Mercedes-Benz GLC Estate GLC 220d AMG Line 5dr Auto

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  • 9 speed Automatic
  • Diesel
  • 56.5 MPG (combined)
  • CO2
    129/km
  • 0 - 62 MPH 8.3 secs
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Included (£0.00 p/m) Standard option
Top speed 130 mph
Power 170 bhp
0 - 62 mph 8.3 seconds
Torque 400 Nm
Gears 9 speeds
MPG 56.5 mpg
CO2 129 g/km
Boot space 550 litres
Seats 5
Fuel type Diesel
Length 4656 mm
Height 1890 mm
Width 0 mm
Weight 1845 kgs

Whatcar? Review

For

The GLC is a stylish SUV with a swish cabin, lots of equipment and excellent safety kit. CO2 emissions are lower than those of many rivals.

Against

The ride on SE and Sport models is unsettled and the steering is unusually weighted. The engines are rather unsophisticated.

Summary

The GLC looks great inside and out and the best version – the 250d AMG Line – is a good buy. Refinement and ride quality could be better, though.

Performance

The GLC is available with a choice of two 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engines that both provide useful pace. The lower-powered 168bhp version (badged 220d) gives enough performance to satisfy most SUV buyers. The 201bhp 250d is noticeably stronger at low and mid revs, however, which allows the standard nine-speed automatic to keep the engine revs lower and whisk you up to speed in a more relaxed fashion. We think it’s worth paying a bit more for.

Ride & Handling

The GLC drives well enough but it’s a long way from being the best car in the class dynamically. The SE and Sport models have standard suspension that simply doesn’t provide enough control; AMG Line models have a firmer set-up that maintains much better equilibrium. We haven’t tried the optional air suspension in the UK. The handling is fine, and standard four-wheel drive gives good traction, but the steering weights up in an unnatural way though corners.

Refinement

The GLC is civilised enough but it’s let down by having Mercedes’ aged four-cylinder diesel engines under the bonnet. These engines are rather loud and rough compared with many rivals, especially the hushed diesel engines in the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan. The nine-speed automatic gearbox can be jerky at low speeds but is generally smooth. The stop-start system is rather abrupt and there’s more wind and road noise than you get with many equivalent saloons.

Buying & Owning

The GLC is very competitive for CO2 emissions – all models emit 129g/km, unless you opt for 20in alloy wheels. That’s less than any BMW X3, although not a match for hybrid-powered rivals such as the Lexus NX. On the whole, the GLC makes sound financial sense for private and company car buyers. It’s predicted to hold its value well and the 250d managed almost 40mpg in our real-world fuel economy tests. Servicing costs are on the high side, but some attractive PCP finance deals are available.

Quality & Reliability

The GLC’s cabin has a very classy appearance, with a sleek centre console and lots of smart trim. The only rival that can match it for wow factor is the Porsche Macan. Build quality isn’t as impressive, though, because some of the fixtures can creak. Mercedes-Benz’s reliability record isn’t that great – the brand finished 32 out of 37 manufacturers in our most recent reliability survey. Warranty cover is three years, with no mileage limit.

Safety & Security

The GLC achieved a maximum five stars when tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and its wealth of safety features secured it a best-in-class award. As well as seven airbags all GLCs come with a collision prevention system that can brake the car automatically, and a system that detects if you’re getting drowsy and alerts you. An alarm is standard, while security experts Thatcham awarded the GLC five out of five stars for resisting being stolen, and four out of five for resisting being broken into.

Behind The Wheel

Full electric driver’s seat is standard for all GLC models. This makes it easy to get comfortable, even if the pedals are slightly offset. Forward visibility is good, although the steeply sloping pillars can cut across your view at junctions. The view rearwards is fine, and all versions come with a reversing camera. The dash is quite straightforward but the GLC’s infotainment system – especially the gimmicky touchpad – isn’t as intuitive as that in a BMW X3.

Space & Practicality

The GLC makes a fine family car, with lots of cabin space and a decent boot. In the front, there’s good head room and enough seat travel to cater for the longest of legs. Rear leg room is as plentiful as in the BMW X3; head room is less generous, but fine for most. The boot is large and well shaped; a powered tailgate makes loading easy and the 40/20/20 split seat back folds virtually flat at the flick of a switch. In-cabin storage is good, although the glove box is rather small.

Equipment

The GLC is well equipped; SE trim includes climate control, a powered tailgate, electric front seats, DAB radio, artificial leather upholstery and a reversing camera. You miss out on sat-nav, though, which some rivals have as standard. Sport trim adds sat-nav, as well as extras including rear parking sensors and LED headlights. We recommend upgrading to AMG Line, which brings firmer suspension and some desirable cosmetic extras. On all versions, you might want to upgrade to real leather trim.

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