The Mercedes-Benz GLC (X253/C253) model series is a compact luxury crossover which was introduced in 2015 and is the significantly uprated replacement of the now defunct GLK-class (X204) which is regarded as the C-class sedan on stilts since inception. Though there are multiple variants produced by Mercedes-Benz that include a sportier designed Coupé and electrified models for other markets, the Philippines at the moment carries this lone new eager purely rear-wheel driven 2021 GLC 200 FL model.
Compared to the last GLK-class, the GLC uses a completely new generation MRA platform that is shared with the sedan stablemates ranging from the current C-class (W205) to the outgoing S-class (W222). The GLC uses a wheelbase that is positioned between the standard and long-wheelbase C-class and is 117 mm longer than the GLK chassis at 2873 mm with a body that is longer by 127 mm and wider by 3 mm. The body is 30 mm shorter than the standard C-class sedan but it has a taller 196 mm ceiling, so it feels more spacious in the cabin compared to the sedan.
Cleverly, Mercedes-Benz Philippines imported this optimized GLC 200 FL model that dynamically outperforms all its direct competition in the domestic luxury segment combined with truly desirable standard equipment. The 12.3-inch digital configurable instrument cluster is awesome but the center control screen is not as lavish as the units applied to more expensive variants, it uses a more modest yet still thorough 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto, guided reverse camera, Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC, THERMATIC Automatic Climate Control, steering wheel paddleshifts, and many other desirable essentials which includes the KEYLESS-GO with keyless access, signature full-LED lighting with multibeam headlights, the fabulous Burmester® surround sound system and interior ambient lighting.
With almost as much power as a GLC 250 4Matic, which uses slightly more potent tuning on the same 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, the GLC 200 saves the extra weight of the 4Matic system but it also does not have trick 48V Mild Hybrid system to further improve fuel efficiency and performance. However, 0-100 km/h acceleration is consistently achieved in 7.6 seconds, and usable power is always available through the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic gearbox with entertaining rear-wheel drive characteristics. The suspension is very compliant and handles our Philippine road conditions very well.
Our attractive Brilliant Blue test unit with ARTICO Leather Black interior was a refreshing experience. You will have to pay P660k more than the remarkably versatile GLB200 but if you intend to actually drive your Mercedes-Benz investment as intended as a personal luxury compact crossover, then it would be money well spent. The build quality is naturally excellent. The cabin is well appointed and comfortable for 5 adults. When the rear seats are folded, the rear trunk can handle 1,614 liters of load, with the rear seats in their fixed positions, the capacity is a modest 538 liters. The brakes are appropriately strong with 13.5-inch vented front discs with twin-piston calipers and 12.6-inch vented rear discs with single-piston calipers. The 5-spoke 18” x 8J” alloys are wrapped with Pirelli Scorpion Verde 235/60R18 103V tires. The balance of comfort and dynamic performance makes the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 an appealing daily driver for buyers wanting a more versatile premium tall wagon with C-class proportions.