The GLC Coupe was unveiled internationally in 2015, and it comes here in its AMG guise. Like its elder sibling, the GLE Coupe, this car is only available in the ‘43’ version. Under the hood sits the same AMG-enhanced 3.0-litre petrol V6 engine from the other ’43 series’ AMG cars as well.
On the outside
The Coupe 43 looks a whole lot sportier than the standard GLC. The GLC features a chrome-pinned diamond radiator grille, twin louvred air intakes and a chrome splitter that runs across the lower edge of the front bumper (used to channel air flow for better cooling). On the side, there are twin five-spoke alloys; then there’s Mercedes’ signature coupé rear – it’s narrow horizontally oriented split tail-lights, a centrally positioned three-pointed star and a sharp spoiler lip. At the back, there are four-pipe chrome tipped units as well.
The car’s overall length has been stretched out by around 80mm and the height has been dropped by 40mm compared to the standard SUV version.
On the inside
The cabin, much like the standard car, is of the highest quality and is typically Mercedes. The seat-shaped electric seat controls, the rounded steering boss and the controller dial semi-encased by the trackpad are familiar to the standard car. The stuck-on display screen looks a bit like an afterthought though, and the steering stalk gear selector looks a little out of place. The car comes with sporty black interiors, red stitching and red seat belts. The flat-bottomed steering wheel features paddle shifters, and the dials feature a black and grey chequered patterned.
The front seats are snug, but they don’t hold you in place as well as we would have liked. The sloping roofline means that space at the back isn’t exactly great, however, headroom is sufficient. The narrow rear windows make you feel a little claustrophobic though. The sloping roof line eats a bit into boot space though, and coupled with the space saver spare, you do lose a lot of space in the boot.
From behind the wheel
The V6 puts out 367hp at 5,500-6,000rpm and makes 520Nm of torque between 2,500 and 4500rpm. It propels the car to the 100kph sprint in a claimed 4.9sec, which is quicker by almost a second than the GLE’s 5.7sec. Even in Comfort mode, you can hear a hint of rumble and murmur under the hood, much like a sleeping beast, waiting to be awakened. On Sport and Sport+ modes, the soundtrack is exciting and in Sport+ mode there are neat pops and cracks from the exhaust. 'Sport' is best if you want to drive quick, however, Sport+ mode may be the most dramatic (it’s safer to use this when you have the entire road to yourself). There’s an Eco mode as well – although you might only use it when you’re running low on fuel.
The engine sends a larger percentage of power towards the rear and the steering has a nice and weighted feel. In traffic, you might find it on the heavier side but then there are times when it feels over-assisted.
Since it’s an AMG, the suspension is set up a bit firmer - it does get air springs all round but the ride is on the harder side. Rough surfaces filter through, but the upside to this is a very stable body – this car barely rolls around corners, despite it being an SUV that’s large and heavy. You can also adjust the ride height a bit if you need more ground clearance.
Is it worth the money?
The Merc isn’t perfect - the steering could have been better tuned and the boot is really tiny. But there’s very little to fault elsewhere. It’s fast, sounds good and handles quite well.