2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 review, test drive

    Is the Mercedes GLC petrol the pick of the range? We drive the 2021 version to find out.

    Published on Feb 26, 2021 09:00:00 AM


    Model : GLC
    We Like
    • Good value for money
    • Feature-loaded
    • Space and practicality
    We Don't Like
    • All-wheel drive missing

    The Mercedes-Benz GLC has been a formidable contender in the premium mid-size SUV space, and despite being one of the oldest offerings in the segment, it is still a strong seller for the brand. The GLC range got a mid-life refresh in 2019, and now for 2021, Mercedes-Benz has stuffed it with some new features, resulting in a price hike – it is now priced at Rs 57.36 lakh for the petrol, and Rs 63.13 lakh for the diesel, Rs 1.50 lakh and Rs 2 lakh more than their respective 2020 versions. Previously, we reviewed the GLC 220d diesel in 2019, and now we get behind the wheel of the GLC 200 petrol, and touch upon all that’s new in 2021 across the range.

    What’s new about the 2021 GLC?

    The GLC carries forward its contemporary styling from the 2019 update, so it still sports LED lights, a large two-slat grille flaunting an oversized three-pointed star, stylish 19-inch wheels and some butch-looking elements to go with its SUV persona. What’s new is that Mercedes is now offering two new paint shade options in 2021 – “High-tech Silver” and “Brilliant Blue” (as seen in this review). Our test car came with all-black interiors.

    The 2021 GLC gets no styling changes. Brilliant Blue paint shade seen here is new.

    One of the talking points about the interiors is the new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, which it shares with other models, that offers multiple display options for the speedometer, tachometer, navigation, and more. Mercedes has also added a 360-degree camera to the equipment list, and what’s nice is that the camera quality and display is top-notch. And when it comes to seat comfort, the already plush front seats of the GLC now boast of a massaging function; and while it is barely as intense and as effective as what you’d expect from a ‘massage’ seat, it is still a nice option to have.

    12.3-inch digital instrument cluster can alternate between multiple display modes.

    What’s more is that the brilliant MBUX infotainment system that made its debut on the 2019 GLC, goes a step further in terms of connectivity. In addition to the connected car features via the ‘Mercedes Me’ application which allows users to check the vehicle status, lock/unlock the car remotely, locate the vehicle, call for services/assistance, the 2021 update also features remote engine start and operation of the windows and sunroof via the mobile application. What’s more is that with Alexa and Google home integration, users can avail all the connected car functions from the comfort of their living room or office via voice commands to their supporting devices.

    Connected car tech now includes the addition of remote engine start and Google Home and Alexa integration.

    Overall, the GLC’s cabin remains a nice place to be with high quality materials, comfortable and supportive seats, a spacious and practical layout, and ample glass area all around.

    Cabin is spacious and finished in high quality materials.

    What is it like to drive?

    Previously, the petrol was offered with a 245hp/370Nm engine in the ‘300’ guise (now discontinued), whereas in its current ‘220’ iteration, this four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine is down on numbers making 197hp and 320Nm. And compared to the ‘220d’ diesel, this motor makes 80Nm of torque lesser. So, does the torque deficit hamper performance significantly? The simple answer to that is - No. Mercedes offers the GLC 200 petrol only in a two-wheel drive configuration (power is transmitted to the rear wheels), compared to the all-wheel drive diesel, so the petrol is much lighter, hence the torque deficit is scarcely noticeable. This engine feels just as sprightly and as energetic as the diesel right from the get-go; it is smoother too and does its job in a silent, refined manner. Even the build-up of speed is linear, and it has got more than adequate performance to keep most users satisfied.

    GLC 200 builds up speed in a linear manner. Performance is more than adequate.

    Complementing this engine is a 9-speed automatic transmission which performs seamlessly, and the flexibility of nine ratios means the turbo-petrol engine will spin lazily at lower revs at cruising speeds, thus aiding fuel efficiency to a certain degree.

    The GLC strikes a good balance between ride comfort and driving manners.

    This 2021 version carries forward the same suspension tweaks which featured in the 2019 facelift; so even though it wears tall 19-inch wheels, its suspension has been softened, and strikes a good balance between ride comfort and driving manners.

    Should I buy one?

    The GLC is a well-rounded SUV packing in space and comfort, equipment, mature driving manners and wears the very desirable three-pointed star. While the 2019 refresh leased the GLC a new life, this 2021 update although minor, certainly enhances its appeal with a 360-degree camera, digital speedometer console, front seat massagers and new connected car features. And if your usage is strictly on the beaten path, the two-wheel drive GLC 200 petrol is not only more refined and smoother than the diesel, but it is also cheaper than the diesel by Rs 5.77 lakh, thus making a strong case for itself.

    Also read:

    Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe review

    15 new Mercedes models for 2021

    Tech Specs

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