Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe Review 2023 | Top Gear
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Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe review

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Published: 21 Jun 2023
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Where the regular shaped Mercedes GLC is a strong all-rounder, the coupeified variant simply falls too short in too many areas

Good stuff

Looks alright for a coupeified SUV, smart interior and the tech works well enough, adequate rear head and legroom

Bad stuff

The regular shaped GLC exists, rear visibility is non-existent, hesitant gearbox, firm ride, no plug-in hybrid variant

Overview

What is it?

A Mercedes GLC but with a swoopier roofline just about covers it. We’re into second generation territory now, with the regular shaped variant having launched a couple of months back, and given that model 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 the more stylish choice. 

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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.

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.

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 consist of three 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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Unlike the GLC SUV – and our European counterparts – there are no plug-in options to choose from on these shores. Which may come as an arrow through the heart to any company car buyers looking to take advantage of any tax benefits.

Go 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. Which is 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.

What's the verdict?

Where the regular shaped Mercedes GLC is a strong all-rounder, the coupeified variant simply falls too short in too many areas

Like the standard GLC SUV, the second generation GLC Coupe is very much about evolution rather than revolution. Only, it prides itself on style (and only you can decide whether you like the looks), and sacrifices a little headroom, bootspace and rear visibility on account of that swoopier roofline.

Which makes the near £6.5k premium compared to its sibling an even tougher pill to swallow. In addition to the reduced practicality it rides worse on account of the sports suspension, and the absence of any plug-in hybrid options will rule out any company car buyers. If you like the looks and have got money to burn then sure, go ahead, but otherwise the regular GLC is convincingly the better choice.

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