Having been curious absent from the compact 4x4 SUV market for ages, Mercedes now offers buyers in this segment two options, the GLC five-door model launched in 2014 here joined by a more dynamic-looking Coupe version that primarily aims to take on BMW's small 4x4 - the X4.
Despite its more dynamic looks, you shouldn't expect a GLC Coupe to be really any more dynamic to drive than its hatch stablemate. As with that car, air suspension can be added at extra cost. This compact 4x4 option is desirable. 'AIR BODY CONTROL', as Mercedes call it, promises a cosseting ride when you want luxury or flat, sportscar-like handling when you're in a hurry.
Under the bonnet, the buying focus is on the 2.1-litre diesel units used in the GLC 220d and GLC 250d models. The differences between these two variants are down to engine tune, with the 220d offering 170PS and the 250d churning out 204PS. The 0-62mph times are 8.3 and 7.6 seconds respectively. If you want more performance, the GLC 350d 4MATIC variant has a V6 3.0-litre diesel, while the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC derivative fronts up with a bi-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine developing 367bhp.
Mercedes has also developed a plug-in hybrid version, the GLC 350e, which adds a 116PS electric motor and a battery pack to a 2.0 litre turbo petrol unit. The success of Mitsubishi's similarly-configured Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid model suggests that there'll be a strong UK appetite for that kind of car. At launch, all models were equipped with 4MATIC 4WD. Whatever your choice of variant, drive will be supplied through a standard 9-speed automatic gearbox.
As you'd expect, this car's design owes much to that of the standard GLC hatch model, so you get the same sloping roofline, narrow rear window and big tail-lights. The front end is exactly the same as that of the regular GLC but if you get out the tape measure, you'll find that this Coupe is 80mm longer and 40mm wider than its donor model - and slightly longer than a rival BMW X4. As usual, there's a wide range of options to make your GLC look either sporty or very luxurious, both inside and out. Go to town in the cabin and it really will feel luxurious. Options that'll help the small 4x4 stand out include side running boards and huge 20-inch alloys.
Inside, there are few changes from the regular GLC. Carried over is the flowing, one-piece centre console and tablet-style infotainment display, this positioned on top of the beautifully crafted dash. Standards of shoulder, elbow and legroom are the same in the front, but headroom is inevitably a little more restricted at the back, though five folk can still be seated inside. The 491-litre boot loses 59-litres of capacity over the standard GLC and offers a maximum capacity of 1,205 litres with the rear bench folded flat.
On paper, you'd have to wonder why anyone would need a compact SUV coupe. In practice though, it's a very enticing formula indeed, especially in this small, 4x4 guise Mercedes has provided us with here.
Some may feel that there are still more dynamic choices to make in this segment: the trendier-looking Range Rover Evoque for example. Or the sharper-handling BMW X4. As an all-rounder though, combining many of the qualities you'll find in both those cars, the GLC Coupe is a tempting package. This car has arrived late to the best, small 4x4 party, but it's come well equipped to make a few waves.Click here to find out more about our Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe range