The world has changed in the past decade. Right wing fascists are running the world, millennials are now in positions of power and dictating trends globally (or at least being indecisive about it), NickiMinaj is a bona-fide rockstar and gender fluidity has reached cars. Gone are the days when you'd be able to categorise cars based on their shape and appearance—increasing levels of design experimentation and product diversity has led to crossover SUVs, four door coupes, as well as this week's test car, the Benz GLC 300 Coupe. Don't let its rakish rear end and sloped roof fool you—this is a crossover SUV underneath, utilising the 'standard' GLC 300 running gear.
MB clearly feels there's a market for sporty crossovers like the GLC Coupe—with chief rivals BMW marketing increasingly 'trendy' crossovers like the X4 (see below) and X6, the SUV market is awash with vehicles that seemingly have endless demand. With more people living in urban areas globally than ever before, the off-roading ability of SUVs and crossovers are traded-off for on-road performance and presence. The high-driving position is meant to invoke feelings of elevated status, while the general demeanour of the GLC Coupe makes it more at home in front of a high-end café than a rural farmhouse.
Good vibes only, then?
It's not lacking in visual punch, that's for sure. It turns heads almost anywhere, especially in the selenite grey of our test car. Kids from other cars point and stare at the swoopy profile, drivers in front of you jump out of the way for an aggressive front end. It's definitely better looking than BMW's X4, with elegant lines and neatly integrated rear design that might just age better than the messy, jumbled aesthetics of the BMW. If you're of the Instagram generation and you want some mad props on social media, the GLC Coupe is more than capable.
But is it good enough to shoot my vlogs in?
The GLC Coupe is refined, quiet and has all the bells and whistles to wow your growing YouTube following. Despite the slight evidence of engine noise creeping into the cabin at speed, you'll mostly be surrounded by silence—or the latest instance of mumble rap flowing in from the Burmester audio system, if you prefer. Rear headroom is slightly compromised due to the sharply raked roof, so if you want to bring along your friends, ask them to get a haircut first. The sporty, stiff suspension unwinds over bumps and descends into potholes a bit harshly. The trade-off is in sharp handling—useful for avoiding pesky peasant pedestrians interrupting your session of talking to the camera behind the wheel. If pesky pedestrians aren't distraction enough, the Benz infotainment system, with its extensive range of vehicle information displays, should keep you fairly occupied—although the non-touch screen controls are a little fiddly for the un-initiated.
What if I want to avoid my throngs of followers?
The Coupe won't leave a trail of flames behind it as it accelerates (0-100 km/h takes about 6.4 seconds) but it'll get you places faster than you'd expect. The 2.0 litre turbo 4-cylinder is good for about 241 HP and 273lb-ft torque—great for a vehicle weighing in around 1834 kg. The 9 speed 9G-TRONIC gearbox, coupled with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive, makes the drive relaxing when you want it with near imperceptible shifts. 13.5 inch cross drilled brake rotors up front and 12.6 inch rear discs brings the Coupe to a halt when it all gets too much.
The GLC Coupe is aimed at the young at heart—the kind of person who prefers to drive themselves everywhere and arrive in style. It's not lacking in utility despite what appearances suggest—the boot is big enough to swallow your luggage, with fold down rear seats for additional storage. It performs well and handles like a much smaller, sportier car with slight trade-offs in comfort. The fact that a four door SUV-coupe thing even exists is more a fault of the times than the manufacturer, so lay off it and look within if this isn't your kind of thing. As Captain Raymond Holt of Brooklyn Nine Nine once said, “Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better place.”
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo 4 cylinder (241 HP, 273lb-ft)
Transmission: 9G-TRONIC auto, 4MATIC AWD.
Safety: ABS, EBD, ESP, TC, BAS, 7 airbags.
Features: 14-way power adjustable front seats with memory function, dual zone front and three-zone rear automatic climate control, keyless start, power tailgate, multifunction leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, 7-inch/8.4-inch screen and touchpad controller infotainment system with Burmester surround sound system.
Price: Starting from TK 1,25,00,000
For details, contact Rancon Motors Ltd.