2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Driving Impressions

With its frisky but refined four-cylinder engine, the GLC300 powertrain is highly responsive as well as smooth, except occasionally at low speeds. Quiet, too.

Ride comfort ranks as superb, highly precise and nicely-controlled, as the GLC300 suspension absorbs quite a lot of pavement coarseness. Both ride and handling are strong points of the GLC43, instilling a sportier nature. The GLC43’s air suspension is adjustable from pillowy-soft to quite firm.

Performance with the GLC43’s V6 is strong, with useful power on hand at every engine speed. Acceleration to 60 mph takes only 4.8 seconds.

Despite its standard all-wheel drive, the GLC43 handles like a conventional rear-drive crossover, with excellent body control and flat cornering. The 4MATIC system is biased toward the rear, giving the front end a lighter feel. Steering is somewhat slow and dull in the GLC300, but livelier with the GLC43. Rumbling pleasantly around town, the AMG exhaust gets awfully raucous when pushed hard.

Generally, operation of the 9-speed automatic transmission is barely noticeable. Shifts vary considerably between Comfort and Sport modes, allowing the vehicle to lurch at times during urban driving.

GLC43 drivers can select Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, or Individual modes. Steering intervention with adaptive cruise control (if installed) is subtler than in rival systems.

Fuel economy is about average for the class. The GLC300 is EPA-rated at 22/28 mpg City/Highway, or 24 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the estimate to 21/28/24 mpg, while the GLC300 Coupe manages 22/27/24 mpg. The AMG GLC43 is EPA-rated at 18/24 mpg City/Highway, or 20 mpg Combined.

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