We can debate all day long about the practical merits…or demerits of 4-door coupe SUVs. But the bottom line is, these slick utes look super cool, and people can’t seem get enough of them. So, luxury brands keep trotting out more and more new and freshened designs. The latest of which is from Mercedes-Benz… their compact GLC.
Like a rainbow after a summer rain shower, this 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC Coupe is a splash of hope on the often boring SUV landscape. Or, is this matt-colored jelly bean actually harshing the automotive world’s mellow? Well, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So, you decide as we go along, but first a quick recap on how we got here. The GLC, is the C-class based compact crossover in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, and was formerly known as the GLK.
GLC nomenclature arrived for 2016, this stylish Coupe version one year later. And what we have here is the Coupe’s mid-cycle refresh, most of which it shares with the regular GLC SUV.
Still with us? Good.
Now, back to the GLC Coupe’s controversial shape. Many of the space-compromised coupe-style SUVs tend to look more awkward than beautiful, but the smaller they are, the better the theme seems to work, as they just more closely resemble a slick hatchback.
Updates for ’20 include new bumpers front and rear, as well as a redesigned grille. The previously optional LED high performance headlights are now standard, as are full LED tail lights.
And, if at the assembly plant, it takes a diversion to the AMG line; 20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, and unique exterior trim are added.
But less space in an already small vehicle tends to limit the appeal; and the tight access into the rear seats, makes this a perfect vehicle for empty nesters, or couples who just like to meet everyone else there, rather than carpool.
In back, just 17.7 cubic-ft. of cargo space, compared to the regular GLC’s 19.4. Folding the seatbacks will give you a max of 49.4 cubic-ft.
So, you may sacrifice a little practicality, but nothing else about this GLC Coupe says compromise. Deluxe accommodations for two without a doubt; so comfort abounds.
The look inside has improved a little, thanks to a revised center stack and console with a larger 10-inch touchscreen. There’s also a new steering wheel and fresh colors and trim options.
But the addition of the latest MBUX digital assistant is probably the biggest plus. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but it quickly makes sense.
Digital help has increased, with the optional Driver Assistance package taking the GLC ever-closer to fully-autonomous.
As for the actual driving, which we still prefer to do as much on our own as possible; this GLC 300 offers a good balance between competent handling and borderline phenomenal ride quality. It also feels very fast.
That’s because of a new 2.0-liter I4 turbocharged engine with 14 more horsepower than before, at 255, with 273 lb-ft. of torque. If you need more, there are two AMG versions.
Transmission is a 9-speed automatic; and as of right now, you can only get your GLC Coupe with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive.
A very responsive throttle pedal attempts to get things going in a hurry, and the all-wheel-drive provides the grip to make it happen. We hit 60 in just 5.9-seconds, which is about what the original GLK managed with a 6-cylinder.
The 4-pot’s power tapers off a bit as you get rolling, but the transmission works its way through the gears quite smoothly. Not much engine noise seeps its way into the cabin, and it’s a relatively serene 14.5-second trip through the ¼, ending at 93 miles-per-hour.
The GLC is very maneuverable at slow speeds, and more than capable at higher ones. Good overall balance, as both over and understeer can be found depending on your amount of throttle or steering inputs. Only moderate body roll to speak of.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for a GLC300 4MATIC are 21-City, 28-Highway, and 24-Combined. We averaged a good 25.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium. That’s an average Energy Impact Score, with use of 13.7-barrels of oil annually, and 6.2 tons of CO2 emissions.
Despite their recent focus on entry-level models here in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz is still a premium luxury product, and this Coupe version of the GLC is priced accordingly, starting at $50,995.
So, regardless of where you stand on the whole Coupe SUV thing, Mercedes-Benz must be doing something right, as the GLC Coupe has helped Benz to increase sales of the GLC line every year since it debuted. That alone makes this 2020 GLC 300 4MATIC Coupe…at least to Mercedes-Benz and its growing list of fans…a true thing of beauty.
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 273 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 5.9 seconds
1/4 mile: 15.5 seconds @ 93 mph
EPA: 21 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 6.2 tons/yr