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Mercedes-Benz rounds off the GLC compact SUV’s rear-end to give us the GLC Coupé. But how does it shape up?

"If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” This quote is commonly attributed to Henry Ford with regard to the growing popularity of the motorcar at the turn of the 20th century. The adage essentially refers to consumers not knowing what they want and the need for corporations to innovate.

Despite his novel outlook, we are pretty sure that ol’ man Ford would never have envisioned an SUV with a coupé-esque silhouette, yet that is exactly what we have on these pages. Fittingly, it was the Americans who first chamfered the rear-end of a two-box SUV. But, although Pontiac created the niche with its ungainly Aztek, BMW is definitely responsible for popularising this practice with its first-generation X6. And, like in other segments, when one German carmaker achieves success, the other players are soon to follow. Mercedes-Benz answered the X6 with the GLE Coupé, and now takes the fight to the X4 with the GLC Coupé.

Built on the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) platform, which also underpins the latest C- and E-Classes, the GLC Coupé is based on the compact SUV with the same name. As such, their range compositions are identical, bar the fact that the Coupé also offers the option of a 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel. Under scrutiny here is what’s expected to be one of the biggest sellers, the GLC250d.

The Coupé is immediately distinguishable from the boxier GLC by a raked, single-slat radiator grille, adorned with a diamond finish, and the obvious tapering roofline. Despite sharing a platform, the Coupé variant is almost 80 mm longer and  40 mm lower than the GLC. Careful aerodynamic tuning results in a drag coefficient of 0,31. The sloped roof, along with the high waistline, creates a diminishing glasshouse as you move aft. A flick of rear spoiler is incorporated into the hatch, while bold taillamps add to the sense of muscularity and further differentiate it from its sibling. Overall, the design looks compact and dynamic, and the coupé-esque treatment is certainly more cohesive on the GLC than on the ungainly X4.

Step over the wide side steps, taking care not to soil your clothing in the process, and you’re greeted by an interior that hasn’t lost its sense of theatre since we first tested a C-Class. In this highly specced test unit, the large, freestanding infotainment screen and instrument cluster juxtapose unsealed, matte wood trim, as if drawing a link to Benzes of yore.

We’ve been critical of the build integrity of some C-series cabins – a number of test vehicles have exhibited slight but noticeable trim creaks emanating from the facia – but this Coupé’s cockpit felt rock-solid. As expected, interior space is slightly compromised when compared with the higher GLC. Due to the lower roofline, headroom in front and in the rear has been reduced (although rear legroom remains generous). The boot volume remains largely unchanged – we measure only up to the parcel shelf – but utility room has taken a knock. Because the hatch is so heavily sloped, the view through the rear-view mirror is letterbox-flat. To that end, Benz includes a reverse-view camera to aid parking manoeuvres.

As is the norm these days, badges seldom correlate with engine size. The 250d features a 2,1-litre bi-turbodiesel that develops a healthy 500 N.m of twist action between 1 600 and 1 800 r/min, with over 80% of the maximum value available between 1 250 and 3 500 r/min. That means that there’s plenty of overtaking punch. Peak power, meanwhile, is rated at 150 kW. Torque is sent to all four wheels via the firm’s new nine-speed automatic transmission, one of the smoothest in the market.

Mashing the throttle on the cruise elicits multiple downshifts and a wave of constant acceleration, as attested to by our in-gear acceleration figures. From standstill, the GLC250d reaches 100 km/h in little over eight seconds. Slowing down from 100 km/h was achieved in an average time of 3,0 seconds, which earns it a “good” rating. A party trick of turbodiesel vehicles is their ability to generate high levels of torque but still return miserly fuel consumption. While Mercedes-Benz claims a somewhat optimistic usage of 5,4 L/100 km in the NEDC cycle, a drive along our standardised 100 km fuel route used a still impressive 6,6 L/100 km.

Dynamically, the GLC Coupé is equally impressive. Mercedes-Benz has calibrated the steering system pretty much perfectly for a vehicle of this ilk. There’s a hint of heft to the electrically assisted helm, but not so much that it starts to feel cumbersome. This vehicle is fitted with the optional (R25 900) Air Body Control suspension system that, in conjunction with the plump 55-profile tyres, transforms the ride. Even with the drive selector switch dialled to the sportiest setting for the drivetrain system, the ride firms up but never turns crashy.

If the mood strikes and you find yourself zipping through a set of corners, the GLC Coupé feels surefooted and exhibits good body control, although ultimate grip isn’t particularly high. The loss of traction is signalled by mild protestation of the front tyres before the ESC waves its magic wand. Overall, the suspension engineers have managed to strike a great balance between ride comfort and outright roadholding, but we’ll reserve final judgement until we can try a model riding on standard steel springs.

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Alcantara upholstery: opt suede-cloth + leather
  • Leather upholstery: artificial (opt leather)
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: std (opt electric release)
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Lumbar support adjustment: opt front electric
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Heated ventilated seats: opt front heated (opt front heated + ventilated)
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Hill descent control downhill brake control: Optional
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Driver knee airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Rear side airbags: Optional
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 7 (opt 9)
  • Lane departure warning: Optional
  • Lane change blindspot warning assist monitor: Optional
  • Attention assist rest assist break alert: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Directional turning headlights: opt LED
  • Adaptive headlights varying light distribution: opt LED
  • Emergency brake hazardlights: emergency-brake flashing brake lights
  • Start stop button: Optional
  • Engine auto Stop Start idle stop ecostop: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Sports suspension: Standard
  • Electronically adjustable suspension: adaptive
  • Driving mode switch eg sport comfort: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • Head up display: Optional
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Optional
  • Cruise control: std (opt adaptive)
  • Active adaptive cruise control: Optional
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • CD player: Standard
  • Aux in auxiliary input: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front (opt boot)
  • Central locking: remote (opt keyless)
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Optional
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Optional
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Auto dimexterior mirrors: opt driver
  • Sun roof: Optional
  • Electric seat adjustment: front partial (opt front)
  • Memory for electric seat adjustment: opt front
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: opt LED
  • Highbeam assist: Optional
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Park distance control PDC: opt front + rear (opt rear camera / opt surround view camera / opt park assist)
  • Camera for park distance control: rear (opt surround view)
  • Towbar trailer hitch: opt electric
  • Fuel Type: diesel
  • Fuel range average: 1222 km
  • Driven wheels: all
  • Driven wheels quantity: 4
  • Gearratios quantity: 9
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Transmission name: 9G-Tronic
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 235/60 R18 (opt 235/55 R19 / opt 255/45 R20)
  • Reartyres: 235/60 R18 (opt 235/55 R19 / opt 255/45 R20)
  • Air suspension: Optional
  • Length: 4732 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1890-2096 mm
  • Height: 1602 mm
  • Wheel base: 2873 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 11.8 m
  • Load volume / capacity: 500-1400 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1400 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1845 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 675
  • Gross weight (GVM): 2520 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 2250
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 66l
  • Fuel consumption urban: 6.2 l/100km
  • Fuel consumption extra urban: 5.0 l/100km
  • Fuel consumption average: 5.4 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 143g/km
  • Emission control phase Euro EU level: EU 6
  • Power maximum: 150 kW
  • Power maximum total: 150 kW
  • Power peak revs: 3800 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 81 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 500 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 1600-1800 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 500 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 271.0 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 7.6s
  • Maximum top speed: 222 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 2143 cc
  • Engine size: 2.1l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.1TD
  • Engine + detail: 2.1 turbo diesel
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 2
  • Warranty distance (km): unlimited km
  • Maintenance plan: Standard
  • Maintenance plan time (years): 6
  • Maintenance plan distance (km): 100000 km
  • Service interval indicator: Standard
  • Service interval (distance): service interval indicator km
  • Brand: Mercedes-Benz
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 44071555
  • MMVariant: GLC COUPE 250d
  • MMintrodat: 2016-07-01
  • Introdate: 2016-08-01
  • DuoportarecordID: MercGLC1h5

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