It’s called ‘Baby Schema’ and is backed up by extensive scientific research. Infants of all species attract us with their adorable looks and in the process elicit a caregiving sense in us adults which they need to survive. I guess there was no chance of not being drawn-in, cooing baby noises, when confronted by the new Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 250 – essentially a baby GLE Coupe.
Despite the risk of cocking up the looks chasing after the new SUV coupe genre, Mercedes Benz designers have come up with a look that’s totally proportional, handsome even than its regular shaped GLC peer, and a whole lot prettier than the gargantuan GLE Coupe. Trends, familiarity and cuteness aside, this niche still draws questions about its usefulness but the German giants have devised enough cabin space inside the GLC Coupe to challenge the angular, naturally cavernous GLC within its beautiful interior, which is transplanted straight out of a C-Class.
It’s available in a number of engine derivatives to suit various tastes and pocket depth and quite recently the range was bolstered with two off-shoots with judicious sprinkling of hot AMG pepper – the GLC Coupe 43 AMG and the GLC Coupe 63 AMG that wields the battle ready 4.0-litre biturbo V8 used by the C63. However the modest 250 designation of our review unit signals a turbocharged petrol in-line four-cylinder engine that produces 155kW at 5000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 4000rpm. It’s an engine finely balanced to offer fair pace and excellent fuel economy – an honourable target in my view.
And how does it drive? As you’d expect, acceleration isn’t earth-shattering but it’s as impressive as anticipated. The quality that oozes from its heightened suspension also reflects typical Mercedes-Benz DNA of comfort and refinement when driven over all sorts of surfaces. It’s a daily drive and hustling it faster on the roads leaves very little doubt Mercedes-Benz’s chassis engineers have induced a touch more dynamism into its feel to match the sporty looks.
From a specifications perspective it seems that much from the brand’s extensive catalogue can be wired in. Our test car featured active cruise-control with self-brake; lane-keeping assist and a host of concealed safety and convenience systems that Mercedes is known for. With this caboodle of tech it invokes the satisfaction of an all-rounder that’s perfectly suited for everyday usage while its space, fuel consumption, cushiness, safety and driving convenience technology makes it inviting for a cross-country drive to far-flung places. Its 4-Matic all-wheel drive and raised road stance also ensures that when the tarmac ends abruptly, you maintain going pace.
Fact is there are a few SUV coupe alternatives vying for the same slice of cake. It’s not just BMW’s X4 that crosses the mind but even the X6 and the GLE coupe it mirrors. During the time spent living with the GLC 250 I found nothing unpleasant. It’s not the fastest car in the world nor is it a champion bushwhacker or the most spacious. It’s just right with its small heart, good looks and fair sticker price.
GLC Coupe 250 Price R739 900.00
CO2 tax – R5700.00