NEW YORK — The sport-utility coupe, once an oddity but now commonplace with every new SUV introduction, welcomed a new member to its ranks here at the 2016 New York Auto Show with the introduction of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe.
Essentially, the Coupe is a GLC-Class that has been slightly elongated (3.2 inches longer) and lowered (by 1.6 inches), while the traditional hatchback rear end has been sliced off to create a "coupelike" profile. It's the same in theory as BMW's X4 and X6 as well as the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe.
From the rear, the GLC Coupe is visually very similar to its bigger sibling. From dead on, the front can be differentiated from the regular GLC by its grille that features a single bar bisecting the Mercedes star and surrounded by small individual starlike elements. The interior is identical in its design, though more fashion-minded shoppers may appreciate its available Cranberry Red MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery (or "man-made leather" as Mercedes marketers have begun calling it).
In terms of space, it should come as no surprise that rear headroom has been reduced. However, a 6-foot-3-inch passenger was still able to fit comfortably with a hair or two to spare. Sitting back-to-back with the similarly coupelike BMW X4 revealed similar headroom; however, the BMW accomplishes this by lowering the backseat and significantly reducing overall comfort.
Mercedes didn't specify cargo capacity, but it's obviously far less spacious than the regular GLC. It has a similar width and depth, but by chopping off the regular roof, versatility has been reduced to the point that the cargo area is better described as a trunk.
Mechanically, the GLC Coupe is virtually identical to the regular SUV apart from its retuned steering system that features a more direct steering ratio. A new three-mode adaptive suspension available in Europe will not make it stateside, though the adaptive and height-adjusting Air Body Control suspension found on the regular GLC will be.
As with the regular GLC, there will be two models available. The GLC300 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 241 horsepower. Unlike the regular model, the GLC Coupe is only available with all-wheel drive. The Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe includes a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 good for 362 hp. Both come with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The two versions will be available with the same ample array of equipment, although the GLC300 Coupe will come standard with 19-inch wheels (versus 18s) and a Chrome exterior package.
The GLC300 and AMG GLC43 will go on sale in early 2017.
Edmunds says: With its less practical shape, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe is a style statement more than anything else, something that doesn't seem necessary given the sharp looks of the standard model.