Western Suburbs Weekly - - Driveway - Bill Buys

MERCEDES-BENZ has in­tro­duced the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of its mid-size SUV, this time called the GLC, but it's ac­tu­ally a CUV – Coupe Util­ity Ve­hi­cle.

The first edi­tion was called the GLK and was a more util­i­tar­ian, boxy ve­hi­cle in left­hand drive only.

The GLC is in right and left hook and is a be­lated re­sponse to sim­i­lar ve­hi­cles from arch ri­val BMW, no­tably the X6.

The march of time and tech­nol­ogy means GLC is a big ad­vance­ment over the GLK on sev­eral fronts, not the least be­ing fast­back, SUV looks.

On a tech­ni­cal level the GLC has safety im­prove­ments en­com­pass­ing the latest de­vel­op­ments and driver as­sis­tance sys­tems.

It also op­ti­mises energy ef­fi­ciency us­ing less fuel and gen­er­at­ing fewer emis­sions.

Fuel con­sump­tion has been cut by up to 19 per cent in com­par­i­son to the pre­vi­ous model.

Air body con­trol multi-cham­ber air sus­pen­sion is fit­ted to some vari­ants along with an ex­tended range of Dy­namic Se­lect trans­mis­sion modes for the 4matic per­ma­nent all­wheel drive.

The re­sult is an in­crease in ride com­fort, but also an im­prove­ment in the ve­hi­cle's agility – what­ever sur­face it is driv­ing on.

Vis­ually, the body fol­lows the cur­rent Benz de­sign lan­guage, high­lighted by a new rear look with wide, high-mounted tail lights.

The over­all style has a lot in com­mon with GLC Coupe show car con­cept dis­played ear­lier this year.

There is a ver­sion op­ti­mised for off road-use with a larger an­gle of ap­proach/de­par­ture, plus a par­tic­u­larly sporty AMG vari­ant.

The side view shows the al­most coupe-like roofline.

The model change sig­nals a marked up­grade for the in­te­rior. A mod­ern set­ting pre­vails which is in keep­ing with larger Benz SUVs.

In­side is a new in­ter­pre­ta­tion of mod­ern lux­ury con­jur­ing up the feel­good at­mos­phere cour­tesy of high qual­ity ma­te­ri­als fea­tur­ing a hand­crafted char­ac­ter, such as nappa leather or open-pore wood trim.

The in­te­rior also has sub­stan­tially more space for oc­cu­pants and lug­gage com­pared with the GLK. The op­tional large-area panoramic glass roof fur­ther en­hances the light and airy feel.

The newly de­vel­oped touch­pad in the hand-rest over the ro­tary push but­ton nes­tles er­gonom­i­cally in the cen­tre con­sole.

Another com­fort cri­te­rion – en­try and exit space for the rear pas­sen­gers – has been en­hanced sub­stan­tially, with 34mm more foot space now avail­able.

Through the ef­fec­tive use of space and clever pack­ag­ing, engi­neers have also man­aged to in­crease the size of the lug­gage com­part­ment.

The rear bench fea­tures a 40/20/40 split and a cargo po­si­tion which in­creases the load ca­pac­ity.

Added con­ve­nience for load­ing and un­load­ing is pro­vided by hands-free ac­cess ac­ti­vated by sweep­ing a foot un­der the rear bumper.

Mercedes-Benz has ap­plied an ex­ten­sive pack­age of mea­sures to en­hance the GLC’s energy ef­fi­ciency and per­for­mance sub­stan­tially.

Mod­i­fied or new drive sys­tems, im­proved aero­dy­nam­ics and light­weight de­sign are the pri­mary fac­tors be­hind the ve­hi­cle's fuel ef­fi­ciency with up to 19 per cent re­duc­tions in fuel con­sump­tion while at the same time im­prov­ing per­for­mance with the same power out­put.

All mod­els com­ply with the EU6 emis­sions stan­dard and of­fer a start/ stop func­tion.

For the first time in this seg­ment, with the GLC 350 e 4matic Mercedes- Benz is ad­di­tion­ally of­fer­ing a plug-in hy­brid which com­bines all-wheel drive with low fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions.

Like its plug-in big brother S-Class, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC of­fers all the com­fort and ef­fi­ciency sys­tems, from the flex­i­ble, in­tel­li­gent op­er­at­ing strat­egy through the spe­cific hy­brid driv­ing pro­grams to pre-en­try cli­mate con­trol.

Merc's GLC, seen here in con­cept


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