First Drive: You Can’t Go Wrong With the Mercedes-Benz GLC 220D
Here’s our first impression of the 2.2-litre engine powered GLC SUV.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC made its Indian debut earlier this year and we finally got to drive it. There are numerous reviews already out there about the GLC,
but we just had to sample it for ourselves.
The drive itself wasn’t much to talk about in terms of scenery, however, since I was behind the wheel, I did get enough time to judge the GLC and draw my conclusions.
For starters, it always feels good to be seated in a Mercedes-Benz. There is that distinct look and feel of the cabin that you cannot confuse with any other luxury brand.The subtle class is there and it is something that I have always loved about a Merc.
The steering felt good, the materials that surround you are fantastic and everything feels like it’s exactly where you need it – basically, spot on with the ergonomics!
Since our destination was a while away, it didn’t hurt to check out what the music system had to deliver. The nice large infotainment screen and the steering mounted controls made it easy to switch to my favourite song folder and get some tunes going.
Needless to say, we had a comfortable drive – those seats really do their business right in keeping
you nice and snug will all the right support, so when we finally reached our destination, we were fresher and more relaxed than when we started out!
As I mentioned before, I was at the wheel, so I did get to enjoy what the 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel has to offer. The diesel motor is a powerful unit that does the task of powering the GLC rather wonderfully.
Power delivery is linear and it surges forward at a rather brisk pace. With 170PS on tap and 400Nm of peak torque, you really aren’t left wanting at all. The engine is mated to a 9-speed G-Tronic gearbox and you also get neat paddle shifters mounted on the steering – you know, for that added level of driving pleasure. It is rather frugal as well, especially for a vehicle as big and powerful as this.
Like all Mercedes-Benz products, the GLC is a delight to travel in and the suspension does its job of soaking up the undulations on the road. It has rained a lot in Pune recently, so we have potholes on most roads, yet the SUV just glided through without losing its composure even once.
Out on the highway, the GLC was a blast and getting to unleash that engine and enjoy a spirited drive was one of my personal highlights of the day. It was when we left the tarmac that I truly felt like I was in an SUV.
The GLC’s ground clearance for India has been further increased by 20mm and those large wheels shod with 235/60 R18 rubber do their duty well.
Adding to that, the GLC comes with a 30.8-degree
approach angle and a 24.8-degree departure angle which allows it to tackle most obstacles without the driver having to worry about losing the front or rear bumper.
Incidentally, the Edition 1 comes with the off-road package as standard and you also get separate driving modes in order to take on varied off-road conditions such as slippery surfaces, inclines and mud and gravel situations.
It is a true blue SUV that lives up to the task of delivering both on and off the road and it is rather comfortable as well. Four adults can travel in ease, while a fifth would involve having to straddle the tunnel for the drivetrain.
Storage is also decent within the cabin; however, the boot is a bit of a letdown because it has the spare donut strapped in there.
I honestly felt that it looked like an afterthought and I really expected a Mercedes to have a better solution than just taking up valuable trunk space with a strapped in wheel. Sadly, while the trunk is nice and large, the donut doesn’t leave you with too much room to pack in loads of luggage.
It is also cumbersome if you do get a flat tyre while out on a road trip, as you will now have to unload all your luggage first before you can get to the donut! Mounting it on the rear or having the design to have the spare tuck under would have been great, but this is one drawback that GLC owners will have to live with.
Having said that, you can’t go wrong with the GLC. It is a blast to drive, it has all the luxurious touches that you would expect from a vehicle of this class, and it has the ultimate status symbol being advertised in the form of a large Tri-Star integrated into the two-slat front grille, and boy does this beast look good!
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