Mercedes-Benz decided to replace its GLK compact SUV, which stood out by its squared-off shape and restrained dimensions, by the new GLC. The latter’s style is conventional to the point of being almost generic, and whose dimensions have progressed to make it more versatile and practical.
The GLC is elaborated on the platform at the latest C-Class, and its size is clearly more generous than the defunct GLK’s. That results in more suitable space for rear-seat occupants, just like the cargo area which is now rated at 580 litres with all seats upright, and 1600 litres with the rear seatbacks folded down. In short, the GLC is undoubtedly more versatile and practical than the GLK.
A nine-speed automatic transmission
Sign of modern times, the GLC adopts a turbocharged, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 241 horsepower and that offers reasonable performance at the very best.
Our test resulted in an average fuel economy of 12.4 L/100 km, which is quite high, and despite the fact that the GLC is equipped with a nine-speed automatic in order to reduce consumption. We didn’t even abuse of the Sport Plus drive mode, which delays upshifts during full-throttle acceleration. Actually, it’s rather the Comfort mode that was preferred during our stint behind the wheel, during which we noted the vehicle’s ride comfort.
A more intuitive infotainment system
Like other models in the brand’s lineup, the GLC is equipped with the COMAND interface that’s not as user-friendly as those found in its direct rivals, such as the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3.
In fact, it’s sometimes frustrating to try and change the settings of the vehicle’s various systems, while driving, using the multifunction rotary dial. From a luxury standpoint, our GLC tester was loaded with its dark ash, open-pore wood (a $250 option) and its upscale Burmester sound system ($1,000).
Watch out for options…
The base price of the 2016 GLC 300 4MATIC is set at $44,950, but as always with Mercedes-Benz products, there are numerous option packages offered to buyers, as witnessed by the spec sheet of our test vehicle. With the optional equipment, the tab climbs to $62,640, which is rather expensive for a compact SUV powered by a four-cylinder engine. To those who are interested, we suggest a certain restraint in the shopping process…