Lifestyle

First drive: Mercedes-Benz GLC 200

 
First drive: Mercedes-Benz GLC 200

By its very nature, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) should be able to do all sorts of things. Is it the go to choice for soccer moms around the world? Yes it is. Is it a good choice for new families? Yes to that too. Can it also cater to active folks who fancy biking or a tramp through the jungle? Most definitely.

The trouble though is that in recent years, in an effort to make the SUV more urbane, the edge for adventure has been lost by many a car manufacturer. But not so with Mercedes-Benz and their premium line-up of SUVs.

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I had the opportunity to give the GLC 200 a weekend ramble around the hills of Ipoh, Perak. And it has edginess in spades! The SUV is powered by a 2.0 litre four in-line engine, which produces an output of 135 kW (184 hp) and 300 Nm of torque. That’s mated on to a nine-speed hence 9G-Tronic transmission, which is then controlled by the on-board computer through the Dynamic Select modes.

Here’s where you control the personality of the car. Select Eco and the car saves fuel where possible, while Comfort is for an easy drive and daily use. Then, there is Sport, which stiffens the car and adds throttle response. And finally, you have Sport+, which turns the car into a veritable beast!

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So what does this gobbledegook translate to, on our roads? First of all, this being a Mercedes-Benz, you start off on the front foot. Straight out of the door, cars will move out of your way on highways and give you space to go around on smaller district roads.

Secondly (and truth be told), the GLC 200 is a sexy car. This is not your daddy’s holiday wagon. The interior is typical Mercedes luxury with Artico upholstery and wood trim. Being an SUV, it of course has that larger than usual rear cabin space and here you will find that everything is built with a reason. There are no out of place or pointless fixtures. Golf bag or road bike, the cabin is made to not give you headaches with convenient pockets and anchor points.

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I know this first hand as it was one of those few times that a full on family outing over a weekend didn’t bring any drama with the car – especially on our infamous roads. At RM288,888 for the GLC 200 or RM325,888 for the higher spec GLC 250 4MATIC, you are getting some rather intangible add-ons.

This car would not look out of place in valet parking outside the latest hotspot club and neither will it let you down on rough village roads. Unless you just happen to lead a very monotonous life, this is a car that will take a goodly amount of guesswork out of your day.