If you are down for some fun behind the wheel then its the GLC 300 that you should look up. The petrol motor is a 1991cc, direct-injection, turbocharged unit that makes a healthy 245bhp and 370Nm of torque. Like in the diesel, it is available with the new 9-speed automatic and that’s a good thing. This motor gives out its best when you wring it by the scruff of its neck. Although it is not the smoothest sounding motor around, the exceptional top-end power is addictive and visits to the 6500rpm redline are accompanied with a wide grin on your face. But as soon as you are done having fun this motor’s limitations come to the fore. There is a fair bit of lag under 2500rpm and even midrange is not the meatiest. The potent 9-speed gearbox works overtime, juggling between ratios to keep you in the meat of the narrow power band. Even quick overtakes have to be planned on narrow two-lane roads and we feel the near 2.0 tonne kerb weight and small 2.0-litre capacity is to blame here. On a positive note this motor is extremely refined and when driven at low speeds in a sedate manner it feels right on the money.
As a result the GLC 300 registered quite impressive figures in our Vbox tests. It sprints to 100kmph from standstill in an impressive 7.41 seconds and in-gear times of 4.52 seconds and 5.81 seconds are quite good too. The strong top end power also means the GLC300 has a high 220kmph top speed.
The 2143cc diesel on the other hand is a familiar one; we’ve already seen it in the C-Class. However, initially we will get it in the 220d guise which means a modest 168bhp and 400Nm. These figures are lower compared to the X3 which gets a much more powerful 188bhp motor. But despite the modest figures, the GLC 220d has more than enough verve for everyday driving.
Thanks to good sound insulation, the NVH levels are impressively low, both at idle and on the go, and it gets harsh only near the top of the rev range. This milder state of tune suggests less aggressive turbo-charging, which means less noise.The power delivery is smooth. This engine is very linear for a diesel, and its strong bottom and midrange responses makes it quite effortless to drive. Although the motor revs quite freely to its 4600rpm redline its best to upshift around 4000rpm as it just makes more noise than progress. Surprisingly this motor appears to be more responsive than what we have experienced in the C220d and this we feel is mainly down to the potent new 9-speed automatic. With more gears to play with the ratios are closely stacked and the gearbox always finds the right gear at the right time. In Comfort mode, the shifts are soft and seamless, and the gearbox is still decently quick to react to pedal inputs. In Eco Pro mode, the ’box can’t wait to upshift, and even if you’re cruising at 60-70kph, that’s good enough for eighth gear. Saving the best for the last, it is the Sport or Sport+ mode, wherein it is quick to downshift with the slightest change in throttle position.
The GLC 220d posted some decent times as far as outright acceleration is concerned. It registered 8.49seconds for the 0-100kmph run and in-gear times of 5.18seconds for 20-80kmph and 6.62seconds for 40-100kmph were respectable thanks to the potent gearbox.