Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d
- It costs: $76,730
- It has: A 150-kilowatt 2.1 litre four-cylinder turbo diesel with a 9-speed auto
- We got: 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the city, 5.8 in the country. The official combined figure is 5.7
I love the surround-view camera. Cameras front, back and at the sides tell you exactly how far every part of the car is from encountering obstacles. It makes parking and reversing brilliantly easy.
As for the rest of the electronics, not so much. There are buttons everywhere; dash, doors, console, below and behind the steering wheel and on the steering wheel; there’s a control wheel on the console and there are menu systems both in the instrument cluster and the centre screen, which looks like an iPad glued to the dash. Pay attention: it’s not all straightforward. Budget a good slice of time to learn how to operate the most perplexing cruise control. The electronic park brake takes some finding.
Get used to things, however, and the GLC is a nice way to travel, with plenty of usable power. The cabin is beautifully finished, the seating comfy and supportive. Back seat room is adequate and the cargo area is generous for the vehicle’s size.
A funny thing happens in the GLC when you’re on cruise control. If the car thinks you’re taking a corner too fast, it slows you down and resumes cruise only when you’re pointed straight ahead again. I found it damn annoying; who’s driving it? But I have to admit the GLC is very safe. Autonomous braking with pedestrian identification, adaptive cruise, lane departure and blind spot warnings.
This is a city SUV. It’s on 20-inch low-profile run-flat tyres so the ride can get quite harsh, especially out of town. And there’s no spare. While it handles nicely, it doesn’t come close to Range Rover’s Evoque. But it’s quiet and relaxed and there’s a tonne of torque on hand and no significant evidence of turbo lag, which along with silky nine-speed auto, makes this a very smooth operator. And the audio is a cut above. It’s also sharply priced, from $71k. Given the equipment levels, this most-expensive GLC is very good value against its major competitors.
- Best in the city