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Car Review

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe review

£60,240 - £79,630
510
Published: 23 Jan 2024
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Mercedes takes the ponderous GLC SUV, removes practicality and charges more for it. Hmm...

Good stuff

Look good, smart interior, tech works well enough, adequate head and legroom

Bad stuff

The regular-shaped GLC exists, hesitant gearbox, poor rear visibility, firm ride

Overview

What is it?

A Mercedes GLC but with a swoopier roofline just about covers it. We’re into second generation territory now, and given that the SUV is the firm’s best-seller these days, a follow-up coupeified variant was inevitable. Lo and behold, here we are.

Undoubtedly its biggest rival is the BMW X4 (a coupeified version of the X3 SUV), but it also competes with the Audi Q5 Sportback (again, a coupeified version of the Q5 SUV - spot the theme here), along with the Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Macan, which like to think of themselves as stylish choices. 

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What’s changed compared to the previous generation?

Well, the new car is 31mm longer and 5mm higher compared to its predecessor, while the longer wheelbase and wider track widths (6mm at the front and 23mm at the rear) result in a smidge more interior space. Oh, and the 0.27 drag coefficient is three hundredths better than before. Captivated yet?

Design changes mimic those to the regular shaped GLC SUV, and they’re very much tweaks rather than wholesale. Note the slight updates to the front headlights, grille and lower front bumper, wheelarches and rear lights over the old car.

Inside, it gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and the now obligatory 11.9-inch portrait infotainment touchscreen, which sits loud and proud in the centre console. Indeed, buttons have been pretty much done away with completely. More on that over on the Interior tab.

What about under the skin?

In the UK, your options include a trio of mild-hybrid assisted units, all 2.0-litre four-cylinders. Your sole petrol option is the 300, while your diesel options consist of the 220d and 300d. All get a starter-generator unit and 48V electrics to support coasting and energy recovery, plus four-wheel drive.

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There is now a plug-in hybrid version too, in the shape of the 300e. Excellent news if you happen to be reading this with your company car hat atop your head. It makes full use of the slippery aero with 73 miles of e-range. Even more excellent news if your commute is 36.5 miles long.

Come on then, how does it, er, go?

While it steers nicely and the start-stop functionality works well enough, the gearbox is far too indecisive and very hesitant when pulling away, to the extent that on more than one occasion it resulted in rollback at traffic lights. At which point you discover just how little you can see out of the rear window due to the sloping roofline.

In the UK, we also only get sports suspension, as opposed to the four-link front suspension and multi-link independent rear set-up (plus optional air suspension and rear wheel steer) that you get over in Europe. It's a shame, because we found the sports suspension far too firm for a family SUV, with the other set-ups much improved. Full details over on the Driving tab.

How much are we talking?

Prices start from £59,355 OTR for the 220d, £61,325 for the 300 petrol, and £67,895 for the 300d, which forces you to step up one trim level. Like-for-like with the GLC SUV, that’s a hefty £6.5k hike. Head over to the Buying tab for the full lowdown.

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

Was the surgery worth it? We'd argue not. The huge premium it carries over its more practical sibling is tough to swallow

Like the standard GLC SUV, the second generation GLC Coupe is very much about evolution rather than revolution. It prides itself on style, and so sacrifices headroom, bootspace and rear visibility to achieve that swoopier roofline. It looks great and make you the envy of your cul-de-sac.

But was the surgery worth it? We'd argue not. The huge premium it carries over its more practical sibling is tough to swallow, and the ride falls into the chasm between comfortable and sporty.

Throw in the iffy throttle response and Merc's habit of being too tech heavy, and you've got yourself a very mediocre car.

The Rivals

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