Mercedes-Benz GLC - A SUV for keen drivers? - Engine and gearbox

Comfortable on-road and surprisingly capable off it, but a remote driving experience

Evo rating
  • Unexpected off-road ability, refinement, comfort
  • Handling and performance dulled by weight

Engine and gearbox 

The UK receives three diesel engines and one petrol model, the latter in the shape of the AMG GLC 43 with an even more extreme AMG GLC 63 and GLC 63 S to follow later this year.

The GLC 220d 4MATIC and GLC 250d 4MATIC both use Mercedes’s ubiquitous 2143cc, inline four-cylinder turbocharged diesel powerplant. In the 220d it develops 168bhp from 3000 to 4200rpm and 295lb ft between 1400 and 2800rpm. In the 250d, these numbers swell to 201bhp at 3800rpm and a 369lb ft torque peak from 1600 to 1800rpm (though it’s safe to assume the 250d makes at least as much torque as the 220d across the lesser engine’s wider range. The 250d also sends more power rearwards in normal driving – up to 67 per cent).

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Next up is the GLC 350d, with a 2987cc turbocharged diesel V6 and a 252bhp output, with a muscular 457lb ft of torque available from only 1600rpm. That's more torque even than the current range-topper, the GLC 43 – it makes 384lb ft from 2500rpm, though counters with 362bhp at 5500rpm from its twin-turbo, 3-litre V6.

As previously mentioned, the upcoming AMG GLC 63 will utilise the same M178 ‘hot vee’ 4-litre V8 engine as most of the current AMG range. Sharing identical figures with the AMG C 63 range, the GLC will produce 469bhp as standard or 507bhp in ‘S’ form. These models will both be paired to a 9-speed MCT speedshift gearbox, which eschews the usual torque converter for a wet clutch set up.

The rest of the GLC range use Mercedes’s nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, which varies its cog-swapping attributes depending on the driving mode you’ve selected – in Eco it’ll shuffle up to ninth as soon as conditions allow, while Sport and Sport+ hang onto gears for longer and change down earlier.

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