Strasbourg - First test
Swap edges for gentle curves, the K for C and the GLC is ready? To check how much effort Mercedes-Benz had to put the second generation of the mid-range SUV on the road, we went to Strasbourg. At first glance, it is clear that no centimeter of sheet metal was left untouched when the generation was changed.
First test drive in the new Mercedes-Benz GLC
Please Mercedes-Benz, spare me these empty phrases in the future. I can not hear it anymore. When the new S-Class appeared, the design was a stunner. An indescribable force. Experiencing the “S-Class” for the first time in traffic is awesome. In the class of large premium sedans, the design looks like an elegant takeover of power. Since then, many have had to grit their teeth at Gordon Wagener's swing. C-Class, E-Class Facelift, GT, GLA, no matter what happened recently, we were repeatedly struck by the “sensual clarity”. And the GLC? Of course, he follows the same dictation - but now the limit has been reached. What makes an S-Class look elegant, looks in an SUV from Stuttgart as if you had too much in the brochure of the "Ingolstadt market companion”Scrolled.
The edges are gone. And the character?
So far, all-terrain vehicles from Stuttgart have had a tendency towards clear edges. At the GLE facelift (M-Class) these were already ironed out smoothly, with the model change and the newly developed GLC there is nothing left of the design of the predecessor. AC class with high flanks, a tight greenhouse and more ground clearance is in front of us. And should he still be able to grab hold of the terrain? And what about the driving comfort? Is the GLC a “softie” now?
Mercedes-Benz GLC on the road
Mercedes wants to set the benchmark in the segment with the GLC. And to do this, the Stuttgart team reached deep into the component box and missed the GLC, which has already impressed the S-Class and C-Class. Probably the best suspension in its class.
In the new GLC, the Stuttgart-based company is now offering multi-chamber air suspension in this segment for the first time. Two chambers in the front, three chambers in the back and that has an effect. Departure from the airport in the direction of off-road terrain: the GLC 220d purrs from the parking lot, the new nine-speed automatic transmission imperceptibly transfers the right gears to the engine. The GLC now runs at 100 km / h just above idle. In ninth gear and cruise control over the motorway, the noise comfort of the new GLC impressed shortly after departure. And this new - optional - chassis.
Bumps? On the Irons. Frostaufbrüche? Ignored disappeared into the depths of the air suspension. The overall noise level fits.
The aerodynamics in particular seem to benefit from the round design of the “sensual clarity”. Certainly, you spent hours working on the details in the wind tunnel, because the GLC can shine with a drag coefficient of 0.31. The Q5 from Audi was here with its 0.33 so far the “whispering pebble”. Was.
The fact that the GLC has now grown by around 12 centimeters, in length and wheelbase, can be clearly felt in the interior. The growth in width (approx. 5 cm) also leads to a comfort plus in the interior.
But bigger is not always more difficult. With up to 80 kg, Mercedes slimmed down the GLC compared to its predecessor.
Mercedes-Benz GLC off-road
With the new air suspension, Mercedes-Benz has not only had a maximum positive effect on driving behavior on the road. In cooperation with the electronic helpers, the GLC also becomes a mountain goat. Of course, Mercedes-Benz does not offer any mechanical locks for the GLC. Entanglement via rigid axles? Where do you think? The GLC is a “whisperer” for the Autobahn and still wants to manage the balancing act with the league of mountain goats. Not an easy task.
The optional “Off-Road” version (surcharge: € 1.071) announces with a more martial designed bumper and tires in the 60s cross-section of the need to test the ramp angles away from the shopping mall parking lot driveways.
But the GLC is only really suitable for off-road use with the equally optional “Offroad Technology Package”. For € 702 you can buy the Hill Descent Assistant and 5 off-road programs that regulate the power distribution via brake intervention. Everything by brake control? Where power is destroyed instead of proactively distributed, doubt is first at home.
20 mm more ground clearance for the standard chassis, with the excellent - but optional - air suspension, the ground clearance is variable anyway and that by up to 50 mm! There is also an underride guard made of robust plastics, a kind of additional casing for the sills.
The 9-speed machine can benefit from its wide spread and the short translation in first gear off-road - and then you actually make it over the obstacles that you don't want to cross on foot.
Of course, we took the off-road course seriously, we always do that, be sure - the GLC can be upgraded accordingly - off-road more than you dare in everyday life. 70 ° up hill, rocking freely in the sand hole with only 2 wheels and gravel slopes in controlled drift down the mountain.
Tip: The C-Class as a sedan, in the driving report [Click]
220, 250, d or not d?
At the launch of the new GLC in September, Mercedes-Benz is offering three engines: the “smallest” is the 220d, a 170 hp diesel, above that ranks the 204 hp 250d and then there is the 211 hp petrol engine. All three motors are coupled with the new 9-speed machine and come with the 4matic all-wheel drive.
The test drives on German and French motorways have already chosen the 220d as the winner of the hearts. Of course, the 250d can do everything with a little more pressure, but in conjunction with the 9-speed automatic transmission, the “small” diesel in the new GLC also feels very confident.
The petrol engine is for people who don't want to smell of diesel after refueling. The sound of the petrol engine is not noticeably better than that of the diesel, also proof of the very good acoustic work at Mercedes-Benz. Of course, the gasoline engine sprays more revving, oh wonder, but when it comes to fuel consumption, it naturally loses out on diesel. No wonder either. The same rule of thumb remains: frequent drivers buy the diesel, few drivers can take the petrol engine. Whereby, stop. The GLC will soon also be available as the GLC 350e, i.e. the plug-in hybrid drive from the C-Class. If you have a socket at home and rarely drive long distances, you can win with the plug-in hybrid. Our criticism of the plug-in hybrid system from Stuttgart also applies without restriction to the GLC 350d. (Criticism 1, Criticism 2)
What else we noticed
- “At Daimler” they take the thing with the assistance systems seriously. That is why the GLC already received the full package of safety and assistance systems as we know them from the S-Class and C-Class.
- That the trunk is as lush as it looked at first glance. According to the technical data, there are now 550 liters of loading volume and thus more than before!
- The quality of workmanship in the interior has become even better. If Audi was alone at the top of the haptic rating for a long time, the GLC can now - in the upscale equipment lines - score with an extremely good material appearance and processing.
The design? For free. My subjective opinion was mostly the only one among journalists as soon as we talked about the Q5 design and fake exhaust tips. I have no doubt that the GLC will be successful. The option to equip the GLC as "off-road" as one assumes an SUV should be used by many customers, even if only to pump the air suspension up to the maximum in front of the golf club.
What remains as a criticism is the rather poor basic equipment and the long surcharge list. Until the GLC is in the same position as in the first driving tests, there is easily a 6 in front, if you go to the max, the price is close to the 70.000 € limit.
That's "a lot of money" for an SUV ... but:
Softie, ftw *!
The new GLC is a “softie”, but one that has been technically refurbished!
[toggle title = ”Engine and Gearbox”]
|design type||4-Zyl in-line engine, turbo, direct injection|
|Performance||170 hp / 3.000 - 4.200 rpm|
|drive axle||all wheel drive|
|Length Width Height||4.656, 1.890, 1.685 (Air Body Control)|
|turning circle||11.8 m|
|top speed||210 km / h|
|Acceleration 0-100 km / h||8,3 sec|
|standard consumption||5,0 -5,5 l / 100 km|
|Test car price||-|
|Motor vehicle tax||-|
|Resale value||very well|