If a super-stylish, top quality, spacious and versatile SUV is what you might be seeking, the Mercedes-AMG GLC is certainly worth consideration. New for this year, this successful model has received a raft of enhancements, transforming what was already a great car, into a highly desirable benchmark-setting, luxurious large SUV.
Viewed on the road, this is a striking, well proportioned and handsome vehicle. It looks and, indeed, is exceptionally well built. Broad and muscular with a purposeful stance, it has ample kerb appeal.
Treatments to the exterior for this latest model include a striking AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical chrome-plated fins, restyled, flatter LED high performance headlamps with flare effect for the daytime running lamps, and matt black fins over the air intakes feature trim elements in Silver Shadow, enhancing the car’s visual presence yet further.
Seen side-on, the accentuated side sill panels are a particularly striking feature of the SUV, in the way they give an optical illusion of lowering and elongating the whole vehicle. Similarly eye-catching are the aerodynamically optimised AMG light-alloy wheels, with the 19-inch variant with AMG lettering fitted as standard.
The distinctive rear end, too, with its broad apron, diffuser and two round twin tailpipes, adds to the sporty look. As with the front view, the redesigned LED tail lights provide for an unmistakable light signature.
Slip inside to a cabin of design delights. Reflecting AMG performance pedigree, there’s a distinctive sporty look and feel throughout, including sports seats as standard, which offer improved lateral support to both the driver and front passenger. The upholstery, in black ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, has striking red topstitching highlights and tastefully judged aluminium flashes that add to the premium feel.
The cabin is remarkably spacious and a thoroughly pleasant place to be – even on long motorway journeys such as those we did on test. Large windows and decent leg, shoulder and head room give a bright and airy feel to appeal to even the most sensitive passengers. The rise is just right too and there’s very minimal wind, road and noise. The boot is large, and plenty big enough for luggage, sports kit and a huge Waitrose weekly shop.
Engine wise, the GLC benefits from an increase in the output of the 3.0-litre V6 engine of 17 kW (23 hp), taking it to 287 kW (390 hp). The peak torque of 520 Nm is available from 2500 to 4500 rpm. The GLC SUV takes a mere 4.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h and on to a top speed of an electronically limited 250 km/h. This powerful AMG engine is visually identifiable by its engine cover with red aluminium insert and AMG lettering.
As you’d expect, there’s a veritable raft of infotainment, safety and driving dynamics tech to enjoy. Highlights include the latest version of the excellent MBUX infotainment system which can be operated via a touchpad, steering wheel buttons, voice or even gesture control. Any time you mentioned the ‘M’ word or say ‘Hey Mercedes’ it comes alive.
Out on the road, it’s a smooth, supple and rewarding SUV to drive. The new standard-fit AMG steering wheel with galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles enables an even sportier driving style. You can opt for AMG steering wheel buttons should you wish, to allow an even faster and more precise control of specific dynamic handling functions. Always with safety in mind, thanks to the ergonomic positioning of the additional steering wheel buttons within the immediate grip area, the driver’s hands remain on the wheel at all times.
A well built, super quality, spacious and versatile SUV which is great to drive, tech rich and has oodles of kerb appeal.