Review Of The Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate
The new Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate is a smart-looking large family car that mixes upmarket appeal with affordable running costs. Perfect if you need a quiet and cosseted way of moving the whole family and more from A to B and beyond, its cabin is snug and its engines are capable.
And because it shares a lot of tech with the impressive C-Class Saloon, you get plenty of safety gizmos. There is no basic petrol offering, but there is a lot to choose out of the three diesels.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate review.
On The Road
Comfort is Mercedes’ signature, and that’s what you have here. There is little to no diesel clatter from the engines, and while the car won’t excite you, it makes super smooth progress. Most of the time, it feels as relaxing and as cosseted as a limousine.
All engines are fitted with four-wheel-drive, and despite the impressive size of the GLC Diesel Estate, it handles almost like a much smaller Hatchback. This is one of the benefits of sharing its platform with its C-Class sibling. The four-wheel-drive system is always engaged, and keeps the car nice and grippy via traction control.
Adaptive dampers come as standard, but we didn’t notice any improvement to ride comfort. If there was any, it was marginal. Instead, the dampers were likely added by Mercedes to absorb lumps and bumps better.
You’ll notice a bit of body lean if you take corners with gusto, and while the steering is precise, it lacks feel. A 9-speed automatic transmission is mated to each engine, and we have no complaints about it. It’s responsive and smooth.
In terms of the engines, both the entry-level 220d and the mid-level 250d models share the same 2.1-litre engine. The smaller model develops 168bhp and does 0-62 in 8.3 seconds, while the bigger 250d model produces 201bhp and covers the same sprint in 7.6 seconds.
Both variants are fine, though we suggest taking advantage of the 220d models lower fuel costs. After all, a 0-62 stopwatch time of 8.3 seconds is perfectly fine for a relaxed car such as this. Moreover, it comes with a softer suspension setup.
Topping the diesel range is a 350d model that’s powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine. It can dust off 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, has zero diesel clatter, feels smooth and doesn’t vibrate. It also has a bit of a roar.
Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate Interior, Design & Build
As ever with a Mercedes, the interior is a solidly built affair. The design has been refreshed and looks more modern than some rivals, and all models are generously equipped.
Comfort is what buyers will probably appreciate the most. Thanks to its soft suspension setup (which has taken its cues from the sophisticated C-Class Saloon) the GLC Diesel Estate is supremely comfortable, even at speed. Mercedes’ AIRMATIC suspension system is optional, however. At low speeds, you might notice a few judders, but it’s a minor complaint.
Insulation is good, with a smart crosswind prevention system ensuring the car remains stable and quiet on the motorway.
Mercedes’ dashboards aren’t always the last word in slick design, but this one is. It’s not a surprise – after all, it’s the same one that you’ll find in the C-Class. This means clear instrumentation and sturdy metallic switch gear. Luxury comes in the form of a single piece of gloss-black or wood veneer that dominates the center of the dash.
The air vents are a highlight, while button clutter isn’t an issue. In fact, there is only a single dial in the center console, and it’s used to control the infotainment and sat nav.
Practicality? It’s good. Access is predictably easy for such a big car, the driver’s seat and steering wheel have lots of adjustabilities, and the boot measures 550-litres. That’s competitive, though it isn’t the best in its class.
Equipment & Safety Of The Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate
Standard safety kit is good across the range. Entry-level SE models get a powered tailgate, a reversing camera, automatic climate control, leather seats and rain-sensing wipers. They also get a DAB radio, but miss out on the sat-nav.
Move up to the Sport range and you get 18” alloys, LED headlights, and sat-nav. There is also an AMG petrol model available, which we review separately.
In terms of safety, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Euro NCAP awarded the car 5/5 when it put it through its paces, while its standard safety kit includes a collision-prevention system, crosswind assistance tech, traction control and an advanced stability program. There is also a semi-autonomous driving system on offer, but this is optional.
Costs Of The Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start out from £36,400 and rise to £90,800. If you want to lease the car, you can pick up a deal from as little as £367 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, you’d be forgiven for expecting the worst, due to its size. However, it’s surprisingly cheap to run. The smallest 2.1-litre diesel engine powers both the 220d and 250d models, with Mercedes claiming that both average 56.5mpg. The bigger 350d model, meanwhile, is good for returns of 47.9mpg.
These are really good figures for this class. The 220d and 250d models also emit the same amount of CO2 – a respectable 129g/km. The bigger 350d model emits 159g/km.
Pros and Cons Of The Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate
All things considered – big car, diesel engines – the GLC is remarkably quiet and composed.
Top Notch Interior
The interior has plenty of driver and passenger appeal. The cabin is shared with the excellent C-Class, which means you get heated front seats, well-finished surfaces, and a 7” screen.
The 220d and 250d models both return over 57mpg, which is among the best economy in this class.
Don’t get us wrong, it looks good. But it’s family friendly face will be too uninspired for some.
Fussy With Big Wheels
If you opt for the bigger wheels, the ride begins to fidget.
Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate vs Audi Q5 Diesel vs Jaguar F-Pace Diesel
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate review.
Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate vs Audi Q5 Diesel
The new Audi Q5 Diesel is a comfortable, powerful, practical small SUV. Where it struggles to convince is with its looks and its on-the-road entertainment. It’s too conservative in both areas. Still, it’s an Audi. Let’s see what it’s got.
The petrols are probably flavour of the month because they’re a bit more exciting. But the diesels are the better all-rounders. The 2.0-litre 187bhp diesel engine has plenty of punch, comes with Quattro four-wheel-drive and a 7-speed automatic ‘box, and can do 0-62 in less than 8.0 seconds.
It returns 56.5mpg at best, which is par for the course in this class. Opt for the bigger 20” wheels, though, and that number will drop to around 54.3mpg.
However, the Q5 would seem to have been released a tad prematurely if you look at the diesel range, which is still incomplete. 161 and 148bhp variants of the 2.0-litre are expected soon, as is a bigger 3.0-litre six-spot unit. This latter engine will develop a meaty 282bhp, and will do 0-62 in around 6.0 seconds.
In terms of how the car drives, the Audi Q5 Diesel isn’t the most engaging of souls, but it’s quicker and easier to drive than its predecessor. It also absorbs broken surfaces better, and just feels a lot better overall.
Its steering is precise, but it lacks feedback. The car comes with the brand’s Drive Mode Selector as standard, and while there are a few driving modes to choose from, Dynamic suits the car best. It achieves a nice balance between comfort and handling finesse.
As conservatively styled as the Q5’s undoubtedly is, we have no such qualms with its interior. As ever with an Audi, the cabin is a pleasant place to be. It’s upmarket, smartly designed, and comes with a number of high-tech features.
That said, as high-tech as its 7” infotainment display is, it’s badly fitted and sticks out like a sore thumb.
Aside from that, it’s pleasing to note that the interior shares a lot of its design with the excellent Audi Q7. This means you get a grippy gear selector, some gorgeously-designed controls and awesome aerodynamics.
It’s a practical car, too. The door bins are well-sized, the glove box is huge, and clever ergonomic touches will make your life a lot simpler. The controls are easy to use, interior space is good for all save for the middle passenger in the rear (transmission tunnel, what else), while the three rear seats are individual and can be folded to extend boot space.
Total boot capacity, by the way, is 1,550-litres. With all the seats up and slide as far forward as possible is 610. You can keep the rear seats up but slide them back a bit to reveal 550-litres of boot space.
Mercedes – £36,400 – £90,800
Audi – £38,000 – £51,200
Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate vs Jaguar F-Pace Diesel
The new Jaguar F-Pace Diesel is the best-looking car in this class. With its prominent front grille, it’s classically handsome. It’s a smooth talker, too, and the biggest diesel is very powerful.
The two smaller diesel engines are less powerful. They’re both sized 2.0-litre’s, with the smallest developing 187bhp and the biggest developing up to 235bhp. Both are capable and will offer enough power for most buyers who aren’t concerned with high-performance figures.
The 187bhp variant can do 0-62 in 8.7 seconds if you select four-wheel-drive, while the 235bhp variant can do it in just 7.2 seconds.
A 3.0-litre diesel engine puts more meat on the bone. It’s expensive, but if you’re addicted to performance, it’s got a lot to offer. It can dispense with 0-62 in just 6.2 seconds and doesn’t even need to be worked as hard as the smaller engines. It’s super compliant and eager.
All models offer an involving experience. The steering is precise and fills you with confidence, the suspension is able to cushion you well from broken roads, and road noise is minimal. There is little body lean in bends, and while opting for four-wheel-drive will cost you a bit more, we reckon the extra grip it offers is worth it.
In terms of its running costs, the sheer size of the Jaguar F-Pace Diesel means 59.2mpg is the best economy the entry-level engine can return. That’s still impressive, as are its CO2 emissions of just 126g/km.
The 3.0-litre diesel is strictly four-wheel-drive, which bumps up costs. It can return 47.1mpg at best, and costs £450 a year in road tax.
That doesn’t even seem like a high price to pay once you get inside the car. Its cabin is achingly gorgeous, with Jaguar spoiling buyers to leather upholstery, the brand’s excellent InControl infotainment system and standard WiFi. Apple Car Play is also compatible, and we love the rising dial gear selector. It’s pure indulgence.
Fear not, because Jaguar hasn’t forgotten about practicality. There is plenty of interior space for all, with our only worry being how durable the car is. While everything looks good, we have to question how long some of the appointments will last in what is essentially an SUV aimed at families who’ll probably be throwing everything they’ve got at it.
That aside, families will find it easy to access the high car via its wide opening doors, the seats are comfortable, there is plenty of head and legroom, and the boot measures 650-litres. Fold the rear seats, and you can extend it to 1,740.
Jaguar – £34,700 – £53,400
Verdict Of Our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate Review
There isn’t much not to like about this new SUV from Mercedes. It’s got everything a family needs, from comfortable seats to a 550-litre boot. It also boasts affordable running costs, and it’s got badge appeal. On bigger wheels the ride fidgets and its styling will be too bland for some buyers. Overall, though, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC Diesel Estate is a sensible choice.
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