Mercedes-Benz GLC: It’s nifty, no Benz about it
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Though there are many perks to being a motoring writer — with the continuous testing of vehicles of many shapes and prices — there are also downsides.
No truly there are — and it’s not just standing in carparks trying to work out what I just drove to the lot for supermarket shopping. Over the years I’ve left countless CDs in cars, and lost multiple lipsticks. (As most of the other motoring writers in New Zealand are males I can understand my CDs not being returned to me, but my lipsticks ... ).
The Mercedes-Benz GLC. Pictures/Ted Baghurst and Liz Dobson
I’ve left my house keys in so many cars (and thus been locked out of my house) that I now triple check I have my keys when I return each test vehicle, while the list of things lost in transit (or transportation) includes umbrellas (large and small) and these days smartphone cables.
It’s not that I don’t check vehicles before I hand them back — it’s down the fact that these items slide under squabs or down the side of seats.
So when I was offered a Mercedes-Benz GLC as a long-term loaner one of my first thought was “yippee, I can leave a lipstick, umbrella, a few shopping bags and phone cables in the car”.
Launched last September, there are three models in the GLC range: two diesel versions, the 2.1-litre 220d (with 125kW of power and 400Nm of torque) and the 150kW/500Nm 250d; plus my vehicle, the 250 petrol with a 2-litre, four cylinder turbocharged engine, producing 155kW/350Nm.
Prices start from $89,900 for the 220d while the petrol has the price tag of $94,900.
My long-term loaner was specced up to include $990 black metallic paint; the $2990 Command Package (including the Burmester surround sound system) and the $3900 Vision package (with a panoramic glass sunroof), giving a the total cost of $102,870.
Waikato | Hamilton
$2,095.76 p/w $8,383.02 p/m
Waikato | Hamilton
$1,853.75 p/w $7,415.00 p/m
The GLC had 20in alloys, which gave it a strong presence on the road, had Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic permanent all-wheel-drive system, and was paired with the nine-speed auto transmission.
I opened the boot of the GLC via the key fob to place the umbrella and cloth grocery bags in their home for a few months, when I spotted a large plastic rectangular object in the back. Picking it up, I quickly realised that by pushing in the sides, it turned into what would become a very handy crate for me and my kids over the coming weeks.
It was easy to transform the crate back into a flatpack so it didn’t take up much room in the boot, but come the weekly supermarket trips I snapped that crate into place for fragile groceries.
I used the crate when I took my son Henry to the Leadfoot festival for the weekend in the GLC (see Driven.co.nz), using it to store our snack supplies and to keep our bottles upright (my wine, his soft drink).
Plenty of room for farmers’ market supplies; the Mercedes 250 GLC luggage crate.
A few weeks later the crate was used for a day trip to the Matakana farmers’ market with daughter Grace. The crate was ideal for storing the artisan bread and cheese and the fruit and vegetables I never knew I needed to buy.
We took the route to Matakana via Waiwera to test the GLC on the winding roads, putting it into sport mode for the climb up the hills and chopped back to comfort on SH1 when we encountered weekend traffic.
The reversing camera came in handy, and on the drive back home I used the distronic plus which kept the car at a set speed and set distance from the vehicles ahead.