No matter how thorough we are with our road tests, there is one aspect of the car that usually remains an educated guess — reliability. Yes, we can talk at lengths about things like body roll, ride quality and even the size of the glovebox but the only way to find out a car’s everyday dependability is to run it, er, every day.
This meant that even though the GLC arrived at the wheels HQ having already convinced us of its merits — it was our Premium Crossover of the Year after all — the question remained: would it disappoint as a daily runner? It didn’t.
The fact that it is the newest car in its segment definitely helps. It naturally feels more modern and up to date than its main rivals the BMW X3, Lexus NX and Audi Q5. I’m not including the Macan here, because it’s noticeably pricier.
Predictably, we uncovered some minor issues over the course of this test. The fire extinguisher is obstructively positioned under the driver’s seat and makes getting in and out tricky. Some trim in the cabin feels a little flimsy and the AC fan is excessively loud. Oh, and the fuel economy isn’t exactly great at over 15 litres per 100km. But then that could be down to the fact that I drive everywhere at full tilt in Sport+ mode. Speaking of which, the GLC is properly nippy in its most aggressive setting, however the gear changes are a bit lurchy at crawling speeds. In Comfort, though, it’s as serene and soothing as you’d expect a Mercedes to be.
Despite being exactly the same length as the X3, it has a bigger wheelbase, which means more space in the cabin. Also, since the wheels are pushed further out than the BMW, the overhangs don’t look as prominent; the body work looks nice and taut.
On the practicality front, it’s aced our industry standard “how much photography equipment can it pack in?” which means it has enough room for most normal people. In fact, cargo space is exactly the same as the Bimmer, although another contender, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, is roomier.
So, despite some niggles, the GLC is a very well-rounded car. And starting from Dh210K, even the base model has all the kit you really need — for that money, there aren’t many cars that can do what the GLC does.
So, is it a worthy winner of our Premium Crossover of the Year award? You bet.
Week 6 The AC fan is unfeasibly loud at full whack and if you reduce the speed it goes to asthmatic rodent mode. The cabin is perhaps the best looking in its class.
Highs Great cabin.
Lows Loud AC fan.