SUV Evaluate: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

As logical and user-friendly as most upscale crossovers get

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There’s nothing like leaping right into a car that’s misplaced its familiarity as a consequence of an prolonged estrangement  — Covid, and different components, on this case — for a right away three-hour freeway drive to a piece occasion, the primary 40 minutes consisting of an entire west-to-east navigation of Toronto, luckily simply previous the standard morning rush-hour(s) mayhem. How shortly are you able to throw your self into the fray? How briskly are you able to re-acclimatize your self to the assorted capabilities — radio, navigation, cruise management, seat, mirror and steering wheel positions, et cetera?

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With Mercedes’ understated but extremely competent GLC, the automaker’s best-seller in Canada, it’s fairly darn simple because it seems. The compact-sized five-seater, which first debuted in 2016 as a alternative for the extra stylistically daring GLK, is as logical and user-friendly as most upscale crossovers get. In different phrases, there’s well-marked buttons, knobs and switches all through the cabin’s sprint space to deal with essentially the most used capabilities, not touchscreen menus and sub-menus that need to be scrolled by means of. Oh, there’s a normal seven-inch display screen within the centre console — a ten.25-inch display screen is optionally available — nevertheless it’s there principally to visually “advise,” primarily navigation or as a digicam.

I’m testing the GLC 300 4Matic, essentially the most mild-mannered of the road, which additionally counts the warmer AMG GLC 43 and bonkers AMG GLC 63 S. For the monotony that’s Hwy. 401, although, the extra zip and zoom provided by the AMG variations isn’t a precedence. In addition to, the 300’s quiet-running, 255-horsepower, turbo 2.0-litre 4 — an improve beginning with the 2020 mannequin — is pretty environment friendly in relation to passing energy, merely requiring a firmer software of throttle to handle getting round slower-moving visitors. Foot to the ground, a zero-to-100-km/h time of 5.6 seconds is nothing to be embarrassed about.

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However the true power of the 300 is a peaceful demeanor, one thing that will get misplaced when behind the wheel of the AMG variants. Certainly, with out the temptation of the 385 hp, twin-turbo V6 GLC 43 or the 503 hp, twin-turbo V8-powered 63 S, the GLC 300’s excessive normal of consolation and facilities takes precedent, exceeding its $49,900 base value. Even the $63,365 value of the tester isn’t overly extreme contemplating the extra infotainment, communication and comfort options supplied by three well-equipped packages (Clever Drive, Premium, and Premium Plus add a complete of $9,300 to the tester’s MSRP).

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Although not fitted with the obtainable air suspension, the 300 tester’s variable damping system ensures a compliant journey regardless of the highway floor. The drive mode program — Dynamic Choose in Mercedes-speak — permits the crossover to considerably alter its drive traits, although the variations switching between Consolation, Sport and Sport+ should not significantly dramatic. Nonetheless, Sport proved to be my most popular setting in most conditions, with an honest weight to the steering and only a trace extra reference to the highway. There’s additionally an Particular person setting that enables the driving force to combine and match.

Round because the 2016 mannequin 12 months, the GLC obtained a welcome refreshing for 2020 — the 2021 mannequin is basically a carryover — that included an upgrading of the assorted supplies discovered all through the cabin, higher seats and the newer Mercedes-Benz Person Expertise (MBUX) infotainment system, a extra subtle alternative for the previous COMAND system. The motive force’s seat, particularly, is good for long-distance journey, supporting the again in all the fitting spots. And for these with lengthy legs, the powered thigh extender can be a welcomed bonus.

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The inside boasts admirable construct high quality and complementary supplies all through, albeit with muted colors. The checklist of ordinary tools is plentiful and, if injudicious with the choices checklist, the crossover’s value can exceed a hedonistic $73K. There’s a beneficiant quantity of legroom and headroom entrance and rear for the passengers, even these on the plus facet of six-foot. Cubby house is cheap however cargo house  — 550 litres behind the rear seats and 1,600 litres with the again seats folded — lags behind a few of the GLC’s major opponents.

As for security, Mercedes doesn’t take a again seat to any automaker, and the GLC is loaded up with all of the backups essential to preserve driver and passengers protected and sound whereas on the highway. Normal objects resembling Lively Lane Hold Help, Lively Brake Help and Consideration Help are fairly self-explanatory, however I used to be intrigued by the crossover’s Crosswind Help. This function detects the impact of robust facet winds on car stability at freeway speeds, whether or not it’s wind gusts or perhaps a passing 18-wheeler, and can strategically brake the wheels on one facet of the car when needed. I can see common freeway commuters liking this rather a lot.

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2021 Mercedes GLC 300 4Matic
2021 Mercedes GLC 300 4Matic Photograph by Brian Harper

Mercedes hedges its bets with the GLC, providing it in a conventional five-door wagon fashion in addition to the sportier GLC Coupe that comes with a sloping rear roof design. The tester being the previous, the obtainable ($1,500) Sport bundle helps disguise the crossover’s inherent conservatism, courtesy of AMG physique styling, 19-inch AMG five-twin-spoke aero wheels and a chrome diamond-block grille. (The 300’s major German competitors, Audi’s Q5 and the BMW X3, should not precisely stylistically avant-garde both.)

So long as you want mainstream, the present GLC admirably suits the wants of most patrons on the lookout for an upscale, compact crossover. The largest motive for scratching it off the buying checklist comes right down to anticipation — just like the C-Class sedan with which it has a lot in frequent, there can be a brand new GLC mannequin, anticipated early subsequent 12 months. Will or not it’s nearly as good as this one? Don’t wager in opposition to it.

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