Review: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic

– Detroit, Michigan

During a recent vacation in Germany, I spent a week with the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe – the BMW X6-fighting oddity that, frankly, I just don’t understand. But when I got home, I immediately felt at ease behind the wheel of this GLC300. It’s not weird or wacky for the sake of filling a niche; it’s not trying to be a coupe or a sports car (though Mercedes will soon sell you a version that is). The regular GLC is just a damn good small luxury ‘ute that’s easy to use and still has all the characteristics of a proper Mercedes.

Pros

  • The GLC is, essentially, a jacked-up C-Class. That means you get all of the niceness and refinement of the new C in this more utilitarian package. The cabin is the best in the segment, by far – and better than the aging interior of that aforementioned GLE Coupe, by the way. Every surface looks and feels premium, and the whole cabin just speaks to comfort and relaxation, especially in this calming Silk Beige color with the contrasting Linden Wood trim.
  • Mercedes’ 2.0-liter turbo-four resides underhood, making the same 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque that it does in nearly every other application, which is perfectly adequate for this 4,000-pound, all-wheel-drive GLC. There’s power on tap when needed, but the overall drive character is smooth and composed – ditto the nine-speed automatic transmission, which is almost unnoticeable most of the time. The steering has decent weight and the suspension is comfortable while still of...