpad. The audio system is a
13-speaker Burmester with surround sound.
WLAN with internet access for connected
The SUV versions of the Mercedes C-Class,
the GLC range has three models, two powered
by a 2.1-litre turbo-diesel engine, the third a
2.0-litre turbo-petrol motor.
The 220d puts we drove out 125 kW of power
and 400 Nm of torque. The Benz GLC 250
2.0-litre petrol produces 155 kW, and 350 Nm
of torque from just 1200 rpm. It accelerates the
GLC from zero to 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds.
There s also a 2.1-litre turbo-diesel engine
with a sportier tune to give 150 kW and 500 Nm,
we haven t had a chance to test one of these for
a week as yet.
The Driver Assistance Package Plus, has
Distronic Plus cruise control with Steering
Assist, Pre-Safe Brake and Pre-Safe Plus, Cross
Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and
Active Lane Keeping Assist.
Nine airbags are fitted in case all the
electronic crash avoidance systems still can t
handle the situation.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is a genuine five-
seater. There s good space in the two front
seats and the support provided is good without
being overly aggressive. The rear seat has
excellent legroom and can cope with three
adults, though two plus a kid in the middle
makes more sense for long distance trips.
Boot space is excellent and the relatively
squared off compartment is easy to load. As is
the way with any stylish SUV, or station wagon
for that matter, the slope of the rear window
limits the size of large boxes that can be fitted
Controls will be immediately familiar to
Mercedes owners, retaining the simplicity
and commonsense layout that they have
appreciated for decades. Similarly, the
instrumentation is uncluttered and its
information quickly and very readable.
The upper models in the lineup feature
a head-up display that shows a lot of
information. Provided, that is, you don t
have the added driving safety of polarised
sunglasses as I do, in which case the head-up
is all-but invisible. I do wish the makers would
solve this longtime problem, it s certainly not
At night, with the sunnies replaced by clear
glasses the head-up display certainly shows
what it can do in providing details with a
minimum of driver distraction.
Steel springs and a variable damping system
is standard, while the Merc GLC offers the
option of a multi-chamber air suspension
and electronically controlled, continuously
adjustable damping. This Air Body Control
suspension further improves driving stability.
This raises the body by up to 50 mm and
provides a variety of tuning. On the bitumen
it reduces rolling during cornering and also
provides automatic levelling. There s even
lowering of the body for easier loading and
Mercedes GLC can also be equipped with the
Off-Road Engineering package if you re one of
the few who actually intended to use an SUV
in the conditions it s designed for. Indeed it
comes in at the bottom end of the 4WD, not
merely SUV, field.
The Off-Road Engineering package has five
programs. Slippery and four off-road programs
for mild off-road terrain such as gravel or sand
tracks. Incline aids climbing ability on steep
ramps or long, slow uphill stretches. It even
features a Rocking Assist program in which
the driving level is raised by 50 mm and the
wheel-slip control thresholds are increased so
as to enable the GLC do the best it can to work
its way free if you really get into strife.
Another off-road program, Trailer , is
designed for towing off-road and facilitates
moving off on wet grassland, or ice and snow.
The package also includes a Gemtex under-
ride guard, which takes the stress out of heavy
ground contact. There is Downhill Speed
Regulation that maintains a pre-set speed on
steep downhill runs.
A good looking vehicle that s practical and
carries the prestige of the Mercedes-Benz
three-pointed star at the front. It s hard to see
the new GLC being anything other than a big
success in the sales race.
For more information contact North Star
Motors LMCT 8241 at 29 Orange Avenue,
phone 5021 3866 or visit.www.nstar.com.
Mercedes-Benz GLC is
good-looking and practical
Big and bold at the front, the long awaited
Mercedes GLC makes a real styling statement.
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