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Confused by the Singapore Mercedes-Benz GLC 300? Read On!



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The first-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV went on to become the biggest-selling model for the brand, so the second-generation has big shoes to fill. Its popularity means that while there are only two basic trim levels available in Singapore, there are a lot of options boxes you can check to tailor the GLC to your tastes. The two drivetrain options are likely to leave customers confused, however.

Good:

  • Steering
  • Comfort
  • Tech

Less good:

  • Body control
  • Confusing engine choice


What is the Singapore Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is a mid-sized, five-seat SUV.

Worldwide there is a bewildering array of power units, with diesel and petrol hybrids of varying power configurations, and petrol and diesel plug-in hybrids.

Buyers in Singapore have the option of the GLC 300 4MATIC in Avantgarde or AMG Line trim, and for an extra $20,000 or so respectively, the GLC 300e 4MATIC in Avantgarde or AMG Line. On paper there’s not a lot of difference between the versions with and without that little “e” – all have a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine in a hybrid electric drivetrain, and performance is similar.

The plug-in hybrid GLC 300e 4MATIC reaches 100km/h from standstill in 6.7 seconds, compared to 6.2 seconds for the mild hybrid version. Given the latter’s lower cost and faster performance, one would assume it’s the better choice, but the heavier plug-in hybrids do score much better fuel consumption – 0.5l/100km versus 7.8l/100km for the GLC 300 4MATIC.

Buyers are in for a challenging time figuring which option will suit them best.

Styling is conventional, but Mercedes was on to a good thing with the first generation, so there is little motivation for change.

Still, the popular GLC in its second generation is larger, slicker, and more high-tech than its predecessor, and that’s probably everything an aspiring buyer wants.

How does it drive?

The GLC 300 4MATIC test car is the mild hybrid version that mates a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine with a motor and 48-volt battery. The engine itself makes 190kW (258hp) and a generous 400Nm of torque. It has an overboost function that will bump the power to 210kW for 30 seconds, for extra performance.

The hybrid electric system adds just 17kW (23hp), but also a useful 200Nm of torque. Claimed consumption is 7.8l/100km, though on our test we saw closer to 8.6l/100km on the car’s computer.

Despite the test car’s AMG Line 20-inch wheels the GLC on standard suspension doesn’t have the tightest body control, though it is comfortable when touring. If that’s a problem you can specify active air suspension, though it comes at a price.

Given the GLC rides on the C-Class platform some of that car’s positive traits do shine through, however. The steering is really quite nice, and there are shades of the C-Class dynamic character on display, though you have to push hard before you see them.

There is a nice balance to the handling, and a rear-drive character despite the all-wheel drive, thanks to 55 percent of the torque being directed to the rear wheels, and staggered tyre sizes.

It does feel closer to its C-Class roots than the first-generation model, and that’s a nice evolution for the GLC.

What’s the cabin like?

The new C-Class inspired cabin is bang up to date.

The 12.3-inch driver screen floats above the dash facia, while an angled 11.9-inch multimedia screen in the centre does away with most of the physical buttons. Both screens are bright and clear, and the central one is fast to react to inputs.

It does do away with most physical controls though, and the rocker controls and haptic sliders on the steering wheel may not be to all tastes.

The MBUX infotainment system uses the forward-facing cameras for augmented reality 3D navigation guidance and has a “transparent bonnet” feature that offers a view of what’s happening in front of the front bumper and even under the front wheels.

Despite the increase in overall size, the cabin offers very similar space to the previous version, though that’s no bad thing as there’s plenty of space on offer. Models with the optional sunroof do lose a little in headroom, however.

Boot space has seen the biggest gains, now with 620 litres of volume, a 50-litre increase.

Conclusion

Being its biggest-selling model, it was unlikely that Mercedes-Benz would risk radical change with the introduction of this second-generation GLC. Building on the previous car’s strengths is the name of the game here, and Mercedes has done a good job of that.

The handling has evolved to be just a little bit closer to its C-Class cousin, and the exterior styling has been tweaked to bring it up to date.

The interior space is much the same as the previous model, though the interior styling and technology is where buyers will see the most change.

Another big change is the option of a plug-in hybrid version. Weighing the advantages of its improved efficiency with the extra purchase cost is going to be challenging, and we suspect most buyers will stick with the mild hybrid GLC 300 4MATIC options.

The video is produced by ChasingCars, partner of our sister company Budget Direct Australia. Some features or options in the car build may not be applicable to the Singapore market (including the availability of car parts). Note that all prices quoted in the video are in AUD. Remember to check with your local dealer for details.

Written by motoring journalist, Tony Tan



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