Ramp up the style, power and performance of the GLC and what do you have? The Mercedes AMG GLC 43 SUV, of course. Already a well-respected mid-sized SUV, the Mercedes AMG GLC 43 SUV is an upgraded version of an already potent package. It’s just that this one is more potent!
Napleton.news had the chance to spend a week in the conventional Mercedes GLC 43 SUV. This Merc is also available in a fastback version known as the Mercedes AMG GLC 43 Coupe. They are mechanically identical.
WHAT IS THE MERCEDES AMG GLC 43 SUV?
The AMG GLC 43 is a high-performance version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC Sport Utility Vehicle. Our tester is a two-box design, that holds five passengers, within four doors and a hatchback while the Coupe version is a slope-backed version of the same. Power for our steed came from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine producing 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. This engine will satisfy the needs and desires of most buyers.
For those who absolutely need more power, there is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with a clutch pack for sportier get-up-and-go than a standard transmission. Both vehicles are equipped with Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive as a standard offering.
AMG loaded the GLC 43 SUV with all sorts of other features, including Dynamic Select drive mode control. It also included AMG’s Sport Suspension with Air Body Control that adapts to the various roads according to sensors that read the road up to 500 times a second. Once you find the need to bring things back under control, AMG’s enhanced braking system will help to throw out an anchor.
HOW DOES THE MERCEDES AMG 43 LOOK FROM THE OUTSIDE?
The first thing we noticed was the replacement of the diamond-cut grille with vertical grille bars, as seen on classic Mercedes-Benz racecars of the past, including the 300 SL that competed in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana. It’s a classic throwback that puts out a vibe one would experience had they competed in the famous coast-to-coast Mexican road race.
New LED headlamps present a more expressive face than the outgoing model and are joined by new foglamps. At the rear, new LED taillights take over from the old and are recessed to sit flush with the body. Round tailpipes dump the exhaust from our sampler, which is finished with staggered 21-inch wheels all around.
A LOOK INSIDE THE MERCEDES AMG GLC
There’s no mistaking it; the GLC 43 is a luxury model SUV. It’s clear from the moment you sit in the all-engulfing tan leather-covered sport seats in the front row, which do a great job of keeping you in place. The luxury point is driven further by the black-stained open-pore wood trim that is stretched along the center console.
The MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) pad sits at the base of the console. It allows the user to trace their way through the vehicle’s audio, climate, cellular and navigation settings. There are redundant touchpads on the steering wheel as well, which we felt were easier to use. They allowed us to keep both hands on the wheel rather than have to train our way around the touchpad. The reality is that if we had more time to learn, we would have easily adapted to its use.
Added extras included a stellar Burmester Surround Sound Audio System ($850) that makes the GLC 43 sound like a concert hall on wheels. Our gauge binnacle included an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, M-B Active Parking Assist, Distronic, Active Lane Change Assist, and Pre-Safe Plus.
The GLC 43 offers 17.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. Fold that bench forward and the space grows to accommodate up to 56.5 cubic feet.
BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE GLC 43
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 SUV can be anything you want it to be. An around-town cruiser is one thing. A cross-country runner, another. Or even a track-day joyrider. The choice is yours and doesn’t require three different vehicles. Unlike many other performance versions of everyday vehicles, the GLC 43 offers an adjustable suspension that combines settings of comfort, sport, and sport+. These allow you to combine any number of settings so you can vary it according to your mood, or those of your passengers!
We are honestly not fans of the Auto Start/Stop buttons, which supposedly help to save on gas mileage. They work as advertised but do it in a rather obtrusive way. We solved the problem by pushing the dashboard button that turns the system off.
Once we were underway, the GLC 43 was a Jekyll and Hyde type vehicle. Drive it conservatively, and it would reward you with a smooth, docile ride. But step on the throttle and you will find an SUV that will haul the mail and then some. With an exhaust note not too far removed from a contemporary Formula 1 race car, the ’43 gets going quickly. The weighted steering wheel offers exceptional road feel while the braking system inspires confidence throughout your journey.
The new Mercedes AMG GLC 43 is now on sale today at Napleton Mercedes Benz of Rochester. Please contact us to schedule a test drive today.