Mercedes-Benz GLC200 4Matic Coupe: Fashionable Fastback 4×4 Refreshed

Walking a fine line between fashion and function and firm footing on the ground, the Mercedes-Benz GLC200 4Matic Coupe combines several trends in one vehicle, including a convenient marriage of the trendy so-called ‘four-door-coupe’ body style and the ever-popular SUV format, and includes contemporary subtle electrification technology for good measure.

Photos by Ghaith Madadha, on location in Jordan

First launched as a 2016 model and now face-lifted for 2020 with some significant drive-train changes and numerous design, cabin and technology updates, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class 4Matic Coupe is the more fashion-oriented sister model to the more traditional GLC-Class SUV. Identical in almost every way but its rakish body style and roofline, the GLC-Coupe’s remit is to combine SUV practicality with coupe style. Cross-breeding two trendy automotive features, it could be argued that the four-door coupe SUV doesn’t do justice to either, yet the GLC-Class coupe does it with more panache than most.

A more common sight in recent years as other manufacturers further diversify their model lines and hop on a trendy bandwagon, the four-door coupe SUV isn’t quite the automotive oddity it used to be. In fact, the GLC-Class’s take on this segment seems to be one of the most elegant there is in its interpretation of Mercedes-Benz’ ‘sensual purity’ design language. Restyled for the current year, the revised GLC-Coupe features restyled bumper, light and grille elements, in addition to full-LED technology, new alloy wheel designs and chrome elements running along the sills.

Sitting high off the ground with a broad diamond patterned grill, bulging bodywork and surfacing, high flanks, small glasshouse and low, flowing roofline and lift-back rear, the GLC-Class Coupe has squat stance and dramatic demeanor that emphasizes its width. As most modern Mercs, the GLC-Coupe takes very well to the optional AMG Line body kit and staggered top specification 255/45ZR20 front and 285/40ZR20 rear tyres to best realize its assertive aesthetic. Though subtle, the net result of the GLC-Coupe’s visual updates is a classier, sportier and fresher look than before.

Powered by a significantly overhauled engine line-up of turbocharged direct injection 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol engines mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive, the GLC-Coupe receives a new turbocharger, revised variable valve timing and a new mild hybrid system to meet stringent Euro 6 emissions regulations. The biggest change by far, the 48v mild hybrid system features an integrated starter/generator to recover kinetic energy and help power various systems and features. Developing 13BHP and 110lb/ft torque, the hybrid system can boost the combustion engine for added performance and to enhance efficiency.

Driven in entry-level petrol-powered guise, the GLC200 Coupe’s combustion engine develops 194BHP at 5,500-6,100rpm and 236lb/ft torque. A quick-spooling engine with little turbo lag and big thick and versatile wave of torque over a broad range, the GLC200’s petrol engine output is noticeably augmented by its hybrid system over short bursts, where it feels unexpectedly more responsive at low-end and muscular in mid-range. Off-setting a not insignificant weight gain to 1,820kg owing to its new hybrid and high tech features, the GLC200 is brisk and confident in town, on highway and through country lanes.

Accelerating through 0-100km/h in 8-seconds and capable of 216km/h, the GLC200 Coupe is at its best riding its generous mid-range torque band and taking advantage of its numerous gear ratios for on-the-move flexibility. Powerful at top-end especially in short bursts, the GLC200 does take a brief moment to wind down on the overrun. Meanwhile, it can return 7l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency under ideal conditions. Buttoned down and stable at speed as expected, the GLC200 Coupe is a natural long distance driver, while its brakes provide good stopping power and consistency.

Smooth, composed, refined and comfortable, the GLC200 Coupe’s can however feel firm over sharper bumps and lumps and over choppier road sections. However, the upside is that its huge low profile tyres provide good grip, while its taut suspension well controls body lean through corners for such a high riding and heavy vehicle. Superb on smooth highways, the GLC200 Couple also handles well through corners once one gets accustomed to its proportions. With its direct steering providing quick and tidy turn-in, the GLC200 is committed through corners, with all four driven wheels providing plenty of wet weather traction.

Refined and well-insulated inside, the GLC-Class Coupe is spacious in front and provides a well-adjustable, hunkered down and comfortable driving position with good front visibility. However, its fashionably low roofline and small glass are do restrict rear headroom for tall passengers and rear and over-shoulder visibility. However, it is a well-equipped vehicle with a reversing camera and blindspot and lane change warning systems that prove valuable in remedying its visibility issue. In terms of practicality, the GLC-Coupe can wade through 300mm depths, while its spacious boot is easily accessible through its fastback rear hatch.

Sporty yet elegant inside in its aesthetic, the GLC-Coupe is a premium product with plenty of soft textures and an air of quality about it, and features a flowing one-piece centre console, round air vents, thick steering wheel and intuitive controls and infotainment system. Very well-equipped with convenience and safety features from child seat latches to advanced driver assistance systems, the revised GLC-Coupe features an improved and larger infotainments screen, voice command, touchpad and much more, but unfortunately now only features mini-USB ports, which requires an adapter for standard USB devices.

Specifications: Mercedes-Benz GLC200 4Matic Coupe

  • Engine: 2-litre, turbocharged, in-line 4-cylinders
  • Bore x stroke: 83.1 x 91.9mm
  • Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection
  • Mild hybrid: 47v, starter/generator system
  • Gearbox: 9-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 194 (197) [147] @5,500-6,100rpm
  • Specific power: 97.4BHP/litre
  • Power-to-weight: 106.6BHP/tonne
  • Electric motor power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 13.4 (13.6) [10]
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 236 (320)
  • Specific torque: 160.7Nm/litre
  • Torque-to-weight: 175.8Nm/tonne
  • Electric motor torque, lb/ft (Nm): 110 (150)
  • 0-100km/h: 8-seconds
  • Maximum speed: 216km/h
  • Fuel consumption, urban / extra-urban / combined: 8.9- / 6- / 7-litres/100km
  • CO2 emissions, combined: 161g/km
  • Length: 4,731mm
  • Width: 1,890mm
  • Height: 1,602mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,873mm
  • Track, F/R: 1,621 / 1,617mm
  • Overhang, F/R: 831 / 1,028mm
  • Wading depth: 300mm
  • Aerodynamic drag co-efficiency: 0.31
  • Headroom, F/R: 1,045 / 972mm
  • Shoulder room, F/R: 1,455 / 1,436mm
  • Boot capacity, min/max: 500-/1400-litres
  • Unladen weight: 1,820kg
  • Steering: Electric-assisted, rack and pinion
  • Turning circle: 11.8-meters
  • Suspension: Multi-link, anti-roll bars
  • Brakes: Ventilated discs
  • Tyres, F/R: 255/45ZR20 / 285/40ZR20 (optional)

Rivals and alternatives

BMW X4 xDrive20i

The Munich manufacturer’s gambit into the niche compact to mid-size fastback coupe-SUV segment, the BMW X4 is a a more overtly aggressive riposte to its perennial Mercedes-Benz Rival’s elegantly flowing effort. Of similar size, ability and cache, and in a class almost exclusive to the two German car makers, the choice between Bimmer and Merc is very much one of personal preference.

Specifications: Engine: 2-litre, in-line turbocharged 4-cylinders; Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive; Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 181 (184) [135] @5,500rpm; Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 199 (270) @1,450-4,800rpm; 0-100km/h: 8.3-seconds; Height: 1,621mm; Width: 1,918mm; Length: 4,752mm; Wheelbase: 2,864mm; Weight: 1,715kg; Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts / Multi-link

Changan CS85

An affordable non-premium alternative to such a fashion-conscious, trend-led segment, the Changan CS85 hits the nail on the head with a premium-looking interior, good equipment levels and a decent design that well captures the coupe-crossover style. Available in top 2-litre turbo 4WD variant well within entry-level German prices, China’s CS85 is also available in yet more attainable 1.5-litre FWD guise.

Specifications: Engine: 2-litre, transverse turbocharged 4-cylinders; Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive; Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 215 (218) [171] @5,500rpm; Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 266 (360) @1,750-3,000rpm; 0-100km/h: 7.5-seconds; Height: 1,665mm; Width: 1,845mm; Length: 4,720mm; Wheelbase: 2,705mm; Weight: 1,730kg; Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts / Multi-link

Mercedes-Benz C200 4Matic Estate

Trading fashion fad appeal and ground clearance for true style and practicality, the GLC-Class’ best in-house Mercedes-Benz alternative is the C200 4Matic Estate. With near identical performance and road-holding, the C-Class estate looks, drives and handles better, with better visibility, space, agility and efficiency with its 1.5-litre engine. Better yet, the pre-facelift 2-litre offers better performance and versatility.

Specifications: Engine: 1.5-litre, in-line turbocharged 4-cylinders; Gearbox: 9-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive; Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 181 (184) [135] @5,800-6,100rpm; Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 207 (280) @3,000-4,000-rpm; 0-100km/h: 8.4-seconds; Top speed: 230km/h; Height: 1,457mm; Width: 1,810mm; Length: 4,702mm; Wheelbase: 2,840mm; Weight: 1,615kg; Suspension: Multi-link

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