Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC SUV (2019)
Mercedes-Benz is intent on taking on premium mid-size SUV rivals with upgrades across its leading GLC range and being given an extra boost by plugging into petrol / electric hybrid technology.

Taking in the entire list of GLC SUVs and Coupes, including AMG performance heavyweights, while introducing for the first time, in the second quarter of next year, a plug-in hybrid model.

On the outside, the GLC 200 and 300 have been pumped up with muscular surfaces and flashes of chrome detail from front to back. Heading the bold character are new-look LED headlights and deeply contoured radiator grille.

Under the bonnets are one of two beefed-up 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines, mated with a sweet 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission. Power is put to ground via rear-wheel drive (200) and all-wheel drive (300).

No diesel alternative is offered. Asked if he thought this was the beginning of the demise of the oil burner, a Mercedes spokesperson said there was still room for diesel engines in workhorse vehicles, but petrol was making a comeback across the board.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC SUV (2019)

Previously offered only in the GLC Coupes, the GLC 200 and GLC 300 SUVs can now be ordered with Dynamic Body Control adaptive suspension, giving owners the choice of three suspension types, including Air Body Control.

Owners can also tap into MBUX infotainment, which includes the voice recognition package enabling passengers to control dozens of common functions using the ‘Hey Mercedes’ command.

This system can ‘learn’ the driver’s habits and routines, and
offer helpful suggestions and shortcuts. For example, if he or she phones home at a certain time every day, MBUX will point it out as the time approaches.

All models include a 10.25-inch central touch-screen multimedia display, alongside a fully digital, customisable instrument cluster.

The new steering wheel features touch-sensitive controls for MBUX, which allow the driver to navigate both digital displays using similar swiping gestures to a smartphone.

The GLC 200 features Artico (faux leather) upholstery, which Mercedes says, is becoming more popular than leather. Front seats are power adjustable and there are two USB ports in the second row, which also benefits from dual-zone climate control.

Surroundings are given a premium feel with black ash open-pore wood grain trim and ambient lighting with 64 different colours, Digital radio is a given.

Sat nav and the multimedia system, featuring MBUX, gives live traffic information, integration for Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, and “Mercedes me Connect”, the smartphone app which enables remote
access to several key car functions, services and information.

There are nine airbags, electronic stability program, traffic sign assist, rear cross-traffic alert, brake assist, blind spot assist (passive), and a parking package featuring active parking assist with 360-degree camera, keyless starting, and pre-safe accident anticipation.

The GLC 200 SUV features a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine sending 145 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque to the rear wheels, 10 kW and 20 Nm more than the outgoing model.

The vehicle rolls on newly designed 19-inch multi-twin-spoke alloy wheels with
agility control suspension, and features Dynamic Select for a choice of
driving modes. An Easy-Pack powered tailgate is activated by a kicking motion under the rear bumper.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic is available as an SUV or Coupé, powered by a 190 kW / 370 Nm 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated with a 9G-Tronic auto and sent to all four wheels via the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. It represents a significant step-up over the outgoing GLC 250 of 35 kW and 20 Nm.

As well as the comprehensive GLC 200 comprehensive specification, the 300 adds wireless charging for compatible mobile devices, hands-free Keyless-Go, aluminium-look running boards with rubber studs, rear privacy glass, multibeam LED headlights with high beam assist plus, 20-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, plus Driver Assist Package.

The Coupé adds Dynamic Body Control suspension with adjustable damping, plus AMG Line enhancements inside and out.

For the first time, the GLC range next year will include a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid SUV. The GLC 300 e 4Matic, mating a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine (155 kW / 350 Nm) with an electric motor (90 kW / 440 Nm) with a combined maximum output of 235 kW and 700 Nm. Zero-to-100 km/h comes up in just 5.7 seconds.

They have a range of up to 43 kilometres purely on electricity. It shares specs of the GLC 300 4Matic but adds Air Body Control Suspension as standard, plus pre-entry climate control, and hardware and cables for recharging.

Fine Spring weather produced a relaxed combined GLC 200 / 300 SUV launch drive in the Victorian countryside, the latter recording fuel consumption of 10.1 litres per 100 kilometres on some mixed driving conditions.

The GLC 200 rear-wheel drive was a tad tardy on takeoff and noisy when pushed. The more powerful 300 was more responsive to the power pedal. It was also quieter than the 200 but both suffered from wind noise from around the exterior rear-view mirrors above 80 km/h.

There were no complaints about passenger comfort up front in both cases but legroom in the back was limited by front-seat positioning. Mercedes-Benz also must be feeling comfortable with the upgrades and addition of hybrid power with its most popular premium mid-size SUV.


Mercedes GLC 200: $66,100
Mercedes GLC 300 4Matic: $77,700
Mercedes GLC 300 e 4Matic: $80,400
Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic: $109,900
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+: $161,000
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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