THE Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class was introduced in 2015, to replace the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.
The name GL stands for the luxury-oriented version of the G, which was named after the G-wagen or Gelandewagen.
The GL is followed by the third letter C, which means the compact luxury SUV is equivalent to the C-Class.
We were invited by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, for the launch of the new GLC 200 and the “Hungry For Adventure” road trip.
Over 50 members of the media and potential customers from six countries took part in the event. The three-day, two-night event saw participants driving various Mercedes-Benz SUVs such as the GLC 43, GLE 400 4MATIC, GLE 250 4MATIC, GLC 200 and GLS 4MATIC.
We had a chance to get our hands on the locally-assembled GLC 200. The compact luxury SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre 4 in-line engine hooked to a nine-stage 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. The mill churns out 184hp at 5,500rpm and 300Nm of torque from 1,200 to 4,000rpm.
Mercedes-Benz claims that the GLC 200 can achieve 100kph from a standstill in 8.7 seconds, with a top speed of 210kph.
On the exterior, the GLC 200 comes with the 19-inch five-spoke light-alloy wheels, chrome-plated simulated under guard, chrome-plated tailpipe trims, roof rails, LED high performance headlamps, LED trail lights and twin tailpipes.
Leather and fabric upholstery, ash wood trim, ambient lights, dynamic handling control, thermotronic automatic climate control air-conditioning, keyless entry with push-start button, cruise control, parking pilot with Parktronic, seven-inch display, Audio 20 infotainment system, electrically adjustable front seats, roller sun blinds for the rear passengers and a powered tailgate are features in the GLC 200.
The luxury SUV also has seven airbags, anti-theft warning system, tyre pressure monitoring system, active brake assist, interior monitoring system, adaptive brake lights, pre-safe system, run-flat tyres and Isofix child seat mounting points, as part of its core safety features.
It is priced at RM288,888 without insurance but inclusive of six per cent GST. The company’s Agility Financing is offering monthly repayments of RM2,888 for the GLC 200 and every purchase of the GLC 200 comes with a 4-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Most of the motoring media members were curious as to why Kota Kinabalu was picked for the “Hungry For Adventure” road trip, and most of all, to test the GLC 200.
The trip was packed with fun and exciting activities such as jungle hiking, jet skiing, rides, parasailing and wake boarding. We managed to cover about 150km of driving from Dalit Beach to Tuaran, to Mount Kinabalu Park as well as to Kundasang and back, in both dry and wet conditions.
The route and the weather conditions were perfect for the GLC 200 to show off its full potential.
The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 has a rugged, elegant and classy look. As for the interior, the design of the dashboard and the materials used give a modern, stylish, luxurious touch to the SUV, and most important of all, it is comfortable.
It has plenty of space to fit a large-framed six-footer adult and still have generous head, leg and shoulder room. The boot space can easily fit three large luggage bags. The view from the driver’s seat in the GLC 200 is unobstructed, the driver and even passengers can clearly see the road with minimal blind spots.
Throughout the drive, there were many slow-moving trucks and vehicles, but this was easily overcome by the four-pot engine paired with the responsive and smooth transmission. The throttle responded precisely and the torque kicked in immediately, making overtaking instantaneous, even in bad weather conditions.
The SUV offers accurate and responsive steering feedback. The brakes are firm and strong, a gentle tap on the brake pedal and the brakes will bite progressively.
The GLC 200 performed incredibly well on high-speed corners and on wet road conditions. Driving over potholes and damaged roadtracks was done effortless, and without compromising the comfort of the passengers. When we were driving through puddles of water, the luxury SUV was unfazed, although it is not a 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Overall, we find the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 an extremely competent luxury SUV, but there is still room for minor improvement. It should come equipped with the blind spot warning and lane watch assist systems to enhance safety.