In a bustling automotive landscape where luxury and performance often collide, Mercedes-Benz continues to hold its ground with the diverse and prestigious GLC SUV lineup. With models like the GLC 220d Avantgarde and the GLC 300d AMG Line, the German automaker has managed to strike a delicate balance between style, power, and innovation.
The GLC SUV lineup has always been synonymous with distinctive styling, setting it apart from competitors. The GLC 220d Avantgarde, for instance, boasts a standardised styling pack, complete with optional 19-inch light-finished wheels and polished aluminium roof railings. On the other hand, the GLC 300d AMG Line takes a sportier approach, featuring a different front bumper with wildlife-ready air intakes and optional 20-inch black AMG alloys. The interior spaces of both variants are a testament to Mercedes’ commitment to excellence. With nine different upholstery options in the Avantgarde and even more choices in the AMG Line, customization reaches new heights.
|GLC 220d Avantgarde
|GLC 300d AMG Line
|Silver grey diamond-patterned dash trim
|Full-fat AMG carbon fibre trim (R20,300)
|Traditional winged effect round wheel
|Flat-bottomed Nappa leather wheel
|11.9-inch central tablet display
|Stellar HD graphics and MBUX voice assistant
However, not everything is perfect in the GLC SUVs. Both models suffer from an interface flaw – digital sliders instead of traditional knobs. Adjusting volume or cruise control speed becomes a binary challenge, with attempts at small increments resulting in drastic changes. Yet, beneath this digital conundrum lies a silver lining – the 11.9-inch central infotainment tablet display. Despite occasional complexity, it stands tall with stunning HD graphics and a helpful voice assistant, MBUX, ready to assist with tasks and even share a chuckle.
Under the hood, both the GLC 220d and the GLC 300d share a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine with 48V mild-hybrid assistance. The 220d generates a maximum power of 162kW, while the 300d takes it up a notch with an aggressive 215kW. Torque figures are equally impressive, with the 220d boasting 440Nm and the 300d roaring with 550Nm, a temporary 200Nm boost available for both.
Switching gears into Sport mode, the GLC 220d gains a noticeable edge, displaying enhanced throttle responses and a focused approach to dynamics. The GLC 300d, however, surprises with its aggressive stance and a soundtrack that defies the diesel norm. Accelerating to 100km/h in just 6.3 seconds, it embodies power and sensibility, providing a glimpse into the future of diesel engines.
Yet, all this luxury and performance come at a substantial price. The GLC 220d Avantgarde starts at a significant R1,211,220, and the GLC 300d AMG Line, while packing a punch, ships with a hefty R1,492,787 price tag. Notably, these prices do not include the additional features, making potential buyers weigh their options carefully.
In a market influenced by inflation and economic uncertainties, the question arises – is it worth it? For those seeking upper-echelon luxury, the answer might lean towards yes. The GLC SUV lineup remains a beacon of opulence and power, reminding South African consumers that amidst economic challenges, a slice of indulgence is still within reach.