Best AWD SUV $65,000-$125,000

Australia's Best Cars 2016/17

Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d – Australia's Best AWD SUV $65,000-$125,000

New to market in 2016 as a replacement for the GLK, the GLC utilises Mercedes’ C-Class sedan’s accomplished platform and drivetrains. Stretched to suit its SUV design brief, the GLC gives rear-seat passengers 60 millimetres more space overall by way of better leg and head room and a higher rear seating position.

Under the bonnet is a 2.1-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel pumping out 150kW and 500Nm and driving through a nine-speed automatic and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. You don’t equate impressive fuel economy with anything larger than a compact SUV, but the GLC can claim an ADR combined cycle figure of just 5.7L/100km.    

Inside, style meets comfort: leather-appointed, powered front seats; well-finished dash; the latest connectivity and clear, commanding vision forward and to the sides.

The ride is rather firm, not surprisingly given the taut suspension and tall 20-inch alloys, particularly over corrugations and expansion joins.

But a firm ride usually equates to sharper handling and, although not quite as dynamic as the F-PACE, the Merc feels agile and athletic on a twisty back road, turning in smartly while offering plenty of reassuring grip and traction.

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