If there was a scale from 1 to 10 for pointless vehicle segments, a four-door coupé variant of an SUV that you don't drive off-road anyway, would certainly end up in 11th place. An increase is still possible. As a supposed NEDC fig leaf with a plug-in hybrid drive, one finally shoots the bird on the scale of senseless automobiles. Or not?
The new GLC Coupé from Mercedes-Benz in the driving report
Nice is different. Or not?
Visually a little "getting used to". But I have already learned that my own feelings about design are not always accurate right away. Cars in photos and cars in reality, there is often a big delta here. The coupé variant of the GLC is also such a case. The body looks clumsy in the photos. Awkward. Somehow - komische, Of course, an SUV with a sloping roof line, a coupé with four doors, high-legged with huge wheels, all of this is for a traditionalist like Gothic music at the World Church Day. And yet. After an excursion into the Aosta Valley, the first impression seems completely distorted. mein-auto-blog drove the GLC Coupé as 250d, 350d and 350e during the press event on two half days through the charming landscape of the Aosta Valley and already on the evening of the first day the doubts about the design crumbled. The idea. At the conception. But one after the other.
That the combination of massive SUV, elegant roof shape a la Coupé and the practicality of five doors works BMW first found out. But at the Stuttgart-based company, the new models are currently running on the assembly line from the ideas factory, so you can get inspiration from your white-blue colleague and respond with “me too”. The GLE coupe made the start, with the GLC Coupé Mercedes-Benz is now responding to the customer's request to realize the extravagance of combining different vehicle segments one class below.
The longer you look at the GLC Coupé, the more logical, the more attractive the idea becomes.
Headroom in row one is good. You also sit upright, look slightly elevated and somehow it is finally like before. Before the limousines became flat armored vehicles. There used to be enough space in the greenhouse. Today, the SUV takes on the role of a practical everyday companion.
The fact that you don't have to do without four doors despite the coupé roof shape is also practical for everyday use. To combine everything, the practical benefit of the overview and comfort of an SUV, the feeling of space of a classic sedan, the elegance of a coupe. That is the claim of the latest generation of SUV coupes.
Whether you like the result is a completely different question.
The candidates: GLC Coupé 250d, 350d and 350e
You don't reinvent the world for the “all-in-one” car. The design is new. It is different. But the kit gives us engines, transmissions and equipment details. The technical proximity to the GLC brings the brilliant, but unfortunately only optionally available air suspension with the three-chamber strut for the front axle. This means that the AIR BODY CONTROL is probably the most important extra in the list of surcharges, right after the question: Which motor should it be?
Four diesels, three petrol and a plug-in hybrid are available on the current wish list. Mercedes has left out the very small diesels, 200d (136 hp) and 220d (170 hp) for the first trip, but the 204 hp 250d and the currently only V6, the 258 hp 350d, are allowed to show what is possible. That there is the 250 also without d, then 211 hp and sipping gasoline and above that the 245 hp 300 - which also has to get by with four-cylinders for the German market, rather unimportant information. Anyone who opts for an SUV combines this with the purchase of a diesel engine. However, this is more a peculiarity of the German market. There are two alternatives for all diesel and particulate matter allergy sufferers.
The “Mild-AMG” GLC 43 AMG with the 3.0 liter V6 bi-turbo engine with 367 hp and the future of drive technology, which also did not come to the test drive. The plug-in hybrids. Okay - the bridge to the future. The combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor. And in the GLC 350e in a more serious combination than before.
For the first time, the GLC 350e combines battery and electric motor power from the GLE and S-Class with the small petrol engine that is used in the C- and E-Class. That means: more battery power and a more powerful electric motor. The result? 320 HP system performance and - purely according to standard - an electrical range of 34 kilometers. Thanks to the electric boost, the GLC Coupé can crack the standard sprint in 5.9 seconds. Do we feel a hint of sportiness there?
When it comes to Mercedes-Benz, the GLC as a coupe is the sports SUV.
Is it sporty?
Of course you can feel the almost 1.850 kilograms of the GLC 250d. Nevertheless, and it owes that above all to the “AIR BODY CONTROL” suspension, the four-door SUV coupé circles the alpine passes of the Dolomites with surprising ease. The nine-speed automatic supports the four-cylinder diesel as far as possible, provides the right gears for the 500 Nm engine and switches to the higher speeds in dynamic mode, lapses into relaxed work in comfort mode and contributes a good amount of money balanced driving impression.
Sport is different. Let's not let the Mercedes-Benz marketing experts fool us. Regardless of whether Air Body Control and 15 millimeter lowering in sport mode of the Dyamic Select switch, the increased center of gravity and the weight of the GLC Coupé are noticeable. Possibly not for the Otto 08/15 driver, but he doesn't need the “sportiness” of the GLC Coupé, which Mercedes-Benz claims and is noted well over 100 times in the press release. If you want to practice serpentine milling, you can choose the C-Class. Gladly as a coupé. Yes - the chassis set-up of the GLC Coupé feels - for an SUV - handy, but sporty is something else.
350d - Because six cylinders are always better
It's only a 54 horsepower difference, but it changes the entire vehicle. As soon as the four-cylinder nailing, especially present when idling, turns into a sovereign V6 humming and snorting, the entire vehicle rises into a new segment. You don't write confidently with four cylinders. And in connection with the nine-speed automatic, the six-cylinder basically constantly falls below 2.000 revolutions and thus holds back elegantly - only to push 620 Nm of power into the drive train if desired. Can you feel the extra weight on the front axle? Yes a little. The 250d feels a little more manageable than the 350d. But if you let these details matter, you shouldn't even think about a “SUC”, but rather order a classic. One C450T (today C43 T) perhaps?
The lifestyle decides
Rejection of the premiere. Acknowledgment at the end of the test drive. The design of the GLC Coupé appears harmonious as soon as you get used to the shapes. The four-door SUV sports coupé stands out in the street scene. The sealed sportiness is enough for everyday life. But if you dream of real sportiness, you don't have to explain what 1.8 tons and a shifted focus means.
The looks are guaranteed in the GLC Coupé. With the price you should have a few reserves. Mercedes-Benz uses a sophisticated surcharge policy to squeeze the last taler out of the pockets of those interested. Why in a lifestyle vehicle, the hipster segment of the current automotive industry, the basic technical features such as LED light and decent loudspeakers still require an extra fee - well - presumably because it works ... but that even the 66- Liter tank is subject to a surcharge, it borders on bag tailoring!
The test car we moved - as a 250d - moves easily at the € 80.000 limit!
Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé - The conclusion: Or not!
In the end, everything always turns out differently than you first thought. If you look at the design of the GLC Coupé in the street scene, then the classic body shapes suddenly look terribly boring. The combination of SUV substructure and coupé roofline suddenly seems sensible and also works better by the minute. More attractive. The “hipster” Benz starts at € 49.444,50. But it only gets exciting from around € 70.000, then at least you have the 250d and solid equipment. Mercedes-Benz has not yet put the prices for the 350d and the hybrid online. The first deliveries of the GLC as a coupé will be in autumn.
Time to think again about the plug-in variant. (Click)