Mercedes-Benz GLC 200: Elegance elevated

Since its arrival on Malaysian shores in 2016, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has become a popular luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) and the de facto face of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM)’s SUV line-

Providing a classic two-box SUV design with plenty of refinement and elegant styling, the GLC has won plenty of fans in the local premium SUV segment which is also contested by its fellow Teutonic brethren as well as makes from Japan and Sweden.

MBM has updated the GLC with a face-lift late last year to maintain its appeal and to fend off challenges from rivals.

Our test unit was the locally-assembled GLC 200, which comes with on-the-road without insurance price of RM299,888.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 01

Reprising the beefy body with a high bonnet, the GLC 200 now gets the more distinctive-looking head and tail lights.

Compared with the previous version, the LED high-performance headlights get two L-shaped LED daytime running light strips instead of just a single curved strip.

The new headlights also come with more lighting elements which conjures up an upmarket crystal-like appearance.

The radiator grille, while still carrying the similar double-wing design with the oversized Mercedes-Benz star, is now more contoured.

Meanwhile, the lower front bumper is now fitted with a single continuous chrome plate from the two-piece design previously.

The Optical off-road package and inclusion of 20-inch wheels, a size-up from the previous GLC 200, also increases the rugged urban feel and presence.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 17

The updated GLC 200 reprises the same interior but with major enhancements mostly in the infotainment system and instrument panel.

It now gets the voice-operated MBUX multimedia system which linked to a larger 10.25-inch centre display and a 12.3-inch full-digital instrument panel.

The multimedia system can be controlled via a touchpad on the centre console or buttons on the steering wheel.

The steering wheel metallic control buttons are more premium-feeling compared with the black plastic-type used previously.

Owners can change the appearance of the full-digital instrument panel to three pre-set styles of Progressive, Classic and Sport.

The Artico man-made leather upholstery and Anthracite open-pore oak wood trimmings complete the GLC 200’s luxury and classy offerings.

Even when the GLC is not marketed as a large SUV, the vehicle is still spacious with plenty of head/leg-room and luggage area.

Large windows also let in more light that increases the airy feel of the interior.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 07
Drive Experience

The 2.0-litre 4-inline turbo engine in the revised GLC 200 delivers 197hp and 320Nm of torque, up from 184hp and 300Nm previously.

With the additional grunt, the updated vehicle is faster and quicker with a top speed of 217kph and 0 to 100kph sprint of 7.8 seconds versus the earlier GLC 200’s 210kph and 8.6 seconds.

The GLC 200 is responsive, without the need for a heavy right foot to get the SUV up and going.

Acceleration is linear and gearshifting by the 9G-Tronic transmission is smooth and refined.

The GLC 200 also gets the Dynamic Select feature which allows the driver to choose a range of driving modes from comfort to sporty.

Driven sedately, the GLC 200 is as quiet as any premium vehicle.

Floor the accelerator and the GLC 200 unleashes its driving thrills while ratcheting up its exhaust note to a sportier one.

Though the suspension is firm for better handling during highway driving, the ride is still comfortable enough for long-distance drives.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 09

At highway cruising, the vehicle feels planted and stable, giving the driver the confidence to blast beyond the legal speed limit.

Good sound insulation has managed to keep outside noises from intruding into the cabin and disrupt the interior serenity.

Even when the GLC 200’s Off-road package made the vehicle a bit taller, the suspension system is well-tuned and manages to keep body roll to a minimum when driven around tight corners.

Mercedes-Benz says damping is controlled individually for each wheel according to vehicle speed, and road and driving conditions.

Going over rough stretches and potholes doesn’t ruffle the ride quality as the suspension easily soaked up the shocks.

Meanwhile, brakes are grippy and provide good stopping power to bring the GLC 200 to a halt quickly.

The steering feel, while is set for effortless turning, is still precise and accurate during fast driving.

In addition, its host of safety equipment such as Active Brake Assist and Blind Spot Assist, make the GLC 200 safer and less stressful to drive in busy and congested city snarls.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 16

As the entry into Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s mid-range SUV segment, the GLC 200 comes with the right balance of styling, features and price point.

If you are in the market for a GLC with more power and equipment, the next step up will be the GLC 300 4Matic which costs RM50,000 more.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 24
Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 FL
Engine: 1,991cc, inline 4, turbocharged, direct injection
Maximum power: 197hp at 6,100rpm
Maximum torque: 320Nm from 1,300-4,000rpm
Transmission: Nine-speed 9G-Tronic
Features: Airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic stability programme, Active Brake Assist, Active Parking Assist, Adaptive brake lights, Blind Spot Assist, cruise control, Keyless-Go starting function, Pre-Safe System, reverse camera, anthracite open-pore oak wood trim elements, Artico man-made leather upholstery, Dynamic Select, front seats with electrically adjustable function and memory, leather sports steering wheel, 20-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels with run-flat tyres, tyre pressure monitoring system, MBUX multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, communications module (LTE) for the use of Mercedes 'me' connect services, hard-disc satellite navigation, remote engine start, smartphone integration, touchpad

Acceleration (0-100kph): 7.8 seconds
Top speed: 217kph
Price RM299,888 (on-the-road without insurance)

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 - 08
Autos Mercedes-Benz
CarSifu's Rating: 8.1