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18/10/2021

Mercedes GLC 300 de 4Matic gets hybrid power

Road Tested by Hugh Maguire

Mercedes GLC 300 de 4Matic gets hybrid power

The Mercedes GLC is a luxury premium SUV and is now available as a plug in hybrid. The plug in hybrid has its place but in my opinion due its limited range on pure electric power it really only suits those who do very short runs between re charging as other than when on battery power it actually is less efficient due the extra weight of the vehicle. The key point here is you must be disciplined enough to plug in every time you can to complete most short trips on battery power. So to the GLC PHEV AMG on test here.

So Has It Any Street cred?

The Mercedes GLC PHEV is sleek and purposeful looking. I love the style.

My test car was finished in Selenite Grey metallic and with nice chrome details, and 19 inch two tone AMG 5-spoke alloy wheels. It really looked very smart indeed.

What’s it like inside?

The cabin is typically Mercedes, functional, and very well put together. The large open expanse of dashboard houses lovely instrumentation (the MBUX digital dash is a cost option) while the centre console houses controls for the heating, ventilation and audio controls and of course the now obligatory centrally mounted landscape screen. A very user friendly touch controller operates all the on screen functions, such as phone, Sat Nav, audio, and vehicle settings. It all looks very well and manages to feel more opulent than its rivals. Though the use of “Faux” “man made Artico leather” rather than real leather disappoints. There are plenty of storage areas with large door pockets, a decent sized glove box and a very handy centre storage box between both front seats.

The driving position is perfect and standard equipment includes a host of safety features too. I must say it all feels very well designed and ergonomically it’s just about perfect. Build quality is as you would expect beyond reproach.

What is under the bonnet?

Power comes from a 2.0 litre 194 bhp bhp turbo diesel and a 122 bhp electric motor powering all four wheels. On a full charge it will do about 50km on battery power alone. This GLC will go from zero to 100km/h in around 6 seconds and it is super smooth and very quiet.

The 9- speed G-Tronic auto gearbox is excellent and with well-chosen ratios it gets the very best from the engine/electric motor combination torque capabilities.

This diesel is very refined and performs very well. Economy is good too with the on-board computer claiming a test average of 4.8 litres per 100km. Road tax is €140.00 per year.

What’s it like to drive?

The suspension set-up in the new GLC PHEV is comfortable but you do feel the extra weight of the car in the corners compared to its non PHEV sibling. It rolls more and reaches its cornering limit sooner. The steering is nicely weighted giving plenty of driver feedback, and there are Sport, and Comfort settings which the driver can select. The brakes are powerful and the car feels really sure-footed whether on wet or dry roads.

Accommodation is very good with plenty of leg and headroom both front and rear.

The load area is easily accessed via the large rear electrically operated tailgate.

What’s the Verdict?

The new GLC PHEV feels good around you, it feels special and that should be part of the ownership experience in a Mercedes.

In my opinion though PHEV’s are a halfway house. Either buy the very efficient diesel GLC or try a fully electric Mercedes EQA which shares much with the GLC platform. The GLC PHEV costs from €62,300.

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