Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic coupe review: a little more, a little less

David Linklater
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There's a big premium to be paid for the GLC coupe; but it does look really swish.


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Base price
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sport utility vehicle
Boot Capacity
CO2 level g/km
Fuel Consumption (l/100km)
Maximum power kW
Maximum torque Nm
  • Looks fantastic from any angle
  • Powertrain full of character
  • Blend of digital and physical controls in cabin
  • Big $12k jump from wagon version
  • M-B's insistence on having side steps on all SUVs
  • Narrow view out rear window

Coupe versions of SUVs are a bit hit-and-miss, styling-wise. All a matter of taste of course, but it’s strange that a concept based entirely on looks (otherwise you’d just choose the more practical wagon shape, surely) can be so polarising.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 coupe.
SUV-coupes can look pretty awkward; this one looks pretty cool.

For what it’s worth, we reckon Mercedes-Benz has done a pretty neat job with the GLC coupe. The wide, curvilinear insert for the tail-lights balances out the high-set rear nicely and (more importantly) the coupe looks like a whole other thing compared to the SUV. Not just the SUV with a bit less roof and too much rear bumper.

SUV-coupes make no real sense of course, given they offer less space and usually cost more. The GLC 300 coupe featured here is $125,900, a substantial $12k leap from the same-specification SUV equivalent. Oh well… looking sharp costs.

But the good news is that there’s less compromise here than you might think. That roofline makes a keen dive for the rear deck but it’s carefully done and actually, there’s still plenty of headroom for adult occupants.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 coupe.
Long but shallow. It's a 'coupe', so what were you expecting?

The boot is smaller by 75l, which sounds like a lot. But Mercedes-Benz has upped the cargo volume over the previous-shape GLC coupe and in fact you get a still-respectable 545l. That’s plenty for a car of this size/segment, although it still won’t be first choice if you’ve just started up a fridge removal service.

The biggest downside is the letterbox-shaped view out the back window, which takes some getting used to. But you soon learn to rely on the comprehensive 360-degree camera system for the trickiest parts of parking.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 coupe.
'Hybrid' and 'character' don't always go together, but they do here.

Beyond that, this is a fraternal twin to the updated GLC 300 4Matic SUV we’re already familiar with.

The GLC has been heavily rationalised, meaning the 300 is the only non-AMG model available. It gets a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine with 48-volt mild hybrid system, which might sound a bit “meh” but is in fact brilliantly entertaining.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 coupe.
Good ride around town, despite the 20-inch wheels.

The hybrid system fills in the gaps down low and gives the GLC real punch on part-throttle, the engine is rev-happy and emits a subtle-but-pleasing rasp when it’s working hard. The hybrid’s integrated starter generator (ISG) can even give an extra 17kW/200Nm when required.

AWD is standard and the chassis blends sharp handling (mixed-size tyres, quite exotic) with remarkably comfortable ride, given the 20-inch wheels. There’s a sense of dynamic polish all-round.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 coupe.
Cabin familiar from C-Class; $6900 Plus Package adds augmented reality sat-nav.

The new GLC interior is pretty swish too, borrowing the twin-screen layout from the C-Class sedan, including the obligatory-Benz layering of shiny trim and striking ambient light colours.

Our car carried the $6900 Plus Package, which brings an excellent augmented reality function for the sat-nav display, upgraded security system, Burmester audio, extra driver-assist features, Digital Light and acoustic glass.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 coupe.
The 300 is the only non-AMG model in the GLC lineup.

If the coupe look is your thing, this is a brilliantly resolved iteration of the GLC that just does everything right. As with the SUV version, it’s a fantastic finessing of the previous model and the blend of petrol and electric power injects more character into the driving experience.

And if you really want to make your GLC stand out there are a couple of special M-B Manufaktur colours ($1500). This one’s called Opalite White.

ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 48v mild hybrid system POWER: 190kW/400Nm (petrol) and 17kW/200Nm (electric ISG) GEARBOX: 9-speed automatic, AWD 0-100KM/H: 7.4sec CONSUMPTION: 8.6l/100km, CO2 195g/km (3P-WLTP) PRICE: $125,900 ($134,300 with Plus Package and special colour as tested).

What are the key statistics for the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe?

It's powered by a mild hybrid version of Mercedes-Benz's 19kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, with a 48-volt electrical system.

Note it doesn't have a separate electric motor, but the integrated starter generator can do a lot: assist with engine stop/start and even give the petrol engine a 17kW/200Nm boost when needed. 

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe efficient?

Fuel economy of 8.6l/100km is decent for a car of this size and performance level, even if it's not what you might be expecting when your hear "hybrid".

You can actually do even better by maximising the 48v system, using the extra torque to drive smoothly at low speed and encouraging the powertrain to "sail" on the open road, engine off.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe good to drive?

It's just very well sorted in al respects. The engine is strong and actually sounds great under load, and the AWD chassis is very capable. It's a great blend of speed, comfort and character.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe practical?

If you wanted the ultimate in practicality you'd choose the SUV version. But the GLC coupe still has decent rear headroom (adult occupants won't complain) and the boot, while hardly a convenient shape, still offers 545l capacity. The coupe-compromises aren't huge.

What do we like about the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe?

Following last year's GLC update, the whole package is beautifully well-rounded and capable. The powertrain is full of character, the new interior is really swish - and we reckon Mercedes-Benz has done a great job with the styling of the coupe.

What don’t we like about the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe?

It's a costly $12k jump up from the SUV version, when it's less roomy and practical. It's a well-established pricing model among European brands, but wouldn't it make more sense for the two to carry the same sticker? And the view out the rear window is pretty grim: just a sliver of glass.

What kind of person would the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe suit?

Somebody who appreciates the more traditional Mercedes-Benz design and engineering philosophy (as opposed to the new pure-electric stuff), likes the GLC's medium sizing... but wants a bit of styling flair, too.


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