First Drive: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe
– Turin, Italy
The view of the car world from the editor’s chair is not dissimilar to that observed by you enthusiast readers. Growing up with storied racing legacies and classic designs dancing through our dreams, we’re often quite resistant to new paradigms, especially when they seem to play fast and loose with comforting conventions.
Sedans called “coupes” and minutely lifted station wagons called “crossovers” are easy targets for our conservative ire. And Mercedes-Benz, as much or more than any other automaker, has pushed the boundaries in this get-off-my-lawn set of segments. Thank god it has. If sales of slightly less practical versions of existing products – like this newly minted 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe – allow headroom in the budget for passion products like the AMG GT R, I’m all for them. There’s a spoonful of sugar to this sales-driven medicine, too: The GLC Coupe is nearly as entertaining to drive as any comer in the small-utility world.
Engineers have retuned the steering, making it quicker than in the standard GLC, and the result is a rack that doesn’t feel ship-like on tight mountain roads.
Drive out of Turin and into the Italian Alps, and you’ll soon find exactly the kind of roadways that we editors and enthusiasts love to talk about; the kind that a generation ago were deadly dull in a crossover. Arbors, vineyards, and sheepfolds flank these winding tracks, with switchbacks bending narrow streets into rising, falling, suspension-stressing stretch...