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Chameleon: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe 4Matic

So, you’re looking at this 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe, probably thinking to yourself, “just another posh, austere Wa’Benzi.” Nah, hear me out with the help of some timeless wisdom from Speed, Pop quiz, hot shot …” You’re looking for a car that can devour a long motorway drive without breaking a sweat. You want a car with generous ground clearance that can tackle choppy, potholed B-roads – maybe more – and still sooth your brow.

You’d like a car that can waft up and down a twisty mountain pass and keep you from yawning off to sleep. How about a car that can plod along on your daily commute, like it’s on autopilot? You don’t want to seem too flashy, but turning some heads at your local shopping-mall carpark would be a bonus, too. And because Mzansi is gripped in a cost-of-living crisis, ideally, if must be thrifty, economical and a soft touch on the environment … “What do you choose? What do you choose?”

2024 MERCEDES-BENZ GLC 220D COUPE

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe loves twisting alpine roads as much as it’s at home on your boring daily commute. Image: Mercedes-Benz Press

You’ll think I’m just drinking the cool aid but, honestly, after a thorough road test, I can report that the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe is all of the above and a packet of crisps. I know this because I drove the vehicle on launch earlier in the year, too, and I was impressed at what a soft touch it was that day. Often an understated impression from the launch translates into a really great test car that gels with your everyday routine. The same applies here.

Mercedes-Benz has certainly been hard at work lately, with a plethora of new cars and model updates rolling off the line. Everything from the A-Class, GLB, GLC Coupe, larger GLE Coupe and the EQE electric we tested most recently. The three-pointed star is shining bright of late, no doubt about it. But let’s hone our focus onto the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe

SMOOTH TURBODIESEL

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe
17 kW hybrid EQ Boost does a wonderful job of filling any torque gaps. Not that you notice any. Image: Mercedes-Benz Press

Under its triceratops-like bonnet there is a 2.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that produces 145 kW and 440 Nm of torque. It’s matched to a nine-speed automatic which means you’re always in what feels like the optimum gear ratio. Plus, there’s the 48-volt electrical architecture that’s unique to the latest Benzes and it blesses the SUV Coupe with 17 kW-extra overtaking power. Not just that, the tech ensures seamless transitions through engine stop/start. And there’s a wonderful lift and coast function, too.

The result of the latter means the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe dishes up great real-world fuel economy. For a large SUV, we were thoroughly impressed to see 6.9 l/100 km on the combined cycle after our test. The manufacturer claims it should dip as low as 5.5 l/100 km. And given a bit more extra-urban driving we have no doubt the average could get close. 225 km/h is the top speed, zero to 100 km/h is dispatched in near-as-makes-no-difference 8.0 seconds. The piece de résistance is just how quiet this oil-burner runs. Genuinely, having just climbed out of a near-silent EQE, we were not disappointed by the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) suppression.

SUPREME CONFIDENCE

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe
Look at how wonderfully tapered the rear three-quarter looks compared to a regular GLC. Image: Mercedes-Benz Press

Styling wise, it’s subtle, but the designers have done a wonderful job on the new-generation 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe. Gone are the bulky headlights and brash grille of its predecessor. Instead, what you’re left with is a stately, commanding, yet understated expression of Germanic SUVness. Horizontal strakes still accentuate the width and purpose of the front fascia. But not to the detriment of aesthetic balance.

More than skin deep, many of the latest styling tweaks from Stuttgart are to aid aerodynamic efficiency. The flat under carriage, reshaped wing mirrors/door handles, raked-back windshield and generally pebble-smooth bodywork benefits you three-fold in this SUV Coupe. One, it saves you fuel. Two, it looks the business. And, three, it helps create that incredible NVH we praised earlier. When the car cleaves through the air cleanly, you win on all fronts.

MBUX INTERIOR

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe
No other place you’d want to be. Mercedes-Benz interiors have simply ascended to a whole new level. Image: Mercedes-Benz Press

A wide-open motorway is the perfect setting to play with Wa’Benzi’s countless toys, like the brilliant MBUX infotainment interface. And find the perfect position for the comfortably bolstered seats. It’s incredibly rare to just climb aboard a new car – especially a high-tech Mercedes – and feel as if everything falls intuitively to hand. But that’s exactly what it feels like in the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe. And, trust us, that doesn’t just happen by accident. A lot of very bright designers hone this skill over their entire careers.

Just like the engineers who made magic with the SUV Coupe’s ride and handling. This couldn’t surprise you more if it jumped from a cake wearing nothing but suspenders and a party hat. Don’t forget, even though it’s the ‘baby’ compared with the 300d, it’s still comes equipped with 4Matic all-wheel drive. So, when you mash your foot into the carpet it responds with reassuring grip from all four corners, even on its eco tyres. Thanks to brilliantly balanced electric steering, you relish tipping it into bends. And the ride quality shows real sophistication, whether cornering quickly or traversing careworn roads.

THE VERDICT

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe, more than just a striking backside. Image: Mercedes-Benz Press

Remember when turbodiesels had a narrow torque band with all the shove coming in one, low-down lump!? Me neither, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe possesses none of those attributes and simply thunders along at limits well above the speed limit (should you so choose). Overall, this sophisticated Coupe SUV gelled so wonderfully with my daily routine that I was sad to see it go. One of those rare vehicles that was stellar in every respect. Which means it must qualify as one of the most accomplished cars on sale in South Africa currently. Take a test drive and find out firsthand, you won’t be disappointed.

THE FIGURES

  • Best for: This Benz does it all with a touch of class. And a soft touch at that.
  • Not so sure: North of R1.2-million might dissuade those with tight pecuniary means.   
  • 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe 4Matic
  • Engine: 1 999 cc 4-cyl turbodiesel
  • Power: 145 kW, 440 Nm (+17 kW Hybrid EQ Boost)
  • Performance: 8.10 sec 0-100 km/h (claimed)
  • Gearbox: 9-speed automatic
  • Economy: 6.9 l/100 km (tested), 5.5 l/100 km (claimed/combined)
  • Tyres: Continental EcoContact 255/45/R20
  • Price: R1 295 877 (starting from)

Did you enjoy this review of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupe? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.

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