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Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class


Tesla Model X

Summary

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

I’m the eldest child in my family, and the best. That’s despite not having a degree in international law and working for the United Nations saving lives like my younger sister, or being a high-flying accountant like my other sister, or running a design agency in Germany like my other sister.

But being first and best like me is the exception to the rule because normally first versions of anything aren’t as good as they can be – like the Mercedes-Benz GLC when it made its debut in 2015. Now the updated version has arrived and it’s better, much better... in some ways.

Yes, the GLC is the most popular Mercedes-Benz model in this country. It is literally the C-Class of the brand’s SUV line-up (which has changed, too).

There’s no longer a diesel, but there’s a hybrid instead, although that won’t arrive until 2020 along with the hardcore AMG versions.

Which is why at the Australian launch in October, 2019, I was only given the GLC 200 and 300 to climb all over and drive. So, while neither I nor anybody else piloted all of the types of GLCs you can buy, here’s everything you need to know about them.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.8L/100km
Seating5 seats

Tesla Model X

Tesla - love the brand, or hate it - has done a lot for the automotive industry. It has made electric cars a talking point, something that competitor companies are finally acting on. 

The Tesla Model S sedan, to me, was the vehicle that put Tesla on the map. But does the Model X - a big SUV with up to seven seats - hit the spot for family buyers? 

I spent a week in the 2018 Tesla Model X 75D, which happens to be the most affordable version of the US company’s crossover. Affordable? Well, that’s really going to depend on your salary.

Safety rating
Engine Type
Fuel TypeElectric
Fuel Efficiency—L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class7.6/10

The updated Mercedes-Benz GLC has improved in many ways. It’s better looking, more powerful, and smarter with the addition of Hey Mercedes and new technology. The loss of the diesel won’t upset many. Benz says its customers are moving away from that fuel and the arrival of the plug-in hybrid is a step in the right, and more environmentally friendly, direction.

The GLC 300 is the sweet spot in the range. It's a bit over $10K more expensive than the 200 but comes with all-wheel drive, proximity unlocking, privacy glass and the awesome safety tech.


Tesla Model X7.9/10

The Tesla Model X in 75D specification offers a lot of technology for buyers who want to dip their well-heeled toe all the way into the electric mobility pool. There are more conservative and compelling options for customers who think plug-in hybrids are the first step, though - and if you’re not hellbent on a full EV, then we’d suggest maybe you have a bit of a look at what else is on offer.

Could you live with an electric car? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Design

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class8/10

I’ve worked it out: Mercedes-Benz’s designers have just flipped the grille of the previous model upside down. No, they haven’t, but the new face of the GLC looks more resolved, broader and determined than the 2015 car.

Along with the grille and bumper, the headlights have been restyled and now appear more elegant, while the inlays in the tail-lights now have a floating square-shaped design.  

Changes to the interior may seem minimal, but only from a material and trim perspective, the upgrade in technology is big. There’s the new display screen, the digital instrument cluster, the steering wheel and touch pad controller, and new upholstery colours.

There are 17 upholstery colours and combinations. Black is standard across the line-up in Artico and leather, while 'Silk Beige' and 'Magma Grey' are no-cost options on GLC 200 and 300 SUVs.

There are 10 paint hues to choose from with 'Polar White' (non-metallic) being a no-cost colour across the range and 'Iridium Silver Metallic' standard on the GLC 63 S SUV and Coupe.

Optional colours include: 'Hyacinth Red', 'Brilliant Blue' and what seems like 50 shades of grey with names like 'Selenite Grey', 'Mojave Silver' and 'Obsidian Black.'

Do the grades differ in their look? Yep, you can tell you’re looking at a GLC 300 and not a 200 by the 20-inch alloy wheels, running boards and rear privacy glass.

The GLC 300 Coupe could be mistaken for a full-blown AMG model thanks to its AMG Line body kit including 20-inch wheels, while the cabin is also outfitted with the AMG Line interior package adding aluminum sports pedals, flat-bottomed steering wheel and AMG floor mats.

As for the AMG grades the GLC 63 S looks more hardcore than its 43 ‘lite’ sibling thanks to the 21-inch rims, ‘jet-wing’ design front apron, flared guards, finned diffuser, spoiler lip and AMG performance exhaust system.

All interiors, regardless of the grade, are stunning. Even the entry-level GLC 200 with its black ash open pore wood trim and chrome air vents feels modern and uber stylish (I’m reclaiming the word uber).

There’s definitely more wow factor here than in the cabins of Audi and BMW rivals, particularly now with the large media screen and virtual instrument cluster.

What are the GLC’s dimensions? Well, it’s not a huge SUV at just 4669mm long, 1890mm wide and 1639mm tall.


Tesla Model X

I hate it. I think the rear doors are pretentious and silly. I think the roofline looks wrong. And I think it actually looks more like a bloated hatchback than a ‘real SUV’.

That’s just me, and like everyone I’m entitled to my opinion. I know there are people out there who absolutely love the exterior design of the Model X. If you’re one of them, let me know - I have a great optometrist I can refer you to.

Seriously, though - the Falcon Wing rear doors are design overkill. No-one needs back doors that open up like that, and the amount of compromise that has been built into the rest of the vehicle’s design because of them is noticeable - I couldn’t open the back door on the driver’s side of my test vehicle at home because I was apparently parked too close to the bin - the axis angle at the top of the door limited how far the bottom of the door would open. I can’t understate how rubbish this would be if your home parking space was tight.

Plus this example (and the few I’ve seen/sat in prior) had some issues with quality, like mismatched panel gaps around the doors and hatch. Take a look at our photos to see for yourself.

The massive windscreen stretches to above the front occupants’ heads, and it’s tinted to try and eliminate sunlight overhead - and Tesla has added a mesh shield visor that you can slot in, and although it is welcome, it’s flimsy, and would be easy to knock down when you’re moving the actual (magnetised) sun visors.

Now, as a piece of design, the glass is great - but other vehicles with big glass have smart solutions integrated into them, like the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, with its pull-down blinds and proper sunvisors.

I guess it’s a bit like an architecturally designed house that’s really cool the first time you see it, but really hard to live with. The sunvisors are very thin, and it’s difficult to position them to block the sunlight, especially driving in an easterly direction in the morning (as I do) and a westerly direction in the afternoon (yep, that’s me). Plus, the visors don’t have vanity mirrors - a disaster for makeup artists on the move.

Things I like? The LED headlights and LED daytime running lights are exceptionally good, and the wheels that this model comes with as standard are nice, even if they look a bit dwarfed by the bulk of this slab-sided high-rider. 

And if you’ve ever wondered why every Tesla Model X has its rear spoiler in the ‘up’ position at all times, it’s because it’s a fixed spoiler.

Practicality

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class7/10

It depends. The SUV is absolutely (and obviously) the more practical of the two body styles, and at 191cm tall I can sit with plenty of head and legroom behind my driving position, while the boot’s cargo capacity is 550 litres.

The Coupe will need you to make a couple of practicality compromises. There weren’t any Coupes at the Australian launch in October, but Matt Campbell tested it in Europe and at 182cm tall he found the raked roofline better suited to smaller adults and children. The boot in the Coupe is smaller, too, at 500 litres capacity.

Cabin storage on board both the SUV and Coupe is good with four gigantic cupholders (two up front and two in the back), big door pockets, a large centre console bin and a decent-sized hidey hole under the trapdoor in front of the media touch pad.

Talking of that touch pad, it’s just one of the ways to access the media system, you can also use the touchscreen and the small black ‘swipe’ button on the left of the steering wheel.

The MBUX media system with its Hey Mercedes personal assistant function works to open the sunblind for example, or adjust the climate control, or locate destinations in the sat nav.

While the tech is still a bit clunky it represents the primitive stages of cars that’ll probably be more like companions in years to come. That’s possibly a bit creepy, but damned convenient and practical, nonetheless.

The digital instrument cluster is configurable to align with each driver’s personal preferences.

All GLCs come equipped with two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet, while grades from the 300 up also have smartphone wireless charging.

Three-zone climate control is only standard on the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S, but all grades come with directional air vents for the rear seats.


Tesla Model X

There are good and bad elements to the interior design.

The ingress and egress to the third row is better than some SUVs because the floor is so low - meaning it’s easy to step in and out of - but also worse than some SUVs because the shape of the opening is odd.

Space in the third row is better left for children or small adults with limited legroom and headroom, and while there are vents back there the vision for occupants is limited; the seats are low, and if you’re little you won’t be seeing much.

If the Model X had electric sliding doors rather than the Falcon Wing doors, it would be more practical. If you park in a tight space, a sliding door allows you to still get out, but these doors won’t even open all the way if the sensors detect they are unable to. That’s annoying, because this is a really wide vehicle, and some parking lots seem to be making spaces smaller and smaller.

Anyway, I’m not going to win the battle of sliding vs gullwing doors here, am I? 

The boot space is good - with seven seats up you can make use of the hidden compartment below the floor, and with five seats in use the cargo capacity is very good, too. Then there’s the front trunk - no engine means you get bonus storage, and Tesla claims total cargo capacity for the Model X is 2492 litres for the five-seat version.

You can get a five-seat, six-seat or seven-seat version of the Model X. This vehicle used to have electric sliding and folding second-row seats, but now there’s a push-button system, which still uses some form of electrical pulse to unlock the rails below the seats. While it’s quicker than electric would have been, it's not as simple as, say, a lever like you’d find in the Mazda CX-9

For outboard second-row occupants the space is okay - I set the driver’s seat in my position and had enough legroom and headroom to be comfortable in the second row. But anyone in the third row would have been squished. The middle-row middle-seat of our test car was less than impressive, with little head room and not much width available.

Storage is well sorted up front, with two large centre bottle holders, plus bottle holders in the front doors (none in the rear, for obvious reasons) and a pair of cupholders up front. The storage situation is poor for those in the back: there are no cup receptacles at all for the second row, but there are dual USB ports. In the third row there are two cup holders, and all three rows have air vents.

Price and features

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class7/10

There are eight members in the GLC family. Most affordable is the GLC 200 with its list price of $66,100, then the 300 at $77,700 and a 300e plug-in petrol-electric hybrid for $80,400. 

Then there are the Mercedes-AMGs – the GLC 43 at $109,900 and the 63 S for $161,000. These can be had in Coupe form, too: $117,400 for the 43 and $168,100 for the 63 S.

Want the Coupe body style and AMG-look without the price tag? Well, there’s a GLC 300 coupe, too, for $87,700.

Standard features on the GLC 200 include 'Artico' upholstery (think leather but not leather), black ash open pore wood trim, leather-clad steering wheel and dual-zone climate control.

There’s also a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.25-inch media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 'Hey Mercedes' MBUX assistant function, sat nav and a five-speaker sound system.

Then there are the 19-inch alloy wheels, roof racks, agility control suspension (see driving section), power tailgate and LED headlights.

The GLC 300 adds wireless charging for your smartphone, 20-inch alloys, privacy rear glass, proximity unlocking, multi-beam LED headlights with adaptive high beams and the 'Driver Assistance' package (see the safety section).

The GLC 300e has the same features as its petrol-only twin but adds air suspension, and pre-entry climate control, while the 300 Coupe come standard with the 'AMG Line' interior and exterior packages.

The Mercedes-AMG 43 SUV and Coupe are seriously loaded up with equipment. Standard is leather upholstery, Burmester sound system, a head-up display, heated front seats, Artico dashboard, panoramic sunroof (in the SUV and a glass sunroof in the Coupe), AMG 'Night Package', AMG 20-inch alloys, sports brakes, AMG grille and black roof rails.

The full-fat Mercedes-AMG 63 S SUV and Coupe step up another level with 21-inch AMG alloy wheels and an AMG body kit complete with front apron, spoiler lip and rear apron. 

There’s an AMG performance exhaust system, plus heat and noise insulating glass. Coming standard inside is the AMG performance steering wheel, nappa leather upholstery and three-zone climate control.

Is it good value? Better value than the previous model, that’s for sure, what with the increase in cabin tech, but the sweet spot of the range is the GLC 300.

The GLC’s rivals include Audi’s Q5 which lists from $65,900, the BMW X3 starting at $63,900, and Volvo’s XC60 from $62,990.

If you’re contemplating a Porsche Macan then $81,800 is the start-price there.


Tesla Model X

How much is a Tesla Model X? It isn’t cheap, that’s for sure. But this 75D version is currently the lowest cost model in the brand’s SUV price range.

The price of the 75D kicks off at $125,000 plus on-road costs, or $142,475 drive away - but where you live will determine the drive-away price, because different states and territories have different stamp-duty implications for electric cars. ACT buyers ($142,475 RRP) get a much better dealer than those  in WA ($151,174 RRP), for instance.

Pricing jumps significantly if you want the more performance-focused 100D, which also gains extra battery range (prices from $173,805 drive away) or the flagship P100D we tested recently (from $247,385). That’s right - the Model X we have is more than a hundred grand cheaper than the top model. 

The Model X comes pretty well equipped from the factory, with a 17.0-inch touchscreen media display featuring Google Maps sat nav with realtime traffic updates, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, digital DAB radio and integrated TuneIn app connectivity. There's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, though.

Other standard items include keyless entry and a self-opening (and self-closing) driver’s door, an electric tailgate, interior ambient lighting, air suspension with ride height adjustment, auto headlights with auto high-beam lights, LED fog lights, power adjustable and auto-folding heated auto-dimming side mirrors. You get 20-inch wheels as standard, but there's no spare wheel - tyre-pressure monitoring is fitted, and if you get a flat, you'll need to call roadside assist.

There are standard heated seats for every occupant and there’s a heated steering wheel, heated windscreen washer nozzles to help defrost if you’re heading to the snow, and if you download the app you can adjust the temperature inside the car remotely - cold starts on winter mornings are a thing of the past.

The app also allows you to monitor the vehicle’s state of charge, enable someone else to drive your car without the keys present (you just have to input your password in the app), and you can unlock/lock the car and/or open the front or rear trunks, start it, honk the horn, flash the lights, set the speed limit or enable ‘valet mode’, so those pesky parking attendants don’t go using all your juice doing speedy starts.

How many seats in the Tesla Model X? Well, you can have it with five seats as standard, six seats for an additional $8300 (with or without a rear centre console) or seven seats for $4100.

Other options fitted to our vehicle included grey painted 20-inch wheels (as opposed to the silver rims you get on the standard version: $2800), the White Premium interior pack ($4600) and the carbon-fibre upgrade ($350), Deep Blue metallic paint ($2100) and the Enhanced Autopilot system ($6900).

So, in the end, our affordable Model X cost more than $175,000 on the road… ouch. You can get any one of a number of petrol or diesel SUVs from competitor luxury brands for less money, and plenty with plug-in practicality, too.

If you want a luxury plug-in hybrid SUV, consider the Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid from $122,900, or a Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid from $135,600, or the Mercedes-Benz GLE500e for $129,500, or the Audi Q7 e-tron from $139,900, or the BMW X5 xDrive40e from $124,990.  

Admittedly, none are full EVs, but the Audi e-tron model is due next year…

You should also be aware of the wait time associated with a Tesla - the vehicles are built to personal specifications, so unless you’re buying a second-hand car, or a demo from the company’s (small!) stock list, it could mean a wait time of about three months. The Tesla web configurator allows you to get an idea of approximate delivery dates. Some buyers will take that with a grain of salt, though, given customers have waited about two years for their Model 3s.

If you don’t want to wear the depreciation, you could consider a used car - there are pre-owned Model X and Model S examples on Tesla’s website.

Engine & trans

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class8/10

There are four petrol engines and a plug-in hybrid on offer in the Australian GLC line-up.

The GLC 200 is rear-wheel drive (RWD) only and has been given a new four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine making 145kW of power and 320Nm of torque (up 10kW/20Nm), while the GLC 300 is all-wheel drive (AWD) using the same engine tuned to produce 190kW/370Nm (up 35kW/20Nm).

Both have a nine-speed automatic transmission and use a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system which can cut the engine during coasting and add up to 150Nm of torque.

The GLC 300e is a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid and is also AWD with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine making 155kW/350Nm, plus a 90kW/440Nm electric motor.

The Mercedes-AMG GLCs are both AWD and use a nine-speed sports automatic transmission but have different engines. The Mercedes-AMG 43 has a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 making 287kW/520Nm, while the 63 S has a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 producing 375kW/700Nm.

This update marks the disappearance of the GLC 300 d diesel from the line-up. Mercedes-Benz told us why in our news story here.


Tesla Model X

Not so much an engine, but a 75kWh battery pack with a claimed 210km/h top speed and a 0-100 claim of 5.2 seconds. The claimed driving range for the Tesla Model X 75D is 417 kilometres. You don’t have gears to play with - Tesla’s run a single-speed transaxle, but the stalk to control it is sourced from Mercedes-Benz.

Remember, this isn’t the ‘fast’ Model X. But the D in the name signifies that it has Tesla’s dual-motor all-wheel drive system, ensuring excellent traction for super-quick acceleration. 

As you might expect, stepping up to the Model X 100D with a 100kWh battery pack and dual motors increases the performance considerably (0-100: 4.9sec; 250km/h top speed), and also adds more electric driving range (565km claimed). 

Go all out on the P100D and apparently your Model X will do 0-100 in 3.1sec, thanks to the addition of Ludicrous Mode, but the battery range drops away slightly (542km). Tesla says it’s the quickest SUV in history - and even in 75D guise it’s pretty rapid. 

Every Tesla Model X is prepped for towing, too - the towing capacity is rated at 750kg for an un-braked trailer, and 2250kg for a braked trailer. The tare mass for the Model X is 2352 kilograms.

Fuel consumption

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class7/10

Mercedes-Benz says the GLC 200’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine should use premium unleaded at a rate of 7.8L/100km over a combination of open and urban roads. The combined fuel consumption of the GLC 300 according to Mercedes is 8.1L/100km. 

More fun but less economical are the AMGs with the GLC 43’s V6 using 10.4L/100km over a combination of open and urban driving, while the GLC 63 S is even thirstier with the official fuel economy being 12.2L/100km.

Mileage figures have yet to be given for the 300e plug-in petrol-electric hybrid.


Tesla Model X

None. Well, it consumes electricity, so if you’re getting your energy from green sources, you can drive carbon-neutral in the Model X.

As mentioned above, a full charge will get a claimed 417km. On test, we picked the Model X up will a full ‘tank’, and got it down to 7 per cent remaining over about 400km - so the claim is pretty truthful. 

But yes, I got range anxiety, and yes, I Googled “how long does it take to charge a Tesla Model X?”

The charge time really depends where you do it. If you go to a Supercharger - Tesla’s network of high-amperage, big power output (up to 120kW per car) fast-charge stations, you can expect to get to 80 per cent from empty in about 45 minutes, or all the way to full in a bit more than an hour. It used to be free to recharge at Superchargers, then increased demand saw Tesla introduce a pay-per-use fee, but all Tesla owners get 400kWh of credits to use every year.

If you charge at a destination charger like I did, the results are far, far worse. I parked up at the Supercheap Auto Penrith charge point, which is capable of up to 22kW’ of power output at just 6 amps, and left the car there for a full business day. It started at 7 per cent, and when I got back, it was at 53 per cent.

These destination chargers make sense if you’re going away for the weekend and can leave the car plugged in while you relax at the resort, but you need to know they’re not Superchargers. The network of Superchargers is getting bigger and bigger, and theoretically you can drive from Adelaide to Brisbane using them now. 

Every Tesla comes with a wall connector for you to install at home, but there are options for how powerful it can be, and can be “tailored to your home’s supply” - be it three-phase or single-phase. On single-phase power, the output can be 16, 20, 24 or 32 amps. According to Tesla’s Australian site, 16-amp three-phase power will charge at a rate of about 50km per hour, while at 24-amp you could see 80km per hour added (meaning about five hours to fully charge in this spec).

If you want the specs and figures, our Model X had used 136kWh over the total 507km of its life to date, at an average of 269Wh/km. So, if your energy company bills you $0.22 per kWh, it’ll cost you about $30 to do 500km. Not exactly cheap, but you’re not buying a Tesla to save money - and if you have a good home solar array setup, you should be able to run your house and your car at no extra cost. 

And Tesla has a deal with AGL so you can charge your car for $1 per day. That means you can theoretically fill it up every evening with energy, and you won’t spend more than $365 for a year of driving. 

So, the Model X gets a 10 out of 10 for fuel consumption. But if these ratings included a ‘time-consumption’ figure, it would be a lot less!

Driving

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class8/10

The GLC 300e and AMG versions hadn’t arrived in Australia at the time of launch in October 2019, but I did have the opportunity to put hundreds of kilometres on the GLC 200 and 300, on our less than perfect local roads.

I should point out here that the SUVs we drove had the standard 'Agility Control' suspension, which is Benz-speak for regular shock absorbers and coil springs.

That was good news to me when I arrived ready to drive, given the GLCs we tested in Europe earlier in 2019 were fitted with air suspension and driven on incredibly smooth roads.

Both the GLCs I tested were also fitted with the AMG Line pack and while this doesn’t affect the output or change the suspension it did increase the 200’s wheel size from 19- to 20-inch rims.

Starting in the GLC 200 I was impressed by how easy the SUV was to drive with accurate and light steering, great visibility and while acceleration from 0-100km/h in 7.8sec is nothing to brag about I was won over by the balanced feel of the RWD SUV.

I didn’t get that same balanced feel in the AWD GLC 300 but there was the superb traction and much swifter acceleration (0-100km/h in 6.2s).

The GLC 300 and 200 struggled, however, to remain composed and maintain a comfortable ride on the extremely shoddy, but typically Aussie roads I tested them on.

There also seemed to be a lack of travel in the suspension causing both cars I tested to ‘bottom-out’ at regular speeds in fairly small dips. If you’re planning to spend money on optioning yours up, I’d seriously consider ticking the 'Air Body Control' air suspension box.

That said, the driving experience was a tranquil, easy and enjoyable one – the way a C-Class SUV should be.  

I know there are readers out there keen to know about the off-road capability of the GLC but there was no chance to test this out on the Australian launch.

Matt Campbell did have the opportunity to get the GLC muddy in Europe and found that with the 'Off Road Pack' it’s capable of handling tougher terrain than many would think. Unfortunately, that off-road pack won’t be available in Australia.

And while we’re yet to sample the updated version of the Mercedes-AMG 43 and 63 S the previous models were outstanding, and going by our impression of the vehicles in Europe, will slap a smile on your face. We’ll know for sure when those SUVs arrive later in 2020.


Tesla Model X

With two electric motors and a huge bank of lithium-ion batteries to work with, the acceleration of the Model X is impressive. Throttle response is good, and from a standing start you will still impress your friends - even if you don’t buy the Ludicrous version.

On-the-move acceleration is good, too, because there’s no transmission or turbo lag as you’d find in any of the Model X’s natural competitors. It’s quick, and even if you’re driving it sedately it’s nice to know there’s power in reserve if you need it.

It is a heavy vehicle, but the weight is mainly down low, with Tesla’s skateboard battery platform between the axles making it feel  suctioned to the ground. The 20-inch rims with Michelin rubber (255/45 front, 275/45 rear) offer tremendous grip, and the traction is better than you’d likely find in other, more traditional SUVs.

The air suspension does a decent job of cosseting those in the cabin from the road surface below, provided it’s smooth. Some shortcomings are noticeable over sharp edges, such as speed humps, where it can feel a bit stiff-legged, and there’s the typical side-to-side wallow you see from airbag suspension.

The electric steering system offers nice accuracy and response, with a linear weighting that means it’s easy to turn the wheel, whether you’re pushing it through corners or simply trying to park it at the shops.

Some things that could be better? The visibility is the biggest issue, for me. This is a big vehicle, and the rear-view mirror is tiny, as is the vision it offers. If you have people in the third row, there’s almost no point even trying to use it.

I used the Enhanced Autopilot system on my commute, and it worked very well, you just need to ensure there’s some pressure on the steering wheel. This isn’t a full autopilot system, and shouldn’t be treated as such: you need to maintain control of the car and be conscious of your surroundings, because it isn’t perfect, and if you disobey its commands to ‘keep light pressure on the wheel’, it will disable for the rest of your drive.

I was surprised there wasn’t a surround-view camera system fitted to this car, especially given there are so many driving-system cameras and radars fitted. 

Other concerns? The creaking and groaning of the body and the rubbers as you turn corners, particularly over offset low-speed bends in car parks and the like. This isn’t the sort of thing you hear in the established luxury SUVs

And of course, if you’re getting a Tesla, spend the money and get the best home-charging solution you can. It’ll put your mind at ease. Or just move close to a Supercharger.

Safety

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class9/10

The Mercedes-Benz GLC was given the maximum five-star ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2015.

Coming standard from the entry-grade GLC 200 are nine airbags, a 360-degree camera, auto parking, plus advanced safety technology such as adaptive cruise control, AEB, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.

Grades from the GLC 300 upwards pick up the 'Driver Assistance Package' which adds active steering, cross traffic function, active blind spot and lane keeping assistance, evasive steering and lane changing assistant.

For child seats you’ll find three top tether points and two ISOFIX mounts across the second row. 


Tesla Model X

There is no ANCAP or Euro NCAP crash test rating for the Tesla Model X, but the vehicle scored extremely well in NHTSA testing the US, scoring the highest rating in history for any SUV.

The Model X sold in Australia gets an array of safety gear, including a collision-warning system and autonomous emergency braking, a reversing camera and parking sensors front and rear, plus there are airbags for first and second row occupants, but no curtain airbag coverage for those in the rear row.

Models fitted with Enhanced Autopilot (which will be all of them, we reckon) have four cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors that monitor the road and the vehicle’s surroundings. Engaging autopilot means the car works to maintain the vehicle’s line in a lane of traffic, it can change lanes at the tap of the indicator stalk (thus letting the car do the blind-spot checking for you), and it can adjust speed to mimic other road users. It slows to a complete stop, and will take off again when things get moving once more. 

In better news for parents, there are ISOFIX child seat anchor points in four of the five rear seats, plus top-tether attachments for all five rear seats - so baby capsules shouldn’t be an issue.

Ownership

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class7/10

The GLC is covered by Mercedes-Benz’s three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. While the duration of that coverage is short it does align with the other German 'big three' competitors, Audi and BMW.

That said, we’d encourage the luxury brands to follow the lead of mainstream manufacturers and move to five-year warranties.

Servicing is recommended annually or every 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.


Tesla Model X

Tesla offers a strong eight-year/160,000km warranty for the vehicle, and the warranty extends to unlimited kilometres for the drivetrain. 

The company asks owners to service their Model X (or Model S) every 12 months or 20,000km, whichever occurs soonest. And with few moving parts, you’d expect service costs to be pretty low - however, there is no capped-price-servicing plan.

Considering a Tesla? Make sure you check out our Tesla problems page to read up on any issues, faults, common problems and complaints or defects and recalls issued.