In the beginning of 2016 Mercedes confirmed the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC that would bridge the large price gap between the GLA45 and GLE63. It was unrealistic to expect that if the customers wanted a larger SUV than the GLA45, which was priced at $49,580, they would have to opt for a $99,950 for the GLE63.
The Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers declared: “With the new AMG GLC43 we are offering an AMG model in the mid-size SUV segment for the first time. The new SUV from Affalterbach marks the pinnacle of the GLC product range and in the AMG portfolio, it closes the gap between the GLA and GLE. ”
What is important about the GLC43 is that a V6 engine will finally be inserted into the vehicle instead of a 2.0-liter unit rated at 241 hp and 273 ft-lb of torque. The car debuted at the New York International Auto Show earlier this year.
The German carmaker decided not to change much when it comes to exterior, so you will see the same headlights and hood as on the standard GLC SUV. There is only one louver that divides the grille horizontally. Chrome details are located at the gloss black front grille, but the chrome is also used for the aforementioned louver, which has black inserts. The Mercedes emblem is in the middle and it seems as if it is floating. In addition, two louvers also in gloss black with chrome inserts are inside the air vents which kept the same shape on the new car. There is also a front splitter at the bottom, which is also made of chrome and which runs from one end to the other.
As we move to the sides of the car, we can see a chrome insert as long as the side skirts. The whole body is painted in gloss black, so are the mirrors on which you can see side markers. The vehicle is equipped with 20-inch AMG Multispoke wheels. In the back, the car features 9.5-inch wheels compared to the eight-inch wheels in the front. The larger ones come with 285/40 series tires, whereas the smaller with 255/45 series tires.
The carmaker decided to change the exhaust tips and rear diffuser, which received gloss black color to match the rest of the car together with a chrome stripe. The chrome insert surrounds the exhaust outlets and the vertical louver in the middle changes the looks of the exhaust significantly. Although there are no major changes the new GLC43 looks more refined and fashionable.
The new flat-bottom sport steering wheel is added, whereas the 5.5-inch driver information display is located in the instrument cluster. The AMG badge is visible in the bottom spoke of the steering wheel, so is the chrome insert. The passengers, especially in the front seats will have a better lateral support during the faster ride and more intense handling.
The red contrast stitching is applied to the center console leather, door trim, dash leather and of course, the seats. There are nice-looking silver trims on the door and dashboard in the new car. Another feature that makes the cabin look sporty is the carbon fiber insert on the center console. If you want to improve your interior, you can select performance seats and carbon fiber trim.
What is under the hood?
What makes this car so special is a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine good for 362 hp and 384 ft-lb of torque. The engine is paired to a 9G-Tronic nine-speed transmission that sends power to all wheels. The fabulous thing about this transmission is the ability to drop more than one gear at a time. Almost 70% of engine’s torque goes to the rear wheels, whereas the rest goes to the front.
In addition, the GLC43 is equipped with the AMG Dynamic Select which offers various modes such as Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. Depending on where you are driving, you can choose various modes to adjust transmission shift points, throttle response or suspension characteristics. For example, Eco will help you save fuel, whereas the Sport or Sport Plus influences the transmission which shifts at a higher engine speed.
As the Mercedes stated, their new SUV reaches from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The top speed is 155 mph, which is quite satisfying for an SUV.
Since the new engine brings more power, Mercedes decided that safety is crucial, so they put steering knuckles and load bearing joints to the front axle. Due to the negative camber and elastokinematics, the vehicle is agiler. The so-called Air Body Control supports the suspension with adaptive damping that provides ride comfort and vehicle dynamics. It can be adjusted for a sporty or more comfortable ride as desired.
Speed-sensitive sports steering with a variable ratio is another vital feature one can find on the new vehicle. This improves the changing of the steering gear, depending on a mode you have chosen. When you select the mode, the variable ratio is automatically adjusted. In addition to this, the GLC43 is equipped with numerous safety features.
The biggest rivals of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 are BMW X3 M and Audi SQ5. If the BMW wants to compete in the mid-size SUV segment, then X3 is the way to go. The X3 M will come out with a 3.0-liter inline-six which is located in the M3 and M4 where it delivers 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.
On the other hand, a suitable competitor is the Audi SQ5 equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 unit. The unit is rated at 354 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque and it comes with a great interior, keyless star and Audi drive select. The top speed of both cars is 155 mph.
Price and Overview
You can find the GLC43 on the market for $55,825. The GLC43 is a great car with subtle changes on the exterior which make it fashionable. The interior contains some fascinating equipment and features, but the GLC43 is not too dominant. Still, the V6 added power to the SUV and we have another great Mercedes.