At the risk of angering feminists, I have to say the GLC has school-run mum written all over it. Now, I am not for a minute suggesting that is an implication of its abilities, but rather an entirely subjective observation based on the way it looks. Wait, that sounds even worse...The point I’m trying to make, badly, is that even though it’s elegant and striking in equal measures, to my eyes — all four of them — the GLC doesn’t scream testosterone, like say, its rival the Lexus NX does.
There are no angular styling details or an angry maw that might suggest it’s annoyed because you’ve just kicked its dog or something. Again, that is not a criticism, because these days when cars are generally over-styled — looking at you again, Lexus — the GLC comes across as quietly confident.
Inside, it’s the usual Mercdes-Benz fare with generally great materials everywhere and loads of space. As a practical car it is pretty darn impressive. That said, it does fall short in some aspects in my view.
Starting with the thigh-rest on the otherwise superb seats. Extended, it makes the positioning of the throttle pedal feel a little awkward and almost set too close to the floor-pan. My other complaint is that — and this is my only other comfort-related whinge — I’m not sure that placing the fire extinguisher under the driver’s seat was a great idea; it is constantly brushing against your calf muscles.
On the upside, you can hustle the GLC down a twisty road reasonably briskly. Having said that, I suspect its chief German foes such as the X3 and the Macan pack higher doses of schnell.
Do I still think that it is deserving of our Premium Crossover of the Year accolade? I do indeed, especially given its base price of just Dh210,000. Niggles aside, the aforementioned BMW and the Porsche are noticeably more expensive and I’m not sure if they’re that much better. It has a great balance of practical ability and elegance...
Week 2 The engine sounds gruffer than you would expect, but in spite of the clatter it is an unexpectedly peppy car. Handles almost as well as the C-Class.
Highs Driving dynamics.
Lows Doesn’t sound as refined as it should.
Week 1 Winner of our Premium Crossover of the Year award, the GLC 300 arrives at the wheels HQ, bearing an unfeasible weight of expectation on its shoulders.
Highs Great family SUV, CotY winner.
Lows None so far.