Great luxury SUV with some minor refinement issues
written on 01-25-2016
GLC300 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Overall it's a great vehicle. The price can quickly go up depending on options selected. And in order to get certain options, you must select another package which increases the price further. Plenty of features, but surprised that a few aren't even standard considering it's 2016. Features such as keyless entry (MB calls it keyless go) and any color other than white or black is still an added cost option. Most models in dealership comes with the high end stereo system, panoramic sunroof, heated seat, which add to the cost but not providing a lot of value for certain region. You must special order in order to get close to what you want. The quality is good and design is nice. A few trim pieces felt cheap because of plastic feel. The ergonomic is poor, but that's typical German where common logic isn't a high priority on their design. The center console with the touch pad and wheel is over complicated and difficult to use, a lesson they need to learn from the Japanese, or take a page from Apple in design. The gear shift located on the column is awkward to use. And then the turn signal, lights, front & rear wiper, and washer are all located on one stalk on the left hand side along with another two stalks for cruise control and steering wheel adjustment as well as the paddle shift. The steering wheel already have many buttons. I think it's overly complex and not very user friendly. So far during the first month of ownership, a couple issues creep up already. One is the rear camera for parking which is unreliable because the image could freeze or goes black completely. Also some squeaking sound from the dash which is a reflection of NHV control. But this is typical for a first year model of a new design, but it's a Mercedes and these should have been ironed out during quality control testing.
OK I'm a car guy. I spend way too much time looking at cars on the web and to tell you the truth this car was not on my radar because I thought I was going to buy 1 YO used. So I did my obsessive planning for about 3 months and spent 12 hours on a Saturday looking at cars. Problem was I just could not track down the car I wanted so we went from used to new. I loved the 2016 BMW X3. Its nice nice nice but it was the 1st car we drove and should have been the last because that was the car I thought we would buy. Drove the Audi Q5 but it's dated and is in need of a face life. My wife liked the Q5 seats the best. We also drove the Lexus RX 350 (AKA the space ship) liked the interior but the exterior lines are way too sharp. We were pulling out of the Audi dealer and I saw the Mercedes GLC. I knew about it and liked the looks but it was a 2016 and I was thinking 2015. So we took it for a spin and WOW it was smooth, love the transmission (A+ MB) it is quiet inside and has the rounded exterior similar to the Porsche Macan I think. The Tech is really good too. So the dealer only had the demo and we wanted a different color so we drove to Seattle (30 miles) and did the deal. (1500.00 over invoice) Very happy! My wife loves it. We drove it about 70 miles today and got 29.6 MPG mostly highway.
I am a Honda and Subaru owner who usually keeps her cars for 15 years. Those brands are not known for having impressive interiors, but the cars ran great, were reliable and had good resale. When it was time for a new car I spent 3 years looking for a car that was a little higher than a sedan and had some cargo room, but was also not too big, was super comfy and handled great. I could not find that car at Honda or Subaru. I did however find it at Mercedes Benz. The GLC300 embodies all of those qualities and then some. If you want a car that feels like it was made for you, that makes you look forward to driving, then you have found it in the GLC300. The cabin is quiet, the seats are great, the multimedia is second to none (get the larger 8.4 inch screen), the Burmester is the best sounding factory audio in this price point, the handling of this car is dreamy, it has great acceleration. I guess the only negative about this car is that it's not a Honda or a Subaru with proven reliability or resale value. But since Honda and Subaru refuse to make comfortable, luxurious vehicles with great tech, audio and handling, it's MB for me for the next 15 years.
My first Mercedes. I expected more and better technology. The mouse pad and control are difficult to use. A touchscreen would be 100 times better. Navigation is extremely difficult to set up an address. Panoramic sunroof wind noise is so bad we do not use it. Front and rear cameras have limited view range. Sensors do not sound until you are right on an object. Accustomed to General Motors and Chrysler where rear camera range extends up and down the street when in reverse. Sensors also sound when another vehicle approaches; not the GLC300. Ride and handling are very good. Not so performance. Dealer, Cutler Bay, Florida, very bad in explaining accessories and technology. Pushed Lojack when MBrace (included with the vehicle) does the same thing in more areas of the country. I would not buy another vehicle from them or suggest the dealership to another person.
Finally...been shopping all the small luxury SUVS and this one REALLY lives up to the word luxury! I tried the Lexus NX for a year...I'm sorry...noisy, cheap plastics everywhere. It seemed more like a $30k SUV, and not the $45k sticker price. The MB was a bit more, but it has REAL leather, better acceleration and sporting feel, and luxury feeling materials all over the vehicle. I've only had the GLC a month, but it is far above the NX in terms of luxury feel and performance.