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Driven: Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe. Image by Mercedes.

Driven: Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe
This thing could be an unholy, mixed-up mess of different motoring themes, but it really isnítÖ


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Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe

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Good points: Superb drivetrain, high comfort levels, impressive handling, lovely interior, we like the looks and it has no direct rivals in the UK

Not so good: Expensive, a 'regular' GLC 43 might be a better bet, is a GLC 63 Coupe on the way?

Key Facts

Model tested: Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe
Price: GLC Coupe range starts from £42,050; GLC 43 AMG Coupe from £52,335, car as tested £58,660
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol
Transmission: all-wheel drive, nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic
Body style: five-door coupe-SUV
CO2 emissions: 192/km (VED £1,200 first 12 months, £450 per annum next five years, then £140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 33.6mpg
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Power: 367hp at 5,500- to 6,000rpm
Torque: 520Nm at 2,500- to 4,500rpm

Our view:

An SUV. A coupe SUV. A coupe SUV that promotes itself as a performance machine. A performance, coupe SUV with AMG badging. A performance, coupe SUV by AMG without a V8. Honestly, if ever a car were going all-out to annoy the hell out of the petrolhead diehards among us, then the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe is it. There are certain immutable laws in the motoring world - or, at least, they're immutable to the sort of people who are often at tracks days and who possess a pair of their own Alpinestars racing boots - that run along the following lines: SUVs, no matter how powerful nor how focused their chassis set-up, cannot possibly be classified as proper and correct performance cars; coupe SUVs are a particularly nasty piece of marketing-spawned horror; and that renowned house of thunderous V8s, AMG, should neither be doing V6s nor SUVs.

But we'd class ourselves as car enthusiasts; the clue's in the name of this website, for starters. And we most certainly do not find the GLC 43 Coupe abhorrent. In fact, we think it's a fantastic thing... IF you set your parameters of expectation fairly before driving it, and then genuinely assess if it is meeting your preordained hopes or not.

It is not a tremendous performance vehicle in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't set new standards of steering feel, nor body control, nor neutral-to-oversteer handling balance. But what it does do is provide a quite remarkable turn of speed and some genuinely entertaining dynamics in a package that provides a good vantage point of the road, as well as some useful practicality. Key to the GLC Coupe's skillset is the drivetrain - we're enormous fans of that 3.0-litre biturbo V6 and the silken nine-speed automatic transmission, both of which make the absolute most of the Merc's 4Matic all-wheel drive. With epic traction and typically lovely AMG steering, you can place the 1,855kg SUV quickly and precisely where you want it to be on the road. It even resists understeer for as long as you could possibly imagine, so at road speeds you shouldn't really ever find the GLC's limit of grip. All of the above makes the 43 genuine fun to punt along a quiet back road, should the mood take you.

And we love the regular GLC anyway, so slotting a 367hp petrol V6 into it is hardly going to hurt the proposition, in our eyes. Thankfully, the Mercedes preserves all of the regular SUV's strengths: cushy ride, hushed interior, attractive and well-equipped dashboard, decent space for passengers fore and aft. Indeed, that sloping roof outside doesn't massively impinge on rear headroom, and (whisper it)... we kind of like the look of the GLC Coupe. Accepting that these sloping-backed SUVs have to exist to satisfy customer demand, aesthetically the Merc seems to be the best of its type, beating its own GLE brother and the two BMW progenitors, the X4 and X6. Maybe that's not the most difficult opposition to beat in that regard, granted, but the point remains valid. Mercedes' sleek coupe rear styling - with the wide light clusters and the smooth bootlid - seems to help the GLC to look genuinely attractive.

Sure, you're going to have some hardcore motorists frothing at the mouth with a self-righteous, indignant rage if you buy one of these things and you pass them on the motorway. But let them - let them rail against what we are going to propose is an immutable fact: that the GLC 43 Coupe is a fine execution of the idea of a sporty SUV. Indeed, we did almost 400 miles in the AMG during a week we also drove the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the Maserati Levante S, and despite being considerably down on power, the Mercedes felt a better-resolved machine than the Maserati and almost as special as the mad-as-hell Stelvio QF. Which, as you can imagine, is quite some accolade.

About the biggest problem with the GLC 43 Coupe is the presence of the GLC 63 S elsewhere in Mercedes-AMG's portfolio. Because, if you're going to spend £62,500 on one of these things, you might as well go the whole hog and have the 510hp lunatic instead. You can also have the 4.0-litre V8 in this same Coupe body. However, we think that the 43 has more than enough grunt for most needs, and it's an SUV that is a genuinely impressive performance machine. Even if you'll never convince some people of that fact.


Audi SQ5: The fast Q5 is no longer purely diesel in the UK (although a TDI SQ5 arrives in 2018) but the TFSI model is strangely underplayed. Also isn't a coupe-SUV, like this particular AMG GLC.

BMW X4 xDrive35d: The only SUV that can match the Mercedes for the swoopy body style, but BMW doesn't offer the M40i petrol version on these shores. So a diesel 35d is the best you're gonna get.

Porsche Macan: Not a coupe-SUV but its rakish Porsche design almost makes it such, and the Macan has one of the best chassis underpinning a tall 4x4 that you could possibly ask for.

Matt Robinson - 5 Jan 2018

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2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe drive. Image by Mercedes.


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