Mercedes GLC Drive Review: Evoke Anticipation. GLC’s Remarkable Aura Transforms the Road Experience
Mercedes has introduced its latest offering in the Indian market with the arrival of the 2023 GLC SUV. The pricing starts at Rs 73.5 lakhs for the GLC300 petrol variant and Rs 74.5 lakhs for the GLC220d diesel version, ex-showroom. The preceding GLC achieved remarkable success in India, becoming their top-selling model in the countri. With the introduction of the new GLC, Mercedes anticipates replicating this success. Notably, the pre-launch bookings for the new GLC in India have already surpassed 1,500 units. We got a chance to test drive the new Mercedes GLC in Hampi recently, here is our drive review.
Mercedes GLC Drive Review: Navigating Comfort and Control in the GLC’s Driver Seat
Second-gen GLC front seats are tailored for average-sized adults, offering ergonomic design and comfort. Seated in the driver’s seat, I effortlessly handled the intuitive controls. Initially, the steering wheel seemed slightly large, yet proved agile during demanding manoeuvres. Had I been of a different stature, the car’s opulence and potential sense of comfort might have felt confined.
For individuals with greater height or a more robust physique, the GLC could swiftly become confining. The substantial centre tunnel occupied the space my mind sought for leg and knee relaxation in a more expansive posture. Instead, I remained conscious without comfort, akin to sitting poised in a refined setting. Unable to extend them comfortably but that’s just me.
Design Harmony: The Artistry of GLC’s Storage, Accessibility, and Touchscreen Rake
With the exception of this aspect, everything else approaches near-perfection. The storage capacity, accessibility, and angle of the TV-sized touchscreen, all exhibit meticulous design. A minor concern arises as certain steering controls seamlessly function within the native Media app, yet not on Apple CarPlay. This necessitates the use of soft-controls on the touchscreen. Uncertain if the same applies to Android Auto. Similarly, attention must shift to the infotainment screen for operating the AC controls.
These are the rare aspects in which we could identify shortcomings within the 2023 GLC’s realm of comfort and convenience. Beyond these points, all other elements are undeniably appealing. Rear seat comfort adheres to Mercedes’ standards, for one and all. However, accommodating a third passenger for an extended journey could potentially disrupt the experience.
Power, Performance Personified: The Mighty Heart of the GLC 300 4MATIC
We drove the 2023 GLC 300 4MATIC, propelled by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, complemented by an ISG electric motor. This motor adds an extra 23 bhp and 200 Nm of torque. The engine demonstrates a keen enthusiasm for acceleration, boasting 258 bhp of maximum power and 400 Nm of peak torque. Power is channelled through the 9G Tronic Automatic Transmission to the 4Matic AWD system.
The power delivery unfolds with a gratifying linearity, lacking a forceful punch yet undeniably satisfying when pressing the pedal. Notably absent is any sense of turbo-lag, courtesy of the mild-hybrid system. This ensures a seamless surge of power, inviting spontaneous manoeuvres that hinge on prompt and smooth accelerations.
Acceleration Alchemy: From 0 to 100 in 6.2 Seconds, the GLC is Swift
0-100 kmph acceleration is completed in a swift 6.2 seconds. However, the true delight emerges during quick overtakes, as a refined hint of spirited engagement enhances the experience. The exhaust emits a sophisticated yet distinct growl, conjuring a sense of gratification. As your attention briefly turns to the rear-view mirror, a subtle sense of satisfaction graces your expression, a nod to the thrill of the moment. If you embody a playful spirit concealed beneath an air of grace and elegance, the allure of the new GLC is certain to capture your heart.
What’s truly remarkable is how well the engine is calibrated for roads that typically don’t align with the usual Mercedes domain. For the Mercedes GLC Drive Review, we ventured along the outskirts of Hampi in North Karnataka. And embraced paths that resonated with the region’s natural stony terrain. Our confidence to navigate such tracks was entirely due to the GLC’s seamless adaptation. It adeptly manoeuvred the treacherous surfaces, allowing for an accommodating idle-crawl. Even when negotiating subsequent deep dips with different wheels, the gas pedal remained untouched—a testament to the GLC’s mastery. Normally necessitating cautious modulation for a fluid descent and recovery, the GLC handled these challenges with remarkable ease.
Ride and Handling Dynamics: A Journey Through GLC’s Command Over Terrain
Amid attempts like the aforementioned, which diverge from the norm for an urban SUV, the car exhibited minimal body-roll. I could navigate such terrains with my mother onboard, and she would remain oblivious and content unless she glanced out the window. The handling prowess speaks for itself at this juncture, a credit to the brilliantly tuned suspension. Admittedly, it leans toward the stiffer side, potentially unfamiliar to those accustomed to the plush back seats of a Mercedes over the years. Yet, it emerges as a clear victor for those seeking Mercedes comfort but are willing to relinquish a portion in exchange for the exhilaration of razor-sharp control without compromise.
Considering this perspective, I find myself not bickering about ride quality or the faint hint of ruggedness that infiltrates the cabin. Because those are the reassurances and reminders that drive the urge in me to push the car to its limits, pushing it to the limits I ardently endeavour to attain with the new GLC. What an inspiring piece of work this is!
Elegance Meets Assurance: GLC’s Road-Hugging Confidence
The steering response and feedback are so masterfully tuned that throughout the day spent with the car, while executing various manoeuvres, I marvelled at how seamlessly it complemented my actions. The connection was so intuitive that it adjusted effortlessly, becoming as light as a toy when I desired, and gradually regaining weight as I flowed into turns, providing precisely the amount of resistance I desired. It’s a testament to the remarkable harmony between driver and machine.
Braking is equally reassuring; it feels as decisive as dropping an anchor, four actually. This was revealed in an unexpected manner when we inadvertently left the Active Brake Assist on. While nowhere near a scooter in front, we braked. And we were genuinely amazed, our confidence bolstered as we experienced how the car maintained unwavering stability and a defined trajectory until it came to a complete halt. This event reminded us of how the car hugs the road so tight, even as we smoothly transitioned between lanes and executed precise, sharp-radius turns.
The GLC has the remarkable ability to command attention and evoke a sense of anticipation—it’s just that impactful! If you’re moving away from a penchant for spirited driving and seeking a plush luxurious SUV under 1 crore that offers a cloud-like ride, your options have become more refined.