The junior AMG engine has been thrown in to Merc’s brand new GLC-Class Coupe. Does some AMG trickery make it a serious contender, or is this an AMG too far?
You have to admire Mercedes-AMG. If a car has a three-pointed star on the nose, at some point they’ll throw a big engine in it, give it some visual tweaks and sell a ton of it. Does AMG’s tendency to AMG all the things dilute the impact it could have with its more serious kit? I’ll leave that to you to decide for yourself, but I’m leaning towards yes.
The latest Merc to get the AMG treatment is the GLC Coupe, a small SUV with, um, polarizing looks. If you want an SUV, buy an SUV. If you want a coupe, buy one of those. Sticking a slanted roof on the back of a high riding, off-road-ish car and calling it a coupe makes it neither SUV, nor pretty. It’s a compromise for the sake of imagined style. It looks ungainly, even with AMG’s styling tweaks to the wheels, spoiler and so forth. Should anyone I know buy one on the strength of its looks, I’ll be in a hurry to delete their number.
The inside is pretty enough, albeit a touch overdone. The carbon fiber trim, while showing the AMG potential, doesn’t fit the look of the cabin particularly well. Merc’s COMAND system is all present and correct, and as usual I couldn’t get my head around its touch/wheel control system. The infotainment screen looks like a design afterthought as well — did they forget to design one in the first place? It looks like someone’s glued a tablet to the dash.
The seats are infinitely adjustable, so you can get comfy, but I couldn’t find a single position that meant I could see well out of either the front or rear.
The GLC Coupe’s odd dimensions mean the windshield is very wide but quite stubby — so you’re riding high but peering through a letterbox. The rear window may as well not be there for all the visibility it provides. The fashion-forward sloping rear roofline is so slanted that you can see the sum total of chuff-all through it. Thankfully, the test car I played in had cameras galore for awkward reversing maneuvers.
by Alex Goy