The Mercedes-Benz GLC line is the German marque’s top-selling nameplate in Australia, and around the world. Gone are the days where Benz’s sedans were the bulk of its volume.
It’s only taken one generation for the C-Class-based crossover to take hold, and the second generation has been rolling out across the globe since late in 2022 – landing in Australia earlier in 2023.
Hot on the heels of the GLC SUV, which arrived with just one high-spec variant at launch, the GLC Coupe has arrived to complete the three-pointed star’s two-pronged assault on the Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback, and BMW X3 and X4.
Like its wagon twin, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic Coupe arrives in a sole trim that’s up around $10,000 on its predecessor, with a simple options structure that will see you spending well over six figures to get one in your driveway.
Mercedes-Benz argues the more upmarket positioning is justified by more size and space, an enhanced drivetrain including mild-hybrid tech, as well as heightened levels of standard equipment.
- 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic: $103,370
- 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic Coupe: $113,900
Prices exclude on-road costs
To see how the GLC Coupe compares with its rivals, line it up side-by-side with any car you want using our comparison tool.
Just like a C-Class, or GLC SUV.
Mercedes-Benz has a knack for cabins that smack you in the face with tech, with a wow factor on first glance – especially if you opt for the swish Neva Grey leatherette trim pictured here, or the two-tone Power Red and Black genuine leather upholstery ($3300).
That 11.9-inch touchscreen rises out of the centre console like in a spaceship, and the freestanding 12-inch digital instrument cluster could be out of a movie. Both feature surface coatings to minimise glare, and achieve that in most conditions.
It’s all running the second generation MBUX interface, which offers high resolution, snappy load times and a wealth of configurability for both displays. Apple and Android phones no longer need cables to project onto the central display, either.
Connected tech is included out of the box, including online traffic updates and net-based services accessed via the touchscreen. Most will just use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which was reliable and snappy during our time with the GLC Coupe… if for a couple of dropouts at known points around Melbourne.
Fit and finish was once a Mercedes-Benz hallmark, though these days the German marque can be a little patchy in areas – particularly in anything badged below ‘E’.
The man-made leather trim is supple enough and feature on the seats, door toppers, and dash, with stitched details that look quite fetching. That’s contrasted with a lot of gloss black trim on the centre tunnel, prone to finger prints and scuffs like there’s no tomorrow.
Other marks against the brand’s otherwise solid reputation for quality are some of the interior plastics. The dashboard trims sound like they flex over offset road surfaces like driveways and ramps, and the sliding lid over the centre bin in our tester car let out a yucky squeak like an old door when we’d try to open it.
For a luxury car costing over $120,000 on the road, these sort of things just aren’t really acceptable.
The GLC Coupe’s rakish roofline does make for reduced head room in the rear, especially if you’re on the tall side. I did fit behind my own driving position (I’m 6’1) but sitting properly upright had my head brushing the headliner.
If you have taller teenagers or adults you ferry around regularly, I’d suggest reconsidering whether you want the GLC Coupe instead of the wagon. Otherwise, it’s decent as far as SUV coupes go.
There are rear air vents, a fold-down armrest with cupholders, ISOFIX child seat anchor points and top-tether mounts across the rear seatbacks, and the centre seatback also folds individually if you need to stow a longer item.
Another odd omission is the lack of a third zone of climate control, which a Volkswagen Golf will give you as standard for $40,000. Given the GLC is designed for regular use of the second row, this seems like an oversight.
The GLC 300 4Matic Coupe has a boot capacity of 545 litres behind the second row. This expands to 1490 litres with the rear seats folded down. By comparison, the GLC SUV offers 620/1680L for the same measurements.
Under the boot floor is a space-saver spare wheel.
|2.0L 4cyl turbo 48V MHEV
|Fuel economy (claimed)
|Fuel economy (as tested)
To see how the GLC Coupe compares with its rivals, line it up side-by-side with any car you want using our comparison tool.
Having already driven the C 300 and the GLC 300 SUV, the Coupe feels quite familiar on the road.
There’s already a sense of familiarity in terms of design and cabin execution, and the shared mild-hybrid drivetrain means the GLC Coupe drives with a balance of comfort and dynamism.
In Coupe guise the GLC picks up sport suspension, which brings a firmer tune but retains standard adaptive damping. On 20-inch alloy wheels and low-profile tyres, the GLC 300 Coupe offers a pliant ride in town with Comfort mode selected, with only the hardest hits unsettling the ride or transmitting a slap into the cabin.
The overall feel of the Coupe – which has light control weights, and is fairly relaxed in terms of response – doesn’t necessarily align with the slightly sporty edge the chassis offers. That bit of sharpness to the suspension tune doesn’t iron out bumps the way a Benz ought to, and it’s not sporty enough in character to justify either. It’s a little disjointed in this respect.
Driving refinement in daily environments is pretty good, with a muted note from the engine coming through and good insulation from road noise. The 48V mild-hybrid system will also cut the engine as you slow to a halt in traffic or at the lights to save fuel, and smooths out the start-up process once you get moving again.
That said, the 48V system isn’t as aggressive on e-power as something like a Lexus hybrid or even similar technology from the likes of Audi. While you aren’t constantly seeing the engine turn on and off, it also means you won’t save as much fuel as you might expect.
I saw an indicated 9.1L/100km during my time with the GLC Coupe, which saw me travel a total of just under 200km with a skew to high-traffic peak-hour commuting to and from the office, mixed in with some general errands and freeway stints. For a brand new car harping on about electrification in 2023-24, I would have expected better.
The GLC would also struggle to keep the engine off when sitting idle at a traffic light for more than 45-60 seconds, which is unusual from a vehicle touting a beefed-up electrical architecture. Perhaps I’m focusing a bit much on this, but when there are diesel and hybrid alternatives that could almost halve the GLC’s indicated average – even electric alternatives – it’s worth calling out.
I would imagine the effortless torque of the 198kW/550Nm GLC 300d Coupe offered overseas would offer stronger performance and better economy; while the range of plug-in hybrid variants not available here would offer a more refined daily drive whilst also offering an impressive 110-120km of electric range.
Where the GLC impresses more is out on the open road, where its secure stance and relaxed controls make for an effortless tourer.
The 2.0-litre engine settles happily into a cruise at 100-110km/h, silently eating up the miles in ninth gear. That slightly firmer edge to the ride makes the GLC Coupe feel composed and controlled over undulations, and it isn’t upset by road imperfections on the highway.
Our option-less tester featured adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist for an extra set of hands when navigating longer highway stints or peak-hour traffic, but Benz’s excellent semi-autonomous highway assistant forms part of an optional package which is a bit stiff on this $110,000 luxury car.
The GLC Coupe will accelerate and brake for you when ‘Distronic’ is activated, though the lane-keep assist only stops you from drifting over the lines rather than centring you in the lane. You can simply turn off the active lane centring via the infotainment system should you have the feature fitted.
While there’s a smattering of AMG bits and a sportier chassis tune, I wouldn’t go as far to say the GLC 300 Coupe feels particularly sporty should you find yourself on a winding country B-road.
Even with the drive mode set to Sport, it doesn’t feel super eager to be driven hard like a BMW X4. The steering and suspension firm up a bit, and throttle response sharpens. You also get more engine noise thanks to the speakers, but it’s just not the way to make the most of what this car has to offer.
In normal driving the GLC 300 Coupe offers secure, accurate handling that’s also quite light on for feel. Tighter corners in the standard setting cause a bit of lean, exacerbated somewhat in feel by the commanding drive position.
Performance from the turbocharged motor is not bad thanks to its healthy 400Nm of torque, and in Sport mode the brand’s claim of 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds feels doable by the seat of the pants. In Comfort, though, it’s quite relaxed in response and requires a heavier right foot to get more out of it.
GLC 300 4Matic highlights:
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- AMG Line exterior
- Panoramic glass sunroof
- Aluminium-look running boards
- Coloured wheel arch liners
- Power tailgate
- 11.9-inch MBUX touchscreen infotainment system
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Satellite navigation
- Fingerprint scanner
- Head-up display
- Wireless charger
- Off-Road driving mode incl. transparent bonnet view
- AMG Line interior
- Woodgrain dashboard trim
- Piano black centre console
- Artico upper dash
- Artico door linings
- Artico upholstery
- Powered front seats incl. memory
- Heated front seats
GLC 300 4Matic Coupe adds:
- Night Package
- Sport suspension
Plus Package: $6900
- Burmester 15-speaker premium audio
- Keyless-Go Package Plus
- Hands-free tailgate
- Digital Light incl. adaptive high-beam
- Parking Package
- Heat, noise insulating acoustic glass
- MBUX augmented reality navigation
Two-tone leather: $3300
- Power Red, Black upholstery
Manufaktur premium paint: $1500
20-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels: $1000
The Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV earned a five-star ANCAP safety rating earlier this year against the 2020-2022 testing protocols – this Euro NCAP-derived rating doesn’t include the Coupe body style, however.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Blind-spot assist
- Lane keep assist
- Parking sensors front, rear
- Rear cross-traffic asssit
- Semi-autonomous parking assist
- Speed sign recognition
- 360-degree cameras
- Tyre pressure monitoring
The Mercedes-Benz GLC range is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Logbook servicing is required every 12 months or 25,000km, whichever comes first. The company offers three-, four-, and five-year servicing packages priced at $3100, $4200, and $6455 respectively – ouch.
The new GLC Coupe is a competent luxury vehicle in isolation.
It’s comfortable, relatively refined, and offers design and tech that really ignites the senses on first impression. Put it into perspective relative to the competition, however, and it starts to lose its shine.
The GLC 300 badge has historically been a mid-tier offering, though this new model is priced in contention with the likes of the Audi SQ5 TDI Sportback ($121,100) and Porsche Macan S ($117,500), above traditional rivals like the BMW X4 xDrive30i ($106,400).
In the case of the Audi, the Benz trails in terms of performance and standard features; while the BMW is a better driver’s car and offers similar equipment levels for almost $10,000 less. The Macan carries more badge credibility and blends the strengths of the Audi and BMW withe storied Porsche crest.
Both offer cabins that can be perceived as higher quality with regards to material choices and overall build, too.
It’s a shame Australia gets such a limited set of powertrain variants – overseas there’s a diverse set of options with some really impressive specs higher in the range, alas we’re limited to the AMG versions in 2024.
For many, the storied Three-Pointed Star on the nose alone will be enough justification to spend a little extra on this GLC Coupe compared to rivals.
But for more pragmatic buyers willing to take a punt on something different based on perceived value or are looking for greater electrification, this may not hold the same weight – less money will buy you a top-spec Tesla Model Y Performance, for example; and for similar coin you can also get you into a decked-out Lexus RX or VW Touareg.
Alongside the wagon, however, the Coupe delivers on its brief. It has all the design and tech bits Benz customers have come to love, now with a more rakish design-led body that will help you stand out from the sedan and SUV crowd.
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