Coupe is a word thrown around quite loosely by auto manufacturers these days, used more of late to describe form rather than function. In the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe we’ve tested, the terminology is all about its fastback roofline more so than its five-door SUV functionality – albeit somewhat diminished by its fashionable ovations.
Though seemingly an oxymoron of shape and definition, the GLC300 Coupe is sexy none the less with an athletic stance, a stylish persona and a swagger that will allow it to call itself anything it wants. Our test vehicle with its Sport Package and AMG 20-inch wheels in Brilliant Blue Metallic certainly turned heads wherever we went.
The entry point of the range, the GLC300 4Matic comes equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 241 horsepower and a healthy 271 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive the powertrain managed to moved the somewhat heavy SUV around town and on the back roads quite impressively.
With multiple drive modes you can switch its performance personality quite easily and with the sport exhaust you can really hear a rap-crackling change in its voice when pushed hard. While it’s as refined as a four-cylinder engine can be in this class, its auto-start-stop system leaves something to be desired. It however is meant to help it achieve good fuel economy which is rated by the EPA at 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. We achieved 21 mpg combined in our testing, still reasonably good in this class.
Handling was aided by the fully adjustable Air-Body Control air suspension. Depending on your drive mode it can be soft and cuddly or firm and deliberate. It even has an off-road mode that raises ground clearance so you can get it dirty, though few will use the GLC300 Coupe this way I think.
None the less, the rear-wheel drive format of its chassis and drivetrain is a blessing when it comes to spirited driving as it serves up that real-deal feel you expect at this price, something its front wheel drive based competition lacks sorely.
From behind the wheel the GLC300 Coupe is unquestionably Mercedes-Benz. The cabin is lined with the best of materials from floor to ceiling, optioned up in ours with a fully stitched dash, door panels and console trims.
Switchgear is keenly crafted in its feel and appearance, genuine aluminum appliques and black ash wood paneling all conspire to help you gain mental acceptance of its as tested price of $64,185. This is why you spend up for a vehicle like this, for the details that go beyond the norm.
At the rear, the Coupe nomenclature does have a real world impact on cargo space, not the boxy square shape you’ll find on the standard GLC SUVs. The rear seats do however fold down for a larger cargo floor that can still hold plenty of shopping bags from Neiman-Marcus.
In all, the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe is an attractive prospect for the buyer looking for an all-around luxury daily driver that has both a sense of individual fashion appeal as well as extended utility. While it can do SUV-like things and is technically and SUV, it’s still really more of a Coupe.