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It may be the baby of the SUV family, but the Mercedes-Benz GLC200 is more than able to hold its own.

31 Aug 2017


How is it like being the baby of the family? I wouldn't know because I'm the oldest of three kids. But if what I did to my youngest sister was any indication, it probably includes a fair amount of bullying and suffering at the hands of the older siblings.

This here is the recently introduced Mercedes-Benz GLC200. It's the baby of Mercedes' Premium Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) range, which encompasses the GLC, GLE, GLS and G-Class models.  

The GLC's exterior styling is a nice combination of sleek and rugged

I'm here in Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia to take it for a spin (alongside the rest of the Premium SUV range) and figure out if like my sister, it's relentlessly bullied by its bigger siblings.

Take a second glance

Visually, the GLC200 gives little away to the GLC250 (which has been around for awhile already). The rims and front mud-guard look slightly different, but beyond that, it's still a stylish yet rugged-looking SUV. The GLC range is visually pleasing. However, and the same cannot be readily said about the much more stocky GLE and GLS models.

Inside, the particular model I drove came with brown open-pore ash wood trim (the Singapore version comes with linden wood trim instead), which adds a touch of elegance in what is otherwise a fairly straightforward cabin. It's still recognisably Mercedes - it's a comfortable, modern and rather spacious cabin.

Wood trim in the interior adds a touch of style and elegance

Keeping up

As the name suggests, the GLC200 gives away a touch of power to its larger GLC250 brother. The car is powered by a 2.0-litre engine producing 181bhp and 300Nm of torque, paired to a nine-stage 9G-TRONIC gearbox. On the roads, while its pace won't necessarily excite you, it's certainly more than enough for normal driving. Overcome the slight turbo lag and you can overtake other cars with little fuss.

Additionally, the GLC200 is rear-wheel drive (RWD), which means that it is slighter lighter on its feet. Yes, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is great if you are planning to go off-road (or get caught driving in a massive downpour on pothole-filled roads, as I did), but in Singapore, RWD would make better sense (as it'll be lighter, which means less petrol will be consumed).

The car's ride comfort is sensible, and the high ground clearance means going over humps are a breeze. And rather surprisingly, even on the narrow roads in Kota Kinabalu, the GLC never feels cumbersome or overly big.

The 2.0-litre engine produces 181bhp and 300Nm of torque - more than reasonable for daily driving

Stick up for yourself

I will admit it. Compared to the rest of the range, the GLC200 can't match up in terms of pure speed or absolute luxury. You might even say that it gets bullied by the others.

But on its own, as the baby in the family, it is more than able to hold its own. It's a sensible, usable and thoroughly practical SUV that will surely appeal to car owners in Singapore (it costs $10,000 less than the GLC250). It feels like a grown up and capable car that sticks its nose into the faces of people who say, "Ah, you're just the little one."

The GLC200 is a sensible and practical choice for car buyers looking for a Merc-badged SUV

Truth is, there's nothing wrong with being the baby in the family. After all, when you have bombastic siblings like the AMG models or the slick-looking Coupe models, there's arguably a better case to be made for this car. It's the sensible, down-to-earth, nose to grindstone one. It gets the job done with little pomp and fanfare, and judging by what my parents have told me, sometimes you just want a good sensible kid like that.
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Car Information

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Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC200 (A)
Rate it

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1991cc

Horsepower

:

135kW (181 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

300 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.3sec

Top Speed

:

212km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.3 km/L

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