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26 Jul 2017 | Text and Photos by Desmond Chan

Beauty and the Beast

The Mercedes GLC 43 Coupe is a sleek and stylish SUV capable of delivering forceful shove, thanks to a wonderful 3.0-litre AMG V6 engine.


These days, carmakers seem to be making multiple variations of their car models in an attempt to fill up every single imaginable niche and sub-niche of the market. And perhaps no brand does this more evidently than Mercedes-Benz. Take this Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) for example, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class 43 AMG Coupe 4MATIC.

The what?

Yes, trying to describe what the car is isn't any simpler - this is a sport-SUV-coupe.

The car's sloping roofline reinforces its handsome and imposing exterior design 

One way to think of it is as a souped-up variant of Mercedes' compact SUV offering, the GLC-Class (the C-Class equivalent in the brand's SUV range).

It's an AMG car then?

Well, sort of. This '43' badged version is not a full-blown AMG car, more like an AMG-lite version. What you get is a romping 3.0-litre AMG V6 biturbo engine that delivers 367bhp and 520Nm of torque, both of which are pretty big numbers.

It may sound a bit strange to say this, but in this car, the engine feels just about right. It's powerful and outstanding without being obnoxious. For example, in the C 43 Cabriolet that we drove recently, the engine can feel a tad overwhelming at times, because on our speed-restricted roads you always feel like there's so much more power to be accessed.

The beastly 3.0-litre AMG V6 engine delivers ample pace, along with a sonorous and angry noise

In the case of the heavier GLC 43, which weighs in at about 1,855kg, you can step on the gas and not break the law for at least a couple more seconds. And of course, being an AMG unit, the soundtrack that accompanies it is wonderfully sonorous. 

So it's a sport-SUV then?

Well, sort of. Somewhat surprisingly, the GLC 43 actually performs incredibly well as a regular SUV. In its Comfort setting, the ride is magnificently pliant, the car is easy to pilot, and the big engine up front means that there's still ample power when you need it. Everything feels measured and sensible. It's quite surprising because you'd think an AMG car would be crashy and overly aggressive, but the GLC 43 isn't.

In Sport or Sport Plus mode, the throttle response is much sharper (overly so in Sport Plus mode, in our opinion). The ride firms up, but not to the point of discomfort.

There is actually a particularly fun way of driving this car in a straight line, which is by using its inertia. Step hard on the throttle, and the car won't leap forward immediately. Rather, like a catapult, you sort of wind the car up and then let it propel forward using its own mass. It's a hilarious (if stupid) way to drive.

Through some corners, we are quite pleased to report that the car feels nimble and sharp, with body roll kept in check thanks to the air suspension system. The car certainly has enough driving dynamism befitting its AMG badging, though it's not the most dynamic SUV in the market (the Porsche Macan GTS takes that particular title).

The expectedly sleek and refined cabin is a delightful place to be in, whether you are commuting home or bombing away down some quiet roads

What about the 'Coupe' part of its name?

Well, again we have to give it a 'sort of' evaluation. The car obviously isn't a coupe (the term generally refers to a two-door car, and even that has become debatable). Instead, Mercedes calls this version the 'Coupe' as it has a different styling approach compared to the standard GLC. You get a more raked roofline and an overall sleeker silhouette. It's good-looking, for sure, though you do compromise rear headroom a tad. And as an AMG-badged car, you also get all the AMG bits and bobs, like a more aggressive-looking AMG front apron, a chrome front splitter and a particularly handsome rear end.

With a flick of a switch, the GLC 43 transforms from a comfortable family SUV into a noisy tarmac devourer

The interior of the GLC 43 is pretty straightforward Mercedes fare - it's tough to fault, outdated infotainment interface notwithstanding. It's comfortable, luxurious and spacious, even with the sloping roof.  

Out of the brand's SUV range, why buy this one?

Style and power, basically. Style-wise, we reckon this particular GLC Coupe is the best-looking of the lot (especially with all the AMG bits). And of course, that romping 3.0-litre AMG V6 engine is surely reason enough to buy this car. The real question here is whether the extra styling pizzazz and the additional heaping of power is enough for you to justify the car's $313,888 price tag (as of 18th July 2017).
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Car Information

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Price

: $319,888

Engine Type

:

V6 Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2996cc

Horsepower

:

274kW (367 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

520 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4.9sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

11.9 km/L

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