Mercedes-Benz’s GLC SUV/crossover is already a popular choice in the South African market, and this Coupé version is essentially a spin-off variant created for people who want greater individuality and flair. It’s Mercedes-Benz’s direct rival to the BMW X4, and therefore appeals to a similarly niche audience. At the price level of this range-topping AMG 43 variant, Porsche’s highly-rated Macan also looms large. In short then, this is a car for consumers who demand performance and style, but for whom a traditional coupé is probably both too compromised (practically) and too old-fashioned or predictable (in design).
This particular model is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that delivers a whopping 270 kW and 520 Nm of torque. There is currently no BMW X4 on offer that comes close to those power and torque figures. Even the slightly more expensive Porsche Macan S is outgunned by the Mercedes. It’s not all academic either, because the engine is a star performer on the road.
Coupled with the brand’s 9-speed G-Tronic transmission, it blasts to 100 kph in 4.9 seconds. More impressive is the way it revs smoothly, yet delivers a nice, snarly engine note under hard acceleration. In Sport+ mode it will even deliver some crackles and pops through the exhaust.
The GLC 43 Coupé costs just over R100 000 more than its standard GLC 43 sibling. What do you get for your extra outlay? Well, you get less space in the boot, but more individualistic looks – we say “individualistic”, because not everyone rates the Coupé shape as more attractive than the standard model. The Porsche Macan S is priced within close proximity, but can’t match the GLC 43 Coupé’s power and spec. Another rival that may be overlooked here is the Jaguar F-PACE 35t R-Sport, but that, too, is down on power and performance.