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Road test: Mercedes Benz GLC 300e 4MATIC AMG Line Premium Plus – unadulterated pleasure

Mercedes Benz GLC 300e 4MATIC AMG Line Premium Plus

Take a bow … a large, comfortable and refined SUV (sports utility vehicle) with plug-in hybrid power from the premium German manufacturer.

Style file

The GLC 300e scores highly on kerb-appeal, with loads of presence and a dynamic style, enhanced by sporty AMG Line trim and 20in AMG alloy wheels. Impressive with a capital ‘I’, as I found on a week-long road test.

Inside story

The cabin just oozes luxury, with excellent fit and finish, top quality surfaces throughout and a feeling of space, enhanced by the powered panoramic glass sunroof. Superior build quality and refinement help give a true feelgood factor to this roomy family car.

The front sports seats are supportive yet comfortable, and there’s that confidence-inspiring feeling that the SUV’s elevated ride-height brings.

There is practicality too – the load area boasts underfloor storage, just the place to stow the eight-metre charging cable. Load-carrying capacity is 395 litres with the rear seat-backs in place, increasing to 1,445 litres with them folded down.

Features

We’re talking oodles of lovely kit, from multi-beam LED headlights with adaptive high-beam assist to 64-colour ambient interior lighting and an instrument cluster with 12.3in digital display.

Among the wealth of features, you will find a powered tailgate, privacy glass, heated front seats and a memory package for driver’s and front passenger seat, steering column and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. Climate control and supple leather upholstery help cosset driver and passengers.

Communications and in-car entertainment include augmented reality navigation (which overlays directional arrows on images relayed from the car’s front-facing camera) with 10.25in touchscreen display, wireless phone charging and smartphone integration.

Safety and security features include a 360-degree camera, active parking assist, and an adaptive brake system with hold function.

On the road

This motor is a delight to drive. The hybrid set-up (see Tech time, below), mated to a silky-smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox, delivers power seamlessly and the car switches between the two sources in virtually imperceptible fashion.

Ride and handling tick the box marked ‘accomplished’ and the GLC 300e, which has four-wheel drive, is a master of all driving conditions – from tootling in town to twisty country roads and the motorway haul.

Refinement is to the fore – around town the GLC 300e is all but silent when running on battery power and, even as the car’s speed increases, the cabin remains a pleasingly hushed place to be.

Performance figures are 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 143mph, with a combined fuel consumption of 117.7mpg, equivalent all-electric range of 26-31 miles, and CO2 emissions of 62g/km (manufacturer’s figures).

Tech time

The GLC 300e plug-in hybrid uses a 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 211bhp with an additional 122bhp available from the electric motor. It has a 13.5kwh battery and a 7.4kw on-board charger, meaning the car can be charged via a home wall-box in under two hours, or around 40 minutes using a public fast-charger. A clever adaptive regenerative-braking set-up helps to charge on-the-go.

Verdict

A premium motoring experience, with a combination of top tech, all-round comfort and driving pleasure.

Price as tested: £57,622.

Frank Turner
Frank is a respected journalist who has specialised for many years in writing car reviews and motoring industry news for national and regional newspapers.

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