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Test Driving Mercedes new GLC 250d – Goldilocks

We all know the story, cute girl breaks into a bear’s family home, eats everything they have in the porridge department, breaks a chair and then crashes for the night in their kid’s bed. She’s fussy too complaining about their cooking and furniture – in fact some would say downright rude but at least she left the TV and heirlooms. I guess the moral of the story they would have you learn (if there is such a thing with this) is all shrouded around actions and consequences, respecting other people (bears) including their property and possibly even self control BUT whenever I remember being told the story all that comes to mind is ‘just right’.

The same phrase came to mind as I reviewed Mercedes new GLC 250d – it’s just right. It’s not too big or too small, it’s just right. The ride is not too hard or too soft; it’s just right and when it comes to fuel consumption… well in this area it’s way more than ‘just right’.

GLC 1Let’s start with its economy. On paper it boasts 5.7litres/ 100k’s which is good; very good but Matt their PR guy summed it up well by saying ‘you’ll probably bring it back with a quarter tank of fuel left!’ Of course I was keen to prove him wrong. So after a week of ‘general life’ use, chores, work, shopping, parks etc I did manage to call Matt’s bluff; I returned the midsized SUV with a shade under; wait for it, half a tank. Don’t think I nursed it either, yes it has an eco mode but I spent most of the time in normal or sport.

The 2,143cc turbocharged engine produces 150kW of power and a huge 500Nm of torque. It has a reported 0-100 rate of 7.6 seconds and it feels every bit this quick as it shifts its (light) 1735kg frame off the mark. Its powerful core is ‘tamed’ or at least managed with the 9G-TRONIC gearbox and the two combined makes it very fuel frugal.

GLC 5The exterior is every bit SUV and yet its size is just right for the city. The Mercedes star takes pride of place in the grille and also conceals some of the GLC’s electronic wizardry. Large air curtains, scoops and ‘all seeing’ lights complete the SUV’s face. Strong design lines on its shoulders and doors define its profile with (unnecessary) running boards underlining the effect. The 20” Alloys are not too big or too small and offer the right amount of rubber to the road, especially when cornering. The rear lights fit snuggly into the bodywork and mould into the auto tailgate round the back and a full length chrome accent shelters the two exhaust pipes.

The GLC drives like a car with barely a hint of bodyroll. It’s comfortable around the town, easy to park (especially with the 360 degree camera) and visibility is bang on. Switch it to sports mode and the entire vehicle tightens up ready for a bit of fun. It feels taught and precise and is quite the joy to drive beyond the city limits. I’m not sure of its off road capabilities (I really must get a farm) and to be honest I don’t think it’s that type of vehicle, but its ride height is not too tall or too low and has a reasonable amount of ground clearance. Don’t get me wrong, it is running on Merc’s 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive; I just think it’s too cute to get downright dirty with.

GLC 4The Interior is Anthracite leather and a very tactile black ash open pore wood (matched perfectly with the Tenorite Grey Metallic exterior paint. The seats are multi setting and therefore easy to personalize with heaps of room for the rear passengers. All infotainment and safety equipment is at your fingertips but I still struggle with the Distronic cruise control system being on a stalk ‘hidden’ behind the steering wheel. It’s fine when you know what you’re doing but for newbies it’s a bit of work – yes I know I’m nitpicking. Lane assist, adaptive cruise, blind spot alert… the GLC’s safety and assist features go on and on but not too much – I thought it would have a heads-up display (maybe that’s an option).

GLC 2The GLC 250d is maybe bordering on the smaller side of Mercedes SUV line up but rest assured it has all the looks and pizzazz this brand has to offer. If your family is not too big or too small and you are looking for an SUV that’s not too oppressive for the city or too weak for the country then you’re going to find that the GLC is (yes you’ve guessed it) ‘just right’.

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