The SUV/Sedan/Performance Car You Didn’t Know You needed: 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 Coupe Review

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc 43

This car is all me.

This might be the ultimate girl car: All you love in an SUV, all you love in a sedan, all you love in a performance car, all rolled into one. Let me explain.

I love an SUV for its high stance above the road, all wheel drive capability and flexible interior space. I love a sedan for its sleek design and fits-like-a-glove interior. I love a performance car for the thrill of accelerating onto the highway and those precious moments you get to drive it the way it’s supposed to be driven: putting every single horse to work. So when all this is wrapped up into a single package, it’s gotta be a miss, right?

Not at all. 

In fact, it’s a huge win. This is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 Coupe. 

Related: 2020 Mercedes Benz GLC 300: Technology and Luxury at Your Service

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

It looks so demure, doesn’t it? Inside it’s a badass performance car. ? Scotty Reiss

Coupe or SUV: Your Choice 

If you can’t wrap your mind around the Coupe style — and I get it, it’s not for everyone — you can also choose an SUV. The GLC class, with all its choices, is a best seller for Mercedes-Benz. That’s because it’s versatile, well priced, capable and elegant. 

But this story is about the Coupe and all the goodies that Mercedes-Benz piles into the AMG edition. And there is a lot to tell. It was redesigned for 2020 and in addition to the awesomeness of the AMG engine and technical details, Mercedes-Benz has made quite a few upgrades to the technology. 

It starts with MBUX, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system and “Hey Mercedes,” a voice-activated assistant that is way more useful and helpful than I’d ever have thought. Literally, just ask for what you want: turn up the music, change the station, turn down the cabin temperature, turn on the heated seats, find a carwash, navigate to Trader Joe’s, and she’s on it. 

For a few extra dollars ($1,250) you can add to the experience with augmented navigation: as you reach each point in your navigation a live video of the road pops up with arrows directing you to your turns. While this may sounds redundant to navigation, I came to find it helpful. It’s as if a real, live human is sitting with you pointing out “turn left just after the gas station on the right.” Intuitive. 

Related: Ready for Your First Luxury Performance Car? 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 35 Review

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

The front cabin of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43. ? Scotty Reiss

What We Loved

  • The look and shape of this car
  • The spacious interior; the rear seats folded flat with room to spare without moving the front seats
  • 4Matic all wheel drive
  • Push the badge on the liftgate to access the cargo area
  • A flush choice of luscious interior colors and details – yes they are extra but they are so extra 
  • All the extra that AMG is: power, suspension, brakes, enhanced exhaust and drive modes
  • The suede steering wheel. This should just be standard, it’s so awesome 
  • Enhanced exhaust. I never thought I would like a feature like this until I had it
  • Drive mode selector dials on the steering wheel so you can flip it into sport on the fly
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto 
  • The Panoramic sunroof

Related: Visiting Mercedes-Benz at (Sweet) Home In Alabama

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

A view of the rear end of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43. ? Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs 

Overall, the base model of the Coupe, which carries a $3,500 premium over the AMG SUV, is very well equipped. The model we test drove included some upgrades that brought the price to just under $80,000. Here’s how it breaks out:  

  • GLC 300 SUV with a 255 horsepower 4-cylinder turbo engine starts at $42,500
  • GLC AMG43 SUV with a 385 horsepower V6 twin turbo engine starts at $59,500
  • GLC 300 Coupe starts at $50,000
  • GLC AMG43 Coupe, which includes sport suspension, all wheel drive (a standard AMG feature), 10.25” touch screen media system, MBUX infotainment system, voice-activated assistant, touchpad controller, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, keyless smart key entry and starter, two USB-C ports, a household plug (on the rear of the center console), ambient lighting, panoramic sun roof, heated seats and driver assist and safety technology (active brake assist, driver attention monitor, blind spot monitors) starts at $63,000
  • Add leather seats, silver paint and carbon fiber interior trim: $3,265
  • Driver assistance and safety technology including adaptive cruise control, steering assist , active lane change assist, enhanced blind spot monitors, pre-emergency braking: $1,700
  • Head up display: $1,100
  • Premium wheels: $1,500
  • Suede steering wheel: $500
  • Park assist semi-autonomous parking and a surround view camera: $1,290
  • Multimedia package including navigation with augmented reality directions, live traffic and speed limit assist, $1,250
  • Performance exhaust: $1,250
  • AMG steering wheel drive mode selector (called the ‘drive unit’): $400
  • Burmester premium sound system: $850
  • Price of the model we drove, including $995 delivery: $79,850

Fresh new Look on the Outside

Thankfully the Mercedes-Benz design team didn’t tinker too much with the overall size and silhouette of the GLC Coupe. But they did supersize the front badge and grille, which now has a more pinstriped look to it. The front grille is accented by slim new headlights with LED lights. And, the slimmed down tail lights are new for 2020.

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

This steering wheel! Suede and leather is a delight to hold. ? Scotty Reiss

AMG Details Set This SUV Apart

With more horsepower than the last version (23 more, actually), AMG starts with visual cues and then fills in with performance dynamics that make this a really different animal than the GLC 300. It starts with the interior badging on the floor mats and steering wheel—perhaps a reminder to put it into sport mode (comfort is the default drive mode)? From there, things like the suede steering wheel and stainless steel controls keep the drive experience top notch. But it’s the multiple drive modes, the enhanced exhaust system and the 384 torque for immediate power when you tap the accelerator that really give this SUV its muscular appeal.

To Anyone Who Says This is Not a Coupe…

Get over it. Things change. The world evolves. And great design endures. Yes, a coupe is traditionally a two-door car (vs the four-door sedan and the five-door hatchback). But the design conundrum endures: we love the shape and scale of the coupe but need 4 doors and if I can have a hatchback, too, all the better. Those things blend together so nicely in the GLC Coupe. 

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

The rear camera is embedded in the badge on the back of the Mercedes Benz AMG GLC 43. ? Scotty Reiss

Choices, Choices, Choices

The AMG GLC 43 I test drove was appointed in Iridium Silver Metallic paint with cranberry and black leather seats. Pretty, but not really my cup of tea. I would go for the white diamond metallic paint ($1,515) with white pearl and black leather interior ($3,100, about double the upcharge of other leather packages). From there, I’d go for options like the suede steering wheel, massaging seats, cabin fragrance diffuser, head up display,   and Burmester sound system. I’d skip the fancy wheels— the standard wheels are fine, and probably the park assist, which while very cool and will wow your friends, is contrary to the point of AMG, which is for people who really like to drive (and in theory, are good parkers, too).

But I like that there are a lot of choices, and that an SUV sports coupe is one of them. Because it takes everything I love in an SUV, a sedan and a performance car and beautifully assembles them under a single elegant roof. 

Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

Turn driver assist features on or off with vehicle setting options. ? Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know 

  • Seats 5 but more comfortable for 4
  • Fuel efficiency estimated at 18/24 MPG
  • 4 year/50,000 mile warranty
  • Premium fuel recommended for optimal performance 
  • It takes  few upgrades (leather seats, head up display) to truly make this a Mercedes-Benz
  • Our test model was equipped with summer performance tires; ensure you have the tires you need for your climate, conditions and driving style
Mercedes-Benz Amg Glc43

You can set the ambient light to the color of your choice. My daughter liked pink and purple. ? Scotty Reiss

What We Listened To in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC43 Coupe

Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz provided the 2020 AMG GLC43 for this test drive. All opinions are my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss