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2017 Mercedes AMG GLC 43 Review Elegance And Performance - Review By Larry Nutson

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2017 Mercedes AMG GLC43
Elegance and performance

-- 5 Star Rating by The Auto Channel

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Mercedes is right in step with the auto industry in keeping up with the high global demand for SUVs. The compact luxury SUV segment is fairly competitive and in 2016 Mercedes brought the GLC300 to market.

Now for 2017, Mercedes upped its game by adding the high-performance AMG GLC43, with a turbocharged V6 engine—the GLC300 has a turbo 4-cylinder.

A five-passenger compact crossover SUV, the GLC is based extensively on the C-class sedan. True to Mercedes’ character it’s luxurious with quite an elegant interior. Overall ride characteristics are comfortable and luxurious plus there’s nothing lacking in performance.

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The AMG GLC43 is powered by twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 362 HP and 384 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and equipped with 4Matic all-wheel drive.

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The AMG GLC43 also has a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels, transmission shift paddles, a number of driver-assistance safety features as well as unique exterior and interior design queues.

In my role of jumping from one vehicle to the next on a weekly basis the differences become easily apparent and when true luxury comes along it makes me stop and give pause. For example, just prior to the GLC43 I was in a diesel-powered 2018 Jaguar F-PACE 20d and just following I drove a 2017 Honda CR-V.

Each of these crossover SUVs are quite different in their own right. The F-PACE competes with the GLC on luxury, however the difference in engines offer economy vs. performance. And the CR-V is in a lower price bracket and therefore noticeably differently equipped and appointed.

Mercedes’ media-loan AMG GLC43 that I drove had a base price of $54,900. On the outside the Diamond White metallic finish cost $1,515 and the carbon fiber trim added $1,150. An AMG Night Package for $200 provided black finish on much of the brightwork.

Other options fitted on the “test-car” were panoramic tilt/slide roof for $1,480, 21-inch AMG wheels for $1,000, Burmester surround sound for $850, a Premium Package for $5,950 that included Navigation and a number of advanced driver-assistance safety features, and the Parking Assistance package for $1,550.

With the $925 destination and delivery charge the total ran up to $69,520.

Also fitted for no extra charge were summer high performance tires. This leads to what I often write. If you will be driving in cold and snowy conditions I recommend that a good set of winter tires be used for those four months, or so.

EPA test-cycle ratings for the GLC43 are 20 mpg combined, with 18 city mpg and 24 highway mpg. These ratings are about three or four mpg lower than the GLC300, for comparison. Go fast; use more fuel.

Speaking of going fast, Mercedes says it can go from zero-to-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and tops out at 155 mph.

The GLC43’s adaptive air suspension settings are controlled by a Dynamic Select system. I left it in comfort mode for my driving around the streets of Chicagoland. However, you do still feel the potholes and road imperfections. There’s also a lot of road resurfacing going on at this time of year, so the bounces and bumps are more prevalent.

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Sport is firmer and Sport Plus really tightens things up. I drove the GLC43 again at the recent Midwest Automotive Media Association’s Spring Rally in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. We operated out of the fabled Road America race track. Although we weren’t track driving the GLC43 I did drive it on some local roads that had virtually no traffic and some good twists and turns that allowed me to feel out the different suspension settings.

The GLC43 is nicely compliant and corners flat with minimal body roll. The Dynamic Select modes also adjust throttle response, transmission calibration and steering assist. The shift paddles can come in to play here.

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Overall the Mercedes AMG GLC43 is nice-sized, well balanced, and delivers good performance. There’s around 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat that grows to 56.5 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. That’s plenty of room for the dogs. Vehicle noise is well managed making for easy conversation or audio listening.

Have a look at for more information and specifications. Go for a test drive.

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It was 1967 when two automotive engineers, Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher started AMG. Today AMG is the performance division of Mercedes-Benz creating some of the best high performance, driver’s cars in the world.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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