2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic
SUVs are not just for family hauling, they can also be great on rough terrain, bad weather, and pretty much in every circumstance that makes it the most versatile segment in automobile industry. Like the minivans in 1990s, many modern SUV lacks the prestige and “wow” factor, which you can only find in premium segment.
Mercedes-Benz is one of the inventors of the premium SUV segment, it started the SUV war with their famous G-Wagon and ML series. Due to increasing demand for SUVs and different types of crossovers, Mercedes has been offering several different SUVs since the beginning of the last decade.
Exterior and Interior
As of 2021, Mercedes-Benz offers 9 different SUVs from GLA all the way up to G-Class, and GLC300 stands in the middle of the whole model lineup. From the outside, GLC300 looks traditionally Mercedes-Benz, it has a combination of modern and elegant body lines. It looks upscale and expensive from every angle.
The front design has sporty design language, despite this one has a small engine, it still carries some sportiness from high-end models. It has a huge grille that has chrome line goes all around, and huge logo makes you want to know you’re driving a Mercedes-Benz.
The rear design is as good as the front, and it carries design language from the other Mercedes-Benz models. It has a lot of chrome lines around the side windows and rear bumper. I wish it didn’t come with fake exhaust tips and that was probably the biggest problem with the overall design of the vehicle.
Behind the steering wheel of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic feels like any other Mercedes-Benz. If you are coming from older Benz, this would feel right at home for you. As GLC is based on C-Class, there are lots of common parts used throughout the interior, including the center console and steering wheel.
Though it may sound like a bad thing, in fact it’s not. It is a very user friendly cabin that has lots of physical buttons for essential features, which seems like we will not be able to find with the future models. More importantly, it has a nice combination of leather and wood surfaces that makes it a very livable space for the passengers. Thankfully, there is no glossy black plastic parts, which you have to pay extra to get rid of it.
Things are not bad when we check the rear seats, it comes with very comfortable rear bench seats as well as decent amount of rear legroom even for a tall adult. This is actually surprising, as overall legroom is not that small compared to it’s bigger sister, the GLE. I was expecting to see USB ports and heated seats options in the rear.
Trunk is where you feel the size difference if you are coming from a bigger SUV. Though it is still acceptable in this segment, it is significantly smaller than GLE that we tested recently. It offers up to 56.3 cubic feet (1590 lt) of cargo space if you fold down the rear seats. Behind the second row, it only offers 19.4 cubic feet (549 lt) of cargo space.
Engine and Drivetrain
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic comes with 2.0L 4 cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Like many other Mercedes-Benz models, the engine is matched with 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
As it has “4Matic” badge on it, it has a permanent all wheel drive system that sends power to all four wheels. Like the C-Class, the engine is placed longitudinally which means that it is rear wheel biased for more fun driving experience. If you want this type of AWD system, it comes standard with GLC, unlike the smaller entries such as the GLA and GLB.
Overall, it is a pretty sophisticated system that always sends a tiny bit amount of power to the front wheels, even though it is a rear biased system. It can distribute the torque based on traction on each wheel. It has torque-on-demand rear axle with integrated electrohydraulic disc clutch to be able to send power to the wheels on each side.
Driving Impressions and Features
As a premium brand, even the entry level offering from Mercedes-Benz has to feel like a premium brand and GLC300 does that well. Aside from that, the customization aspect makes it feel even more premium and different than non-European entries. For instance, it comes standard with glossy black center console, but you can upgrade it to wood trim for a small premium.
It may not be the latest Mercedes-Benz interior design, and huge screen like GLE has, but I like the infotainment screen. It has a nice resolution and touchscreen feedback is pretty quick. The problem is, fullscreen integration is not good, rear view camera and Apple CarPlay is not fullscreen, which you expect more from a premium entry like the GLC300, considering BMW X3 implemented it so much better.
Let’s talk about driving dynamics, it does not have fancy suspension system like bigger entries, or it does not have super powerful engine, but considering the price range it is pretty good for what it is. The suspension tuning is definitely comfort oriented as expected, and you get decent amount of controllable body roll that reminds you this is not C-Class.
2.0L turbo engine can be noisy at cold startups, but it has decent amount of torque in the mid range. The 9 speed transmission is a great match, it upshifts and downshifts relatively fast for a non-AMG product, and in the mean time shifting can be quite seamless when you are in comfort mode. Our average fuel consumption was 11.0L / 100 km, which is okay for this segment.
Pricing and the Verdict
From the buyer’s perspective, it is very hard to choose the right SUV nowadays. It’s not easy to shop around when you have hundreds of different choices. GLC300 is a strong contender in premium compact SUV segment that combines practicality with traditional Mercedes-Benz build quality.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic starts at just under $50,000 CAD, and with all the options, the total comes up to $63,365. Some of the options are Intelligent Drive Package ($2700), Premium Package ($4500), Premium Plus Package ($2100), Sport Package ($1500), Dark Ash Wood Trim ($250) and Heated Steering Wheel ($250).
As of 2021, there are three different engine options with the GLC platform. GLC300 is the entry level version with 4 cylinder engine. If you are looking for more power, you can also choose GLC43 AMG and GLC63 AMG. Of course, you need to pay the premium to have more power. If you are looking for the best value proposition, 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic is a sweet spot for this type of a vehicle.
For more details – please visit www.mercedes-benz.ca