Was the new GLC really worth the wait?

How times have changed, hey? When I first started out in this industry 100 years ago, the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class were all the rage. You’d really made it in life if you drove one (although my Dad always used to say, “A BMW is like an a**hole, everybody has one.” – He didn’t say that about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, however). The C-Class was the brand’s best-selling car. Until it wasn’t. That’s because the SUV has reigned supreme and so the GLC is now standing proud on that podium.

THE WAIT IS OVER

This new generation GLC launched last year, but we had to wait until now before getting a taste of it. Was it worth the wait? Well yes, and no.

I’LL EXPLAIN LATER

This car has seen quite an overhaul despite looking decidedly similar to the outgoing model. It is 60 mm longer and four mm lower than its predecessor. Most noticeable is probably the redesigned front end, with headlamps that connect directly to the radiator grille to emphasise the vehicle’s width. Flip around to the rear and you’ll notice the new two-section rear lights have an interior with a three-dimensional look

The interior is pretty much a carbon copy of the C-Class cabin. And although there are loads of tech updates, they are mainly optional. But I should give credit where credit is due. Mercedes-Benz is good at giving it’s more ‘budget-conscious’ buyers the same opportunities as those who play in the S-Class field. A lot of the tech trickles down from that car and that is all about luxury!

When it comes to space, thanks to the larger rear overhang, the boot capacity has increased significantly by 70-litres. That’s a total of 620-litres. Families will rejoice because, if you have kids, you know that there is never enough space and any increase will be welcomed. Practically speaking, the GLC shines.

GLC

DRIVE BY

The GLC is now only available as a mild-hybrid. It has 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator. Basically what this means for you is that you will save on fuel and you won’t notice the stop-start system, which is always a good thing in my books. I drove the flagship 300d model which boasts a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel pot with a rather punchy 198 kW and 550 Nm. You’ll get to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. It is very comfortable and composed drive, and quiet too. If you want an even better drive, one where you feel like you’re on a cloud, opt for the AIRMATIC air suspension.

The rest of the range consists of the ‘entry-level’ 220d with its 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine producing 145 kW and 440 Nm of torque. And then the petrol option comes in the form of the GLC 300 with its turbocharged 2.0 litre kicking out 190 kW and 400 Nm of torque.

NOW FOR PRICING

  • Mercedes-Benz GLC220d 4Matic – R1 211 220
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic – R1 328 500
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC300d 4Matic – R1 410 194

MY EXPLANATION

The new GLC is better in every way than the outgoing model. So in that way, it was worth the wait. But I can’t help but feel that cars are starting to out price themselves. I have no doubt that the GLC will continue to be a global top seller. Here in South Africa, though, I am not sure. Let’s just hope that those who love it and could afford it, can still afford it.

I’m Julz, South African motoring journalist with a passion for cars and a questionable sense of humour. I am not your average motoring journalist, and this is not your average motoring website.

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