Coupe-style SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe have cemented themselves as a popular class of car for young executives with families and they've only gotten better over the years. The GLC Coupe is a shining example of how body styles can come together to offer both good looks and practicality. The 2021 model is more capable than ever and goes up against excellent competitors such as the BMW X4 and Audi Q5 Sportback. With a 255-horsepower turbo engine under the hood and lots of standard tech and functional space, the GLC Coupe is well worth a hard look.
The US-market 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe gets a few new features, including a standard 360-degree surround-view camera system, park assist, push-button start, and rear cross-traffic alert. Hands-free entry, a dashcam, auto high beams, and parking damage detection are now standalone options, and Cirrus Silver is added to the list of exterior paint options.
See trim levels and configurations:
|GLC 300 4MATIC Coupe||
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
The new GLC-Class Coupe is a good-looking machine thanks to the coupe-like sloping roof and sexier curves. Standard exterior features include 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, and LED headlights. Optional exterior features include 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, a chrome diamond-block grille, and an AMG body-styling package with chrome-plated underguards and a bolder sculpted front air dam. Although the GLC-Class Coupe and small SUVs just like it are hard to justify from a practical point of view, there's no doubt that they turn plenty of heads.
This four-door crossover coupe shares similar dimensions with competitors such as the Audi Q5 Sportback and BMW X4. The total length is 183.3 inches and the car rolls on a 113.1-inch wheelbase. Without the mirrors, the Mercedes GLC-Class Coupe measures 74.9 inches wide and is 64.5 inches tall. The front track is 63.9 inches and the rear track is 63.7 inches. The curb weight is a relatively hefty 4,028 pounds.
As with every other German competitor in this class, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class Coupe uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that produces a class-middling 255 hp and a solid 273 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission and Merc's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. This crossover coupe will conquer the 0-60 mph sprint in 6.2 seconds, making it about as fast as a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST Mountune. There's lots of lowdown torque on offer, making the GLC Coupe a pleasure to drive in the city, and there's enough puff left over to make it a capable highway cruiser.
Cars in this class tend to drive more like regular sedans than heavy, high-riding SUVs, and the fact that this vehicle features the three-pointed star means that it is a capable driver. The suspension setup strikes a good balance between comfort and mildly sporty handling, but don't get too excited; with over 4,000 pounds to haul around and a higher than usual ride height, the GLC Coupe still makes its weight known in the corners. Thankfully, turn-in is sharp and the car responds well to quick steering inputs, although the steering feel is not great. At speed, the steering is well-weighted and inspires confidence. Sling the GLC through a set of corners, and the AWD system automatically defaults to understeer, but at least body roll is kept to a minimum, and the torque-filled four-pot loves to drag the compact SUV out of corners with surprising eagerness. When driving around the city, it offers a smooth driving experience and the cabin blocks out most road noise.
Thanks to an efficient 2.0L turbocharged engine, the GLC Coupe returns good gas mileage, but it isn't the most efficient in its class. According to the EPA, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe will return 22/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. Its close competitor, the BMW X4, will produce a figure of 23/29/25 mpg, and the Audi Q5 Sportback will get 23/28/25 mpg. The 17.4-gallon fuel tank affords the GLC Coupe a maximum range of about 418 miles with a mix of highway and city driving.
Mercedes-Benz claims a total seating capacity of five but, unfortunately, the 4-door SUV's sloping roofline adds a large asterisk to this promise; the rear headroom is significantly compromised, and the rear center seat will be too tight for larger adults. Luckily, the head and legroom figures in the front are good enough for six-footers and beyond. The front seats also offer good support and are power-adjustable with four-way lumbar support. The four-way power-adjustable steering column makes finding a comfortable driving position a breeze and you can save multiple configurations with the memory system. The sloping rear end makes rearward visibility an issue, but the raised riding position facilitates impressive forward visibility.
Trunk space is an essential factor in this class, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe does an admirable job of offering practical cargo room. Behind the rear seats, you'll find 17.6 cubic feet of space, which is enough for a lengthy bout of retail therapy at the mall. By comparison, the BMW X4 provides a larger 23.7 cubes of space. With the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats flattened, there are 49.4 cubic feet to play with, but once again, the BMW X4 offers more space overall. Inside the cabin, there are large door pockets, a large center storage bin, a glovebox, and a small storage compartment in front of the shifter.
There's a lot to talk about when it comes to the standard features in the four-door 2021 GLC Coupe, and Mercedes-Benz has done well to fit this car with as many goodies as is financially viable. Step inside the cabin, and you'll be greeted by 64-color LED ambient lighting, illuminated front door sills, keyless go, heated power front seats with driver-seat memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start via the Mercedes Me mobile app, and a
garage door opener. Standard driver assistance features include active brake assist, a surround-view system, blind spot assist with exit warning, rear cross-traffic alert, attention assist, crosswind assist, parktronic with active parking assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Optional extras include heated rear seats, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, active steering assist, and lane change assist.
The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment suite does a good job of providing an intuitive and hassle-free access point to the many built-in features. Users can control the system via a rotary dial and touchpad, touch commands, steering wheel buttons, voice control, and "Hey Mercedes" keyword activation. The multimedia suite includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, a FrontBass sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth audio streaming, dual USB-C audio ports, an HD Radio receiver, SiriusXM satellite radio with a six-month all access trial, and hands-free Bluetooth. Optional extras include navigation, in-car Wi-Fi, and a 13-speaker Burmester sound system. The standard analog gauges can also be replaced by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Unfortunately, the GLC-Class of cars has seen numerous recalls issued over the years. The latest recall to affect the GLC-Class family was announced in February of this year for a failure of the eCall system, resulting in emergency responders being dispatched to the wrong location. Numerous other recalls affected the 2020 GLC-Class Coupe such as a damaged power steering control unit wiring harness and the turbo oil feed and return lines that could leak. No recalls affecting the 2021 model have yet been issued.
Mercedes-Benz covers the GLC Coupe with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, including corrosion, roadside assistance, and drivetrain cover.
The NHTSA has yet to conduct its Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe crashworthiness review, and the same goes for the IIHS. The latter did, however, test the regular 2021 GLC SUV and gave it a Top Safety Pick rating, indicating that the GLC Coupe should be similarly safe. Standard safety equipment includes seven airbags along with active brake assist, a surround-view system, blind spot assist with exit warning, rear cross-traffic alert, attention assist, crosswind assist, active parking assist, adaptive braking, and rain-sensing window wipers. Optional safety systems include active steering assist, evasive steering assist, active lane change assist, and adaptive high beam assist. We would have liked to see adaptive cruise control fitted as standard by now, but it is available for an added cost.
In the world of weird crossover-coupe SUVs, the GLC Coupe stands out as one of the better examples. The exterior is beautifully styled and we think it looks more classy than the in-your-face BMW X4. Under the hood, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine offers good shove, both in the city and out on the highway, but you'll have to look at the AMG derivative if you want some serious power. Inside the cabin, Mercedes-Benz does what it does best - create a luxurious space that oozes refinement. The GLC Coupe also benefits from a ton of standard tech and an impressive list of safety features. On the road, the car glides over rough terrain, and its insulated cabin further enhances its refined character. One of our only gripes is the passenger space in the rear, which is compromised due to the sloping roofline. But, other than that, the GLC Coupe is a perfectly practical and luxurious machine that is well worth a test drive.
Premium motoring tends to cost a pretty penny, and the Mercedes GLC-Class Coupe crossover model proves that point. With an MSRP of $51,650 in the USA, this German crossover will set you back a pretty large chunk of change. This price doesn't even include tax, registration, and a US destination fee of $1,050. If that price seems a bit high, you'll always be able to find a low-mileage used model for sale in the classifieds for a lower outlay. Fully loaded, the Mercedes GLC-Class Coupe can reach prices north of $70k.
There is only one model to choose from here, so a look at the options list might be worth your time. If we had to build the perfect GLC Coupe, we'd start with a $720 Mojave Silver Metallic paint job and add the Exterior Lighting Package and black rear spoiler. On the inside, we'd add the head-up display, Burmester sound system, and hands-free tailgate. Finally, we'd add the $1,700 Driver Assistance Package, which includes features such as active steering assist, active brake assist, and Distronic adaptive cruise control. Choosing this package automatically adds the $1,295 Multimedia Package. In this spec, the GLC-Class Coupe price would total $59,615.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe is the car you go for if you need more power and space. This crossover coupe SUV measures 194.4 inches long and has a wheelbase of 117.9 inches, making it over 10 inches longer than the GLC-Class Coupe. Under the hood, the GLE 53 Coupe features a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine producing a mega 429 hp and 384 lb-ft, making it significantly faster than the GLC, but also much heavier on fuel at 18/23/20 mpg city/highway/combined. The AMG badging on the GLE 53 says it all: aggressive styling, a superbly crafted interior, and tons of standard tech. The GLE not only has a better interior and enhanced driving dynamics, but it also offers more practical trunk space. If you have the bucks, go for the GLE 53.
As its most direct competitor, the BMW X4 poses the biggest threat to Mercedes-Benz. As it has been around for longer, it has an arguably more loyal following, but is the BMW X4 really better? Under the hood, the X4 is powered by a less powerful 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo engine, but manages to deliver comparable performance figures and feels like a more dynamic vehicle to drive. The exterior styling of the X4 is questionable, and there's no doubt that the interior of the GLC Coupe is better, although the X4 does offer lots of standard tech as well. The rear space is also cramped due to the design of the body, but the BMW does offer a few more cubic feet of cargo space. If you're after something with a bit of driver's appeal, get the BMW, but if you're after luxury and comfort, the Mercedes is your best bet.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe: