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Mercedes-Benz GLC 2020 review: 300 Coupe

Beautifully styled, but is it practical for a family?

The GLC range for Mercedes-Benz is pretty much the 'standard SUV' the company offers - if anything about Mercedes can be called standard. It's a modern looking take on a traditional SUV and competes with cars like the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Volvo XC60.

There are eight models in the GLC range including speedy AMG versions, and they're split between the conventional SUV wagon, which competes with those aforementioned rivals, and the Coupe version, which is a bit more style-oriented. It competes mainly against the BMW X4 and Range Rover Velar.

I test drove the entry-level Coupe model, the GLC 300, which costs from $89,900. Here's how it did over a week for my family review.

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✅ How does it look?

It's super sleek with no sharp angles and a bubble shape at the back that makes it look more like a sedan/coupe than an SUV (and will surely encroach on boot space, but more on that in "How Spacious is it?").

With everything so smooth and rounded it's a sophisticated and original shape that makes it stand out in a crowded market. And my test car had the Night Package ($700) which adds black exterior highlights.

  • I test drove the entry-level Coupe model, the GLC 300, which costs from $89,900. (image: Dean McCartney) I test drove the entry-level Coupe model, the GLC 300, which costs from $89,900. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • My test car had the Night Package ($700) which adds black exterior highlights. (image: Dean McCartney) My test car had the Night Package ($700) which adds black exterior highlights. (image: Dean McCartney)

Inside is designed well with the usual high quality finishes you'd expect from Mercedes, and its curvaceousness extends to the interiors, with a rounded cover over the cupholders, a rounded dash in front of the steering wheel and three large circular air vents taking centre stage. Brushed metal trims all through the interior give the whole car a premium feel. There's also ambient lighting that you can see at night which really gives the interior a spaceship-type feeling that my children thought was very special.

Interestingly, there is a vegan leather option for this model of the GLC - though my test vehicle had real leather (a $2900 option), and all GLCs get a leather-lined steering wheel.

Brushed metal trims all through the interior give the whole car a premium feel. (image: Dean McCartney) Brushed metal trims all through the interior give the whole car a premium feel. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How does it drive?

It's very smooth and very quick off the mark which is instantly more noticeable when you return the car after a week of driving and go back to a "standard" car that is slower to take off and to brake and to respond in general to the steering commands. It certainly makes you appreciate the GLC all the more. It's responsive and handles well around corners and also feels nimble for a car this size.

One of the best things about Mercedes is the gear selector is a stalk on the right side of the steering wheel - there's no separate gear shifter down next to your knees. This is an extremely convenient way to drive, and your hands barely have to leave the steering wheel. Just don't accidentally put it into reverse when you mean to put the blinker on (the car will shift slowly into neutral until you change it back to drive, no harm done).

In the GLC 300 there is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. (image: Dean McCartney) In the GLC 300 there is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. (image: Dean McCartney)

In the GLC 300 there is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine which is enough to get you up hills with speed and it cruises effortlessly along highways. It's all-wheel drive (AWD), which will give you better traction on unstable road surfaces.

Parking is good thanks to the very high definition reverse parking camera which is a split screen and offers a 360-degree view that shows exactly what is around the car.

It’s very smooth and very quick off the mark. (image: Dean McCartney) It’s very smooth and very quick off the mark. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How spacious is it?

The front seats are spacious enough to relax into and have a good amount of leg and head space even for the taller members of my family. It's nice and wide and doesn't feel cramped.

My two children aged six and eight were easily able to climb into the back seats, and were happily ensconced on our drives this week. I could also fit back there at 161cm, and there is enough room between my knees and the seat in front that taller adults and teenagers should have enough leg space.

  • At 500 litres (VDA) the boot is on par with lots of other mid-size SUVs. (image: Dean McCartney) At 500 litres (VDA) the boot is on par with lots of other mid-size SUVs. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • This week I had to load up on boxes and the boot fit surprisingly more than I expected, even with the sloping bootline which cuts a fair amount of space from the cargo zone. (image: Dean McCartney) This week I had to load up on boxes and the boot fit surprisingly more than I expected, even with the sloping bootline which cuts a fair amount of space from the cargo zone. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • It easily fit the Cars Guide pram. (image: Dean McCartney) It easily fit the Cars Guide pram. (image: Dean McCartney)

Taller people may find the head space is compromised in the back seats because of that fabulous looking sloping roofline, so if you have lanky teenagers you might want to opt for the SUV version of the GLC rather than the Coupe.

The boot, too, is tighter in the Coupe than in the SUV, but at 500 litres (VDA) it's on par with lots of other mid-size SUVs. This week I had to load up on boxes and the boot fit surprisingly more than I expected, even with the sloping bootline which cuts a fair amount of space from the cargo zone, and it easily fit the Cars Guide pram.

Taller people may find the head space is compromised in the back seats because of that fabulous looking sloping roofline. (image: Dean McCartney) Taller people may find the head space is compromised in the back seats because of that fabulous looking sloping roofline. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

One of my favourite things about Mercedes is the way you adjust the front seats. With a cool looking brushed metal miniature version of the seat that is placed high on each front door, it's a great aesthetic feature as well as being easy to use.

There are two cupholders in the front, a spot for keys and a phone and a large centre storage bin plus bottle holders in each door.

It has a rounded dash in front of the steering wheel and three large circular air vents taking centre stage. (image: Dean McCartney) It has a rounded dash in front of the steering wheel and three large circular air vents taking centre stage. (image: Dean McCartney)

It has keyless entry, push button start and a power tailgate, plus you never have to turn the park brake on or off. It does both automatically.

There's dual-zone climate control and rear passengers get their own air vents plus two cupholders in the centre armrest.

There are bottle holders in each door. (image: Dean McCartney) There are bottle holders in each door. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How safe is it?

The GLC has nine airbags which I'm always thankful for rather than the usual six or seven (the extras are side airbags for the back row, in addition to dual front, front side, driver's knee and full-length curtain airbags).

For advanced safety, there's adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking (AEB), blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. The GLC 300 also comes with the 'Driver Assistance Package' which adds active steering, front and rear cross traffic auto braking function, active blind spot and lane keeping assistance and lane changing assistant.

There are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for kids car seats. The GLC scored the maximum five stars when it was ANCAP tested in 2015.

The Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe is a great family car that covers all bases. (image: Dean McCartney) The Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe is a great family car that covers all bases. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ What's the tech like?

There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which gives you instant access to your phones main apps and you can navigate or listen to music as you would normally do on your phone.

It's also fitted with an inbuilt Mercedes voice control system so you can command the tech to do things, as well as sat nav and a five-speaker sound system. My test car had an upgraded Burmester sound system with 13 speakers - it was part of the $4600 Vision package, which also includes a glass sunroof and head-up display.

There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe starts at $89,900 before on-road costs and optional extras. The as-tested price for this particular GLC 300 Coupe was $101,000 before on-roads.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 8.1L/100km and it takes 98RON fuel, though there is a much more efficient plug-in hybrid version, the GLC 300e, which starts at $80,400 and uses a claimed 2.4L/100km. But doesn't come in Coupe form.

There are eight models in the GLC range including speedy AMG versions. (image: Dean McCartney) There are eight models in the GLC range including speedy AMG versions. (image: Dean McCartney)

The GLC is covered by Mercedes' newly introduced five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which places it equal among luxury car companies such as Hyundai's premium offshoot, Genesis.

Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 25,000km, whichever comes first. Owners are able to prepay for the servicing which amounts to $2150 for three years or $2700 if you pay as you go.

It has keyless entry, push button start and a power tailgate. (image: Dean McCartney) It has keyless entry, push button start and a power tailgate. (image: Dean McCartney)


The Wrap

The Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe is a great family car that covers all bases. It looks stylish, has a good amount of interior space unless you need to fit tall people in the back seat (in which case you can opt for the SUV shape) and the boot space is adequate for a family of four. It drives beautifully and has all the safety you would want.

I gave it a family rating of 8.2 out of 10, my kids gave it the same. They love the interior lights at nighttime in the cabin.

Do you rate the Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe or would you prefer a standard SUV shape?

Likes

Exterior and interior design
Smooth drive
Great safety

Dislikes

Tighter rear head space
Fuel consumption
No hybrid available

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4.1

$89,900

Based on new car retail price

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