I’m one of the last ones here at the office and I sweated so much to have the opportunity to put my signature on Auto Class so to crown my love for cars. Mercedes, in fact Mercedes-Benz as it is right to call it, has always been the star that enlightened my sky – I grew up admiring my father’s R129 SL500 and pretending to drive a C111 (always my favorite Merc), I’ve always kept the big dream of being able to buy a G Class one day, maybe even an AMG. Unfortunately, it is not yet time to please this great desire, but every three-pointed star is like a princess ready to accompany me to the great gala: I look at it with discretion starting to know it step by step, showing all my dedication to one of the world’s best brands, synonymous with luxury, elegance and even victorious in motorsport, since precursors decided that cars were not just meant to be driven, but raced.
The GLC Coupe, which has arrived to our testing area, is a daughter of the utmost contemporaneity: an SUV that is neither big nor small, an M size in short – able to comfortably accommodate luggage but without having to deal with a more demanding engine in terms of both fuel consumption and costs. The GLC range is further subdivided, therefore, with the standard version that is a classic mid-sized SUV with a large tailgate, while the so-called Coupe slice a place in the preferences of those who take a few more minutes before joining the tie to their shoes, who chooses a sunglasses for every occasion … in short, for those who pay attention to detail and the style of the GLC Coupe, with its sloping tail that makes it a big five-door coupe is perfectly fit.
It will not be as iconic as my “beloved” G Class, but it has a remarkable appeal, especially with this metallic Blue, coupled with beautiful 20-inch wheels, showing the sporty nature that an SUV (or, if you prefer, SAV) of nearly 2 tons is able to offer. It is a 250d and therefore has a 2.2cc 204hp diesel engine under the bonnet, but the figure that will literally make you hair straighten is the maximum torque of 500Nm, available at just 1,600 rpm. Let’s proceed with order, there is no hurry and just like the days I’ve been fortunate enough to drive it, I’ve taken all the time to get in touch with this delightful creature.
Smaller than the GLE Coupe, however, maintains the same somatic traits, with the appropriate reductions in length, height, width and weight; what is virtually unchanged is the compactness of a car that promises not to be overwhelmed once you take it off the spacious motorway lanes. I leave the city chaos of a random Monday morning and head to one of the roads we prefer when it comes to testing sports cars, a curved snake that at least on paper seems to be the last place where you would like to bring a diesel SUV. This is not the case, in fact the versatility of the GLC Coupe hits any road – motorway or b-road there is – thanks to an exceptional comfort and a driving position high just enough to offer you a perfect view of what is around, without however giving that excessive detachment effect from the ground which you can feel on models of the same segment and hence larger dimensions.
The gearbox is a 9-speed automatic and is also manageable by the paddle behind the steering – funny that during my first Km, I put in “neutral” a couple of times thinking of operating the windshield wipers. Grip on the steering wheel is divine thanks to the thick crown and the square bottom of the same, while the rest of the dashboard is all based on the precision of assemblies around the climate commands and the satellite navigation screen. Just about all the other features of the infotainment on board, controlled by the classic rotor and the pad that avoids misuse of the wrist. In addition to quick and precise voice commands, there is also the opportunity to use the pad as a real mouse and write the letters of your destination – for example – at times an even quicker choice than the classic ones.
The GLC 250d Coupe is therefore beautiful to be seen, pleasant to drive and spacious – I only have to understand if it is also brilliant as suggested by its technical form. Dynamic mode engaged and the suspension get low as much as the gearbox becomes faster, and steering and throttle response become more decisive – so we meet the GLCs sports side, where despite having “only” 204 horses, the huge amount of torque is able to literally leap forward. It is also comfortable when the road is enriched with bends, with a precise brake pedal and a surprising traction, even on slippery surfaces. The rain of recent days has turned a timid dirt path into a great way to find out if this Merc is afraid of get some mud on its wheels.
No problem, although there are no shrinkage, I play with its ground clearance and the all-wheel drive like on a real off-road vehicle. And with the tires still covered in mud I come back on the paved road, I switch on the radio, climate, and set the next destination, with the generous 4-cylinder that returns to do what it was meant to do and so devouring miles quickly but without crushing the wallet.
The days with it have literally flew and seeing the GLC go away has been painful as a week starting with the dentist. The strength of the GLC Coupe lies in its size, in stopping the weighing needle at 1.845 kg and not needing a Boeing engine to do what it can do. It only takes 7.6 seconds to go from 0 to 100 kph and on the freeway I rarely driven something more relaxing. The trunk has enough space for an abundant set of suitcases and the rear seats are comfortable and well finished – there is really nothing left. What I liked most, besides the exceptional driving ability and the ease with which you can park, thanks to sensors and rear view mirrors, was its aesthetic side.
For many, it might seem like a baby “Mercedes X6”, but actually has a homogenous and personal style with the big front mask that incorporates the huge three-pointed star logo and an upside-down tail that is one of the best episodes here. It is a pity for the exhaust pointing down and given the ground height to be easily visible, showing how the two chromed profiles are there only for aesthetic purposes. A part from that, I could not find any fault in the GLC Coupe, which in the 250d version is not only beautiful, but also fulfilling to drive – all this has done nothing but to increase my desire, my unstoppable need to have a G Class, which has its innate off-road skills and a silhouette that will never grow old.