We first laid eyes on what would be the Mercedes GLC Coupe when it unleashed its design concept at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. A year later, the production version – one that was quite similar to the year-old concept – saw the light of day at the New York Auto Show. Right away, I filed the design off as precarious, as it’s one of those vehicles that doesn’t really fall into the car, crossover, or SUV categories. In short, it has a coupe-like body with SUV underpinnings and a shoddy little four-cylinder that produces all of about 241 horsepower. Compared to its SUV counterpart, the standard GLC, the car was extremely similar with the biggest different between the two limited to a different roof line and different rear quarter windows. We knew it wouldn’t take long for a Mercedes-AMG branded variant to make its debut, and sure enough, six months later here we are looking at the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe.
When we originally reviewed the standard GLC Coupe, we pointed out that, at the time, the car had seen some wildly mixed opinions. To put it simply, it’s one of those vehicles that you either hate or love, with little to middle ground anywhere in sight. Comments left by some of you on our GLC Coupe review reflected this perfectly – some users saying things like it’s “not bad at all” while others say it is a “waste of money” or “please God, make them stop.” (Seriously, these comments are really there.) Apparently, sales were good enough to give it the AMG treatment, and maybe, just maybe, that 3.0-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with 362 ponies will help make the car more desirable.According to Tobias Moers, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG, said, “The new GLC43 Coupe is characterized by a high level of agility and sporty driving dynamics. With its expressive design and high everyday practicality, the Coupe is able to appeal to new target audiences.” And, maybe it does, but let’s take a closer look at the GLC43 now that it has made its official debut and talk a little more about it.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 Coupe exteriors feature the AMG body styling, front apron with diamond pattern grille, and simulated undergaurd in silver chrome getting a spontaneous attention and appreciation of the onlookers. The LED headlights with the intelligent light system and the BITURBO 4MATIC lettering on the front wings highlight the front profile. The side body has the electrically foldable ORVMs with ambient lighting to illuminate the entrance area, and the AMG five twin spoke alloy wheels and front with brake caliper with AMG lettering give it a distinctive stance. At the rear, the AMG apron with a trim strip in silver chrome and simulated undergaurd in black, LED combination tail lamps to leave a grand image on the road.
Inside, it’s typically a Mercedes as the fit and finish is top notch and you find yourself in familiar territory when you take a look at the gear selector, the seat-shaped electronic seat adjuster, and even the infotainment system. It’s nothing new and all of which we’ve experienced in the GLC SUV. There’s space for 5 individuals inside the car but not so much space for their luggage. The sloping roof line eats into the boot space and though it has 550 litres of it, it’s still not good enough. What worsens the space is the space saver spare as it sits on the boot floor thereby eating up into a lot of space at the back. You then are left to make a choice between your bags or the spare wheel and that’s a tough one to crack. Having said that, the cabin is a great place to be in and it’s got the sporty bits too.Being an AMG, it gets sporty all black interiors with red stitching all over. The seats have them, the steering wheel and so does the dashboard. Even the seatbelts are red! There is a flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters, and black and grey chequered patterned dials. The seats are good too and a big guy like me could easily fit into them thanks to the good side bolstering. And you really understand how well you’re tucked in when you encounter some twisties.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 Coupe specifications feature 2996 four-cylinder petrol engine with a power of 367PS at 5500-6000RPM and torque of 520Nm at 2500-4500RPM. The transmission system has the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission system with Dynamic drive mode select feature and the drive connected to all wheels.The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 Coupe economy mileage ranges at 8kmpl as per ARAI claim. The fuel economy can vary slightly depending on the drive mode selected and the driving conditions such as road terrain condition and traffic conditions. On an average, a mileage of 6kmpl can be expected in the city and off-road conditions and up to 8kmpl can be expected on the highway.
The high power output and torques with AMG performance 4MATIC technology with two-stage AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and the steering mounted controls enhance super smooth drivability of the vehicle. The AMG dynamic drive selector with five mode select feature enables the driver to choose between comfortable, sporty, particularly sporty or efficient drive styles and individual drive modes suiting the driving conditions and speed and torque requirement. The drive quality improved with suspension system featuring continuously adjustable damping deliver a high standard of driving dynamics.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Most of us would agree that this company just doesn’t compromise. Although the vehicle was modelled for and released in markets abroad, you’d be more than justified in imagining a comfortable ride experience here on harsh Indian roads as well. First, strong disc brakes have been clipped onto the front and rear wheels, ensuring that you face no trouble cornering, braking and coming to a quick stop when needed. Aside from this, the chassis arrangement has also been given a robust design on both ends, capable of decimating most road anomalies here. The agility control comfort suspension ensures that most strains you encounter in other vehicles does not hamper your ride here. We haven’t gotten the chance to drive the vehicle first hand, but we’ve drawn inferences from articles circulated online, which point to a rather comfortable, high quality ride that would please most people. The ride stability is further bolstered with some sound techno programs, including the Anti lock braking system, Electronic brake-force distribution, and many more.
You can expect an exhaustive range of safety facilities, seeing as this is a brand that meets very stringent safety standards across the world. It is going to come with ABS and EBD, which together cement safety during the drive by preventing mishaps. Also to be present is an Adaptive brake system, which further boosts the quality of braking. Electronic stability control would help to keep the vehicle in a balanced field when driving, and at the same time, we’re sure it eases the burden of handling for the driver as well. Also present would be conventional parameters such as seatbelts, airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, a remote boot release system, and perhaps even an electric parking brake.
In the absence of the BMW X4 in India, the GLC Coupe doesn’t have any rivals, but with an ex-showroom price of Rs 74.8 lakh, it does sit in the bracket of the Porsche Macan 2.0. The Porsche is quite the handler but is way down on power. You could go for the larger-engined Macan Turbo for more power but that’ll set you back by over Rs 1 crore.The Merc then does sit pretty. It isn’t perfect though, the steering could have been better tuned and the boot space won’t leave you much room for a weekend trip. But there is little else to fault and rationally speaking, the AMG GLC Coupe does make good sense. As a sportscar, it’s fast, it sounds good and the handling is acceptably sharp. And as an SUV, it gives you a better view of the road and can tackle off-road paths. Given our road conditions then, it’s a car that lets you enjoy the best of both worlds. Of course, assuming you find the rebel-like, standout character of SUV-coupés appealing.