When things go bad, you can either slip into a corner and
brood or you can continue to push yourself hard to win. The story of
Mercedes-Benz India is more about pushing itself hard to win. Despite the
ridiculous ban on diesel cars with engine capacities of 2000cc and above in
Delhi NCR and in some parts of Kerala, Mercedes continues to launch beautiful
products powered by both powerful diesel engines as well as petrol. The latest
to join its stable is an SUV that goes by the name GLC. Mercedes-Benz India
currently has a great number of products to offer in India which includes at
one end of its portfolio the likes of A-Class, the B-Class, the C-Class, CLA,
CLS and E and on its other end , the
likes of S-class, SLK, Maybach and of course the AMG flotilla. The sports
utility vehicles include the pretty looking GLA, the GLE and the mammoth GLS.
170bhp@ 3000-4200 rpm
400 Nm @ 1400 – 2800 rpm
Maximum speed (km/h)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
Kerb weight (Kg)
Rs. 50.70 lakh (ex showroom Pune)
The GLC sports utility vehicle is the one that has joined
the Mercedes club recently. We test drove the GLC 220d 4Matic and got to know
as to why the company desperately needed this purposeful SUV for the Indian
market. The GLC comes in both a petrol variant (GLC 300 4Matic) and a diesel.
The petrol one is powered by a 1991cc engine while the latter has a 2143cc
diesel engine, thereby disqualifying itself in the Delhi NCR and parts of
Kerala. But the best part was that we got to drive a diesel vehicle in Delhi,
of course one with a Maharashtra registration. It’s like having your favourite
evening drink in a state that’s stupid enough to clamp prohibition!
Polluting? Environmental unfriendly? None of that I could
see or experience in this car. Like I mentioned earlier, ridiculous decisions
carry no logic. While the GLA is at the bottom end of the SUV range, we have
the GLS at the top end. Just above the GLA, we have the GLC now and like the
GLA is offered with both a petrol and diesel engine option. The GLE and GLS ,
which are a notch above the GLC, are offered only with a diesel engine
Apart from the different engine options and of course the
different lengths and widths of the vehicles in the SUV range, the GLC distinguishes
itself as the most contemporary with its 9G-Tronic transmission and drive
The GLC is a city bred vehicle with a few off road
capabilities. Ideally, it’s best that it is driven on our roads only because
these roads with its humungous pot holes offer the best off road adventure. But
in case you do take this vehicle on a pure off road track, it will bring you
back home safe. Do remember, this vehicle is a lot about comfort and luxury.
Maybe that is the reason why they named it GLC—Glamour, Luxury and Comfort!
Personally I would like to add to that....this vehicle is Good Looking and
On the looks front, the GLC stand out like a handsome bloke
with a muscular body. The overall design from the front to the end is chic. It’s
got a long wheelbase and short overhangs and not to miss is the bold radiator
trim with two louvers. The icing on the cake is the centrally positioned
Mercedes star that looks amazingly beautiful.
The front bumper has large air intakes and an under ride guard, though
it’s all non metal and are there for the looks and not for any tank like
protection. The flat belt line that is smartly designed starts somewhere from
the A pillar and moves on till the C pillar, giving it a bold and smart design.
The rear slopes almost coupe style and of course the twin exhausts give the
vehicle a very sport look. Not to miss are the simulated underguard front/rear
in chrome, roof railing in anodised aluminium, waistline trim strip in
chrome, window weatherstrip in chrome and
the metal running broad with rubber studs. The vehicle sits on 18inches tyres
mounted on light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design.
Usually we test drive our vehicles early morning when the
sun has just about popped its head in the horizon and we generally do not get
to admire the plethora of lights that are fitted on to the car. I made it a
point to drive the vehicle at night for a brief moment just to get to know its
lights. The moment you press the car key to open the car, the vehicle illuminates
from inside, from front to back.
Coming to the Intelligent Light System that encompasses the
headlamps, it offers vision and safety. When turning or cornering, the low-beam
headlamps automatically adapt to the light and driving conditions. And the
“Coming Home” function welcomes the driver with blue LED locator lighting when
locking and unlocking the car via radio remote control key. The lights also
shine brighter on bends and while cornering, without really blinding any
Step into the vehicle and you are in a world of comfort and
luxury. The one we drove had everything leather about it and that too dark in
colour. Personally, I am against dark interiors, because it makes the car looks
quite dingy. But then black is often referred to as chic! Along with a plethora
of electrically controlled switches, levers and buttons and a panoramic sliding
sunroof, the moment you sit in the driver’s seat it’s like being in a cockpit
of a small plane. The drive seat and the co passenger seats are electrically
adjustable with 3 way memory function.
Tug at these switches and your seat moves in every direction that
eventually makes you comfortable. The 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel which
can be electrically adjusted for rake and reach gives you the feel that you are
on a track in Daytona or elsewhere. Apart from the leather spread across the
dash area, there is a good element of wood finish around the console area.
There are buttons for controls, as well as a giant knob besides a small touch
screen wherein you can adjust several settings pertaining to navigation, radio,
vehicle dynamics etc, all looking at a tiny 5 inch screen fitted on to the
dash. I felt the screen was small and smart, anything bigger would have meant
carrying your LCD television in your car which in turn would have looked
preposterous. The automatic climate control system with 3 climate zones and 3
airflow modes provides an individual feel-good climate on board. The driver and
the front passenger are able to regulate temperature and air distribution
independently of one another. Space for rear passengers too is more than
Loads of storage space at the rear makes it a delight. It’s
around 550 litres of space at the rear which can be adjusted to 1600 litres
once the rear 60:40 seats are pushed down. But I was disappointed to see the
spare tyre placed there, leaving limited space to keep one’s luggage there. In
the passenger areas too there are adequate storage spaces for bottles and knick
knacks. Near the console area between the two front seats there is a deep box
to store your personal stuff.
The tailgate can be opened and closed at the touch of a
button for more convenient loading and unloading of the load compartment. For
safety reasons the automatic closing procedure can only be activated by pushing
and holding the switch in the driver’s door or using the ignition key. Manual
opening is possible via the release handle on the tailgate.
Now when it comes to driving, ride and handling, there is a
lot the car offers in stability and speed. The suspension is independent all
around and power is transmitted via a 9 speed automatic gear box. It has a permanent
four wheel drive or 4Matic and the torque is split in favour of the rear
There are several drive modes to select from which include
Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. For someone moving in slow traffic
and is a settled driver, the Comfort and Eco modes are the best. For the one’s
looking for some thrill in driving, the Sport and Sport+ modes are quite handy.
It’s only in the Sport+ or Individual modes that you have lots of fun in terms
of driving and pick up. The moment you floor the accelerator, the car surges
ahead like a vehicle on Red Bull. Personally speaking, just two driving modes
would have been enough: Eco and Sport. The power build up is almost instant and
by the time the car hits the 4000 rpm, you are watching the world go pretty
fast. Use of paddle shifts just adds to the fun. If you depend on the vehicle
electric controls, then you can be rest assured that all you have got to do is
keep your hands on the steering and your eyes on the road. The GLC is not a
beast, it’s not a giant, it’s just a big fella
with good manners! It’s simply well endowed with loads of safety features.
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