Mercedes-Benz GLC 2015 review
Richard Berry road tests and reviews the Mercedes-Benz GLC with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at it's australian launch
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The Evoque's clever kit saves on fuel but asks you to spend extravagantly on safety and comfort options.
If you're doing a facelift on a supermodel, you need to be careful with the scalpel. The Range Rover Evoque was such a stunner when it came out in 2011 that Land Rover has been careful not to mess with the formula for its midlife nip and tuck.
The sleek roofline and narrow letterbox side windows remain and the styling changes are limited to a subtle tweak to the front and rear and some new colours and materials in the cabin. For those who want to personalise their Evoque — and have the cash to do so — there are option packs that add technology, better quality audio and styling enhancements.
The biggest change lies under the bonnet, where Land Rover debuts a new diesel engine it says is quieter, performs better and uses less fuel than its predecessor.
Not so modestly called the "Ingenium", the engine sips a claimed 5.1L/100km, efficiency on par with some city runabouts.
The styling changes are strictly for the trainspotters. There are slimline LED fog lamps and bigger air intakes at the front, while the grille has a new honeycomb look. The use of LEDs now extends to the head and tail-lights.
Inside, the dash, instrument panel, door trim and seats are new and there are two new colour schemes. Our test car was fitted with the Vintage Tan, which had contrasting dark and light brown elements through the cabin.
The new multimedia screen is similar to that in the new XE Jaguar. It's relatively small compared with the opposition and the graphics, while colourful, don't look as modern as Audi and Mercedes-Benz rivals.
Land Rover favours a touchscreen over the German's central dials for navigating the various functions. It works well.
Nothing has been done to improve rear leg or headroom — it's still tight back there for larger adults.
The first thing you notice on the commute is the lack of clatter at idle. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is also shared with the Jaguar, though mounted transversely among other modifications, yet it sounds quieter and feels smoother, no doubt thanks to added sound insulation.
Despite its relatively modest power outputs in Pure spec, it's lively off the mark and makes short work of hills, thanks to an abundance of low-down torque. The only grumble is that the transmission can be a bit indecisive and occasionally shift gears with a mild thunk.
Claimed fuel consumption figures are impressive but in stop-start traffic the thirst can climb into double figures.
For the most part it rides comfortably at low speeds, with only the occasional thud over sharp edges.
Handy driver aids for the suburban crawl include automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, satnav and power folding mirrors.
The tailgate is supposed to open with the swoosh of a foot under the rear bumper, allowing you to open it with an armful of groceries. It's called gesture control and ours proved a little temperamental, provoking gestures not in the handbook.
If you want more help about town, you have to pay — through the nose. Automatic parking is $1380 for parallel and $1760 for perpendicular and parallel, surround-view camera is $1390 and blind spot monitoring is $1090. Some of these are standard on cars half the price.
The Evoque is good company on a long drive. The seats are comfortable and supportive and the diesel gets on with the job quietly and efficiently.
Road and tyre noise are well suppressed and the suspension glides over all but the most pockmarked surfaces.
Cornering ability and comfort is among the best in this segment
On a winding road, the Evoque is poised and confident, with a reassuring brake pedal feel, sharp communicative steering and good grip through corners. The new model also comes with torque vectoring, which is designed to give better control and drive out of corners.
Overall, the balance between cornering ability and comfort is among the best in this segment.
On the freeway it cruises along quietly and the nine-speed auto transmission shifts smartly when asked to at speed.
We weren't able to match the claimed highway fuel consumption figure of 4.5L/100km but easily managed below 6.0L on a freeway run.
|eD4 Pure||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$38,500 – 45,320||2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2016 eD4 Pure Pricing and Specs|
|Si4 HSE||2.0L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO||$58,190 – 66,880||2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2016 Si4 HSE Pricing and Specs|
|Si4 HSE Dynamic||2.0L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO||$61,160 – 70,290||2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2016 Si4 HSE Dynamic Pricing and Specs|
|Si4 SE||2.0L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO||$51,260 – 58,960||2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2016 Si4 SE Pricing and Specs|
“The Evoque is a car that's easy to fall in love with. Beautifully styled outside and stylishly presented inside, it's also quiet and composed on the road.Land Rover is still playing "hide the real cost" with its options list when rivals are offering better value for money.Automatic emergency braking, satnav, nine-speed auto, torque vectoring, lane departure warning.A long standard equipment list. Auto parking, blind-spot monitor, adaptive cruise and surround-view camera are all options.No capped price servicing but the service interval is much longer than others: 24 months/32,000km. Given Land Rover's less than stellar reputation for reliability, we're not sure that's a good thing. Warranty is average at 3 years/ 100,000km.”
What it's got