From RM288,888.00, on-the-road, without insurance
The base model of the GLC-Class may run on two less wheels but it’s still an agile mover
What is it?
The GLC200 is the sole rear-driven two-wheel drive in the mid-sized luxury SUV category. The Land Rover Discovery Sport, Porsche Macan, BMW X3 and Audi Q5 are all quad-driven and only other two-wheeler SUV in Malaysia, the Volvo XC60, is front wheel drive.
The less imaginative would describe the GLC200 as a high-riding C-Class but we prefer to call it a starter G-Wagon.
What’s it like?
The GLC200 has to contend with two comparisons from within the Mercedes-Benz garage, the GLC250 and the C200 saloon.
There’s no mistaking the 200 for the off-road capable 250 – the equipment levels are markedly different but you get what you pay for. There’s almost RM40,000 between them and the compromise is more than additional traction going to the front wheels. The differences are largely in the exterior styling and un-visibles. Some we could live without: the extra weight of the panoramic sunroof and the tremor-inducing 13-speaker, 590 watt Burmester Surround Sound System. Some we would have liked: memory for the electric seats and the surround view rear camera.
However, the essentials for a luxury category vehicle are there: seven airbags, collision warning and prevention, LED headlights, leather interior, power-folding rear seats, reverse camera and power tailgate.
The closer comparison would be between the GLC200 and C200, since they share the same drivetrain and have almost the same kit levels. The SUV is only half a second behind the saloon in the sprint to 100km/h, at 8.7 seconds which is a surprise considering the GLC is 240-plus kilos heavier than the saloon. The assisted electric power steering is very light, almost over-assisted. The feel is good when parking but alarming at higher speeds. And while setting the steering in Sport+ puts some weight behind it but it could still have done with more precision.
The most noticeable difference are the rims which are an inch larger on the SUV. What you can’t see is the self-parking capability which is new, autonomously triggered when some clever algorithm recognises certain actions as the motions of a driver trawling for an empty lot. There’re no manual means of initiating the feature which is a bit hit-or-miss in its activation. So it’s either learn the driving cues that set off the parking assistance prompt or learn how to park unaided.
The C-Class and the GLC look the same inside but the cabin similarity hides a 30mm shorter but 80mm wider vehicle than the saloon. Also present is the exclusiveness of Mercedes air oozing from the open pore wood finish, surrounded by leather and brushed metal. On the GLC, the wheels have been edged further to the corners adding 33mm to the wheelbase giving the crossover a a more brutish stance than the C-Class and more cargo volume without losing the legroom the saloon is known for. The GLC’s body has also had the lifts and tucks all round, from its G-Wagen, off-road heritage but in this instance, dressed for city life.
Should I get one?
It’s one of the classiest crossovers in town. It carries the prestige of Mercedes-Benz, the aplomb of the limousine with the air of adventure of a G-Class. It’s quite a combo to pull off but the GLC200 does it rather nicely with a 14% premium over the C-Class. That’s not made a dent in its popularity. The GLC200 is one of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s best-selling models.
Mercedes-Benz GLC200 Specification
Where Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Price RM288,888 On sale Now Engine 4-cyl, 1991cc, turbocharged, petrol Power 184bhp at 5500rpm Torque 300Nm at 1200rpm Gearbox 9-spd automatic Kerb weight 1705kg Top speed 210km/h 0-100km/h 8.7sec Rival Volvo XC60