How the GLC Coupe drives depends very much on how you specify it – primarily whether you stick with the standard steel springs or go for the £1,495 air suspension.
While the latest Mercedes E-Class gets an all-new 2.0-litre diesel, the GLC Coupe soldiers on with the dated 2.1-litre version in two states of tune. In time buyers will also be able to choose from the 3.0-litre diesel fitted to the 350d and the thirsty twin-turbocharged petrol fitted to the GLC43.
The steering feels more direct thus increasing driver enjoyment and confidence
The 250d is expected to be the best-selling engine and that doesn’t come as a big surprise as it blends 201hp and performance of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, with fuel economy of 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 131g/km. Go for the 220d and running costs remain the same, but power drops to 168hp and the 0-62mph time goes up to 8.3 seconds. Whichever model you go for, though, the 2.1-litre diesel is noisier than the new 2.0-litre and can sound gruff under hard acceleration in a way that isn’t befitting of a plus-£30,000 Mercedes.
Left as it comes, the Mercedes has a less-than perfect ride that doesn’t really suit the rest of the car’s comfy feel. It still handles reasonably well, though. All models come with torque vectoring that can trim your line coming into corners and help catapult you out the other side. Sharper steering makes it keener to turn in too.
However, we would forget the sporty pretences altogether by specifying the air suspension. It gives the GLC Coupe a magic-carpet ride that floats over lumps and uneven surfaces in a way that’s worthy of a luxurious saloon. Going for the air suspension does mean sacrificing a little precision – you never feel truly connected to the road but, in a car like this, it’s a price that’s well worth paying.
Particularly when all models come with Mercedes’ excellent nine-speed gearbox. It changes gears almost imperceptibly and in top gear the engine barely needs to pass tick over. Sportier gear changes can be had by selecting Sport in the drive select system, which also adds weight to the steering, sharpens the throttle and (when fitted with air suspension) stiffens up the ride.
While few GLC Coupes will ever venture off road, four-wheel drive comes as standard meaning the it’ll be capable on slippery surfaces and ideally suited to towing.