- HIGHS Graceful driving behavior, generous standard features, fastback design is actually attractive.
- LOWS Sloping roofline limits cargo space, sloped-back also limits rear headroom, GLC43 coupe is more desirable.
- VERDICT The GLC300 coupe is sophisticated and stylish, but its distinct design comes with compromises.
Boasting a sloping rear roofline, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 coupe puts fashion sense before cabin space. Despite being a compromised alternative to the regular GLC-class SUV, which we review separately, the two Mercedes share countless features. The coupe’s cabin is one of the nicer environments in this class of compact luxury crossovers, but those riding in back have less headroom than most. The GLC300 coupe also has a roster of desirable standard equipment, including all-wheel drive and numerous driver assists. While it has a quiet interior and a refined ride, the pricier Mercedes-AMG GLC43 coupe has a better powertrain and is more engaging to drive. Still, the 2021 GLC300 coupe will appease anyone who’s more concerned with vanity than practicality.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
Porsche MacanSTARTING AT $52,250
Porsche Macan TurboSTARTING AT $84,950
Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4Matic / GLC63 4MaticSTARTING AT $60,495
BMW X3STARTING AT $42,945
Alfa Romeo Stelvio QuadrifoglioSTARTING AT $82,095
Mercedes-Benz GLC CoupeSTARTING AT $52,700
What’s New for 2021?
The 2021 GLC300 coupe now comes standard with a 360-degree camera system, rear cross-traffic alert, and a self-parking function. Automatic high-beams and passive hands-free entry were previously bundled into packages, but both are now offered as standalone options. Mercedes also adds Cirrus Silver to the list of available paint colors.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The GLC300 coupe has enough standard amenities to keep the average shopper in this segment smiling. However, to optimize the coupe’s look-at-me shape, we’d opt for the AMG Line with Night package. It adds black exterior trim, a chrome diamond-block grille, and AMG-style 20-inch rims. It also dresses up the inside with a sportier-looking steering wheel and aluminum pedals. We’d also add the illuminated star logo for the grille that looks striking at night. We’d increase the cabin’s richness with one of the leather upholstery options, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the heat and noise-insulated side glass that really helps keep interior noise down.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The GLC300 coupe gets its muscle from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that kicks out 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels via a standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. We drove a GLC300 coupe several years ago and have more recent experience with the SUV body style, but we’ve never tested the sloped-back one at the track. Still, we can extrapolate our impressions and say that the coupe’s suspension settings are stiff enough to add a frisson of driver excitement, yet smooth enough to ensure that your daily commute is free of bumps and jolts. It also comes with five available drive modes, which allows the driver to tailor the coupe’s handling to suit their mood or driving conditions.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the GLC300 coupe will earn 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. However, those numbers are slightly lower than the four-cylinder BMW X4, which is rated at 23 mpg city and 29 highway. We haven’t had a chance to test the Mercedes on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which simulates its real-world mpg and is part of our extensive testing regimen.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Cabin design within the GLC coupe brims with swank Euro flair. The center stack curves gracefully into the console, and the floating touchscreen that sits aloft gives the cabin a thoroughly modern appearance. Circular air vents are a running motif within the interior, and they have a look that’s both retro and contemporary. The GLC coupe’s front seats are spacious, but headroom in the second row is compromised by the vehicle’s sloping roofline. As far as cargo capacity goes, this SUV provides 17 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 50 cubes with those seats folded. That’s a lot less than you’ll get with some small crossovers. For example, the Acura RDX offers 30 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second row and 59 cubes behind its first row of seating.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The GLC coupe comes with Mercedes-Benz’s new infotainment system. Overall, this setup is pretty user friendly, and it’s an improvement on the outgoing technology. The system is governed by a standard 10.3-inch touchscreen. All models come with Bluetooth phone and music streaming as well as two USB ports and turn-by-turn navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are standard. The list of tech options includes a wireless device charger, an upgraded Burmester audio system, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2021 GLC300 coupe hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Still, the Mercedes has a plethora of standard and optional driver-assistance technology that is designed to help avoid accidents and make the driving experience easier. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe offers warranty coverage that equals the protection offered by rival SUVs from brands such as BMW and Audi. However, Acura and Lexus offer longer powertrain warranties.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance