This Mercedes-Benz GLC joins the wheels long-term garage with a crushing weight of expectation on its shoulders. While it impressed us enough to win our 2016 Premium SUV of the Year award, living with a car on a daily basis can throw up some hidden and rather nasty surprises.
This is the exact vehicle that we had for our CotY evaluation so it’s not exactly a minty-fresh, just-out-of the-dealership example, with 9,361km on the odo. And being a press demonstrator those nine grand would have been rather more gruelling than what you would get from normal everyday use — when was the last time you parked your car on a precarious rock formation for a photograph?
Our tester is the GLC 300 variant, which, as you would expect, has a 2.0-litre engine unlike its predecessor, the gawky GLK 300, that had a 3.0-litre V6 to justify that model designation.
Finished in Cavansite Blue Metallic, and with two-tone brown interior, it costs Dh238,917. That includes about Dh26,000 worth of optional equipment such as bigger 20in AMG wheels, Keyless Go Comfort Package, Lane Tracking Package, and some other bits and bobs.
I’m not sure that you need any of the extra kit because even the base Mercedes-Benz cars are quite generously specced in our market. In the GLC 300 you get everything from the panoramic sunroof and Comand Online infotainment system, to Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which has loads of things that prevent you from colliding into objects. It’s also got Merc’s new nine-speed automatic gearbox, which, along with the other tech, makes it one of the most advanced cars in its class.
There is a cheaper GLC 200 version available from just over Dh180,000, but as it stands the GLC 300 represents good value. The ride quality is fantastic, there’s plenty of safety kit and it even has a modicum of off-road ability. In essence, a majority of the wheels team think it’s the best family SUV on sale today. Let’s see if it stays that way over the next six weeks.