Heaven is a Hatchback Crossover.
It’s not too much to ask, right? A car that is sized for city driving, easy to get in and out of, easy to get the kids and groceries in and out of, that flatters your style with pretty lines and details and that has everything you need at your fingertips.
That was the experience of driving the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe. The GLC’s size and hatchback design give it the feel of driving a sedan, but as a crossover it has higher ground clearance and the more muscular feel, confidence and ease of an SUV.
Who This Car is For
- Singles, couples or small families
- Drivers who want the benefits of an SUV but the size of a sedan
- Drivers who need all wheel drive
- Buyers who want a true luxury car
- Buyers who appreciate the design and flexibility of a hatchback
What it Costs
- Starting price: $46,600
- Lighting package, including adaptive headlights: $1,050
- Premium driver assist package including blind spot warning, keyless entry and start, household power outlet, adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist (Called Distronic Plus), cross traffic alert, speed limit assist and pre-emergency braking: $,3350
- Designo premium interior, including quilted leather: $3,800
- Heated and ventilated seats: $1,030
- Air balance package with diffuser and and fragrance $350
- Multimedia package with 8.4 inch touch screen, touchpad controller, voice control and 5 years of Sirius XM traffic and weather, $2,200
- Apple Car Play or Android Auto $350
- Cost of the model we test drove, including delivery charge: $66,435
Meet Designo, the Mercedes-Benz Premium Interior Design
First, learn how to say the name of this exclusive line: De-Zin-Yo.
Then, slide into the drivers seat of a Designo-outfitted Mercedes-Benz and feel it. The seat leather, door panels and leather arm rests have a distinct, refined look and feel that remind me of a designer handbag: Sublime, luxurious, beautiful.
The GLC300 we test drove was outfitted with black and white quilted leather on the seats and door panels; wood panels decorate the console and dash, inviting you to brush your fingers over it to feel the ridges of the grain. And all interior features are framed by glowing chrome accents, like a bit of jewelry for the car.
And of course, good jewelry needs a good perfume, right? The GLC300 has that too: A fragrance diffuser right in the glove box. If you don’t want it, you can take the fragrance jar out. Or, you can revel in that fresh Mercedes-Benz fragrance (four are available for $121 each).
I’m not sure I’d choose the black and white interior—I’d prefer solid white— but I loved the quilted leather. It gave the GLC300 a very elegant feel in what is essentially a car designed to be capable in all weather and flexible for cargo and passengers. That’s a pretty nice touch.
A Tight But Comfortable Back Seat Perfect For My Handbag
Notice that I put my handbag on the rear seat. For one, it looked nice there and I liked looking back at it. But that was also a pretty convenient place for it. It fit nicely in the seat and didn’t turn over or fall off. It also sat nicely on the rear floor behind the passenger’s seat, or on the passenger’s seat, but that’s not really a safe place for it.
It was easy enough to reach my handbag on the back seat; it’s not a wide swath of real estate back there. In fact, when I climbed into the back to test out the leg room, I was delighted to find that the front seats are curved to accommodate knees, so there was room, but not a lot. Long-legged friends will be more comfortable in the front seat.
Technology Designed to Keep You—and Your Eyes—On the Road
This is probably what Mercedes-Benz is best known for after the powerful drive experience: leading technology. So it’s not a surprise that the the GLC300 Coupe comes loaded with great technology.
A LOT of great technology.
So much that it takes time to learn to use it all and if you’re not careful, it can be distracting. So the engineers at Mercedes-Benz placed much of it in places where you can’t easily see the icons, forcing you to learn where it is, not just look for it.
Here’s where all the tech functions are located just on the steering wheel (when the steering wheel isn’t turned you can’t see most of this, forcing you to be able to use it from memory).Among the great tech features on this model are:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane keep assist and lane departure warning
- Active park assist that auto-parks the car; you control speed/brake and it finds a spot and steers the car into the spot
- 360 degree surround view camera
- Cross traffic alert
- Pre-collision assist
- Adaptive high beam head lights
- Rain sensing wipers
- Push button lift gate
- Push button folding rear seats; buttons are in the cargo area AND next to the seats!
- Ambient lighting
- Infotainment screen with touch/dial controller
- 2 USB ports in the center arm rest, one 12V cigarette style adapter under the center console and a household plug on the back of the arm rest in the back seat
Plugging in my Phone: Again, Designed For My Safety, Whether I Like That or Not
Of course I never leave the driveway without plugging in my phone and connecting to BlueTooth. That way, when someone calls, I can easily answer without scrambling unsafely. In the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 the only good place for my phone was inside the arm rest. That’s where the USB ports are. The small cubby underneath the center console was very small (my phone fit, but barely) and also has two cup holders. With cups or bottles in the cup holders you really can’t get at anything in the cubby, which is better sized for the key fob, an EZ pass and a lipstick-just the necessities.
A Classically Mercedes-Benz Drive Experience, Despite a Surprisingly Small Engine
Here’s the shocker: The GLC300 Coupe has a 4-cylinder twin turbo, 241 horsepower, 9 speed engine. It’s not huge by any means, but still powerful enough to let you feel a little g-force when you hit the gas, giving complete confidence when merging onto the highway or passing a truck (or, just having a little fun).
To enhance the drive experience, the GLC300 has Dynamic drive modes and manual mode. For a sporty or tailored drive experience, use the Dynamic drive selector to choose comfort mode, sport mode, sport plus (which turns off traction control) and individual, which lets you pick your drive mode settings.
With the GLC300 in sport or sport+ you’d never in a million years guess this car has a 4-cylinder 241 horsepower engine. Ever.
Paddle Shifters For the Obvious, and Less Obvious, Reasons
Or, push the ‘M’ button next to the infotainment controller for manual and then shift through the gears with the paddle shifters. These are great for both sport driving or to have more control over the engine if you’re on a steep downgrade, on an icy road, towing or trying to get out of a muddy situation. The paddle shifters let you control the speed of the engine, either getting more power in a lower gear or downshifting so that the engine’s speed slows the car rather than using the brakes. This can be brilliant on a steep downhill drive.
The GLC300 Coupe that we test drove also features 4Matic, the Mercedes-Benz name for all wheel drive. For a crossover coupe, this is a must. You already have the ground clearance and flexible space, so not having all wheel drive, especially in winter climates, would be a miss; you wouldn’t be as capable as you’d feel.
Heaven For Those of us Who Love a Hatchback (the Rest of You Can Skip to the Playlist)
I love a four door hatchback. It looks fast and sporty, it has an open concept feel in the cabin, it has plenty of room for everyone and it’s *almost* as cool as the two-door version. With its higher ground clearance it’s easy to get in and out of, easy to load and unload things and you’re never worried about being stuck in bad weather.
Add Mercedes-Benz beautiful classic design sensibilities and the luxe interior and this car has it all. Which is really all I want: A car I can drive all day and feel a little glamorous, even though I’m hauling kids and groceries and the dog to the vet.
What We Loved
- Designo luxury interior
- The hatchback coupe body style
- The built in fragrance diffuser
- Apple Car Play (or Android Auto)
- Sport drive modes
- Touch/dial infotainment system
- ALL that safety technology
- Active park assist
- Adaptive cruise control
- Flexible cargo space
- Push button folding seats front and back (!)
- A household plug
- All wheel drive
- That sound system
What you need to Know
- MBrace Connect 5 year complimentary service, which includes remote start, remote lock/unlock remote horn and lights, remote diagnostics, roadside assistance connection, Send2Benz directions (send from your phone to the car) valet mode, vehicle finder, speed alert, travel zones, point of interest download, internet browser, local search
- The hatchback design creates blind spots, so the rear view camera is even more important
- Many of the features we love are additional to the base price, including much of the safety technology
- 4 year/50,000 mile warranty
- 24 hour roadside assistance included
- Uses regular gas
What We Listened to in the GLC300 4Matic Coupe
We love our tunes on the road. Here are the soulful songs that set us free during our test drive.
Disclosure: Mercedes Benz provided the GLC300 4Matic for our test drive; all opinions are my own.