Australia’s best cars 2015: AWD SUV $65,000 - $125,000
Winner: Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d
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.