2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Review: Your everyday performance crossover

– Los Angeles, California

The heaviest rainstorms in months have drenched this city so thoroughly that the roads outside the airport are flooded with a few inches of standing water. Suddenly driving a crossover, with 6.7 inches of ground clearance and an air suspension that can rise at the touch of a button, makes a lot of sense, even in the city.

The crossover in question is the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43, and like all of the company’s new “43” models, it’s more than just a tape-and-stripe approach to sportiness. AMG technicians may not hand-build the 43 cars’ engines, like they do with cars badged 45, 63, and 65, but each model still gets serious performance, handling, and braking upgrades over the equivalent base vehicle. For the GLC43, that results in a crossover that’s sporty enough to get the juices flowing on a mountain road, without sacrificing much in the way of everyday livability.

 

 

Pros

An effortlessly powerful engine. So much grunt is available all the time from this biturbocharged V6 engine that you’d think its ratings, 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet, are conservative. The engine is well-matched to the GLC’s size and weight, providing slingshot leaps forward anytime you dig into the throttle. Just be sure to tug the upshift paddle earlier than you expect if you put the nine-speed automatic in manual mode, as the soft rev limiter kicks in ever so slightly before the tach needle reaches its redline.

It’s impressive when the road turns into a squiggle. I didn’t r...