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Living the charmed life in the swanky Mercedes GLC 220d Coupé

In the evolving landscape of premium mid-size SUVs, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupé is a formidable new arrival, writes Prashirwin Naidu.

Following the wheels of the BMW X6, the GLC Coupé continues to be a popular trend within the automotive sphere. It offers a unique package against crowded competitors such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Porsche Macan, Volvo XC60, and its standard SUV counterpart, the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

At its core, the GLC Coupé is inspired by the C-Class Saloon, elevating the driving experience with an enhanced road view and etched in more robust styling. Gazing at the GLC 220d Coupé, it’s clear cosmetic revisions were made. It looks stunning in Spectral Blue. A day before, my eye locked onto one at the gym when my dad went for a walk on the treadmill.

However, getting behind the wheel felt even more surreal—this is the epitome of luxury many aspire to. As I gleefully made my way out of the parking bay where I collected this beauty, I got a lot of looks. While driving it throughout the day, some looked mean-spirited and envious, and others marvelled.

But I didn’t care. I left cranking up the volume on the powerful 15-speaker Burmester sound system playing Dr. Dre ‘Keep Their Heads Ringin’. The sad reality is that people treat you better if you’re in a nice car. I never got this attention in my Volkswagen UP or Dad’s 2014 Mazda 3 Astina. However, the clueless Mazda PR doesn’t endear itself by marketing an outdated vehicle to a niche market, as most of their products are behind; time to catch up with Mazda.

Combining sporty elegance with the powerful presence of an SUV, GLC 220d Coupé was crowned the Best Executive SUV at the 2024 Consumer Awards.

Anyway, chalk and cheese. When a new Merc is in the driveway, one cannot talk about an ageing Mazda. People assume the driver is flush with cash or there’s spare change everywhere in the vehicle.

In hindsight, it doesn’t matter; one will be forgotten tomorrow. Nobody will remember Prashirwin driving around in a swanky Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d Coupé.

Perhaps I would exist in the memories of loved ones. But to avoid sounding like the gloomy Nicky Cave, who sang ‘Death Is Not The End‘, let me live large, even if for a few days, in this awesome Mercedes Benz.

I was in awe of this unit. Sitting comfortably on those 20-inch AMG 5-spoke light alloy wheels, it looked elegant and had a presence.

Visually, the exterior sports the AMG Line kit, which has a commanding front-end design with large air inlets and a sleek, diffuser-look rear apron and side stills.

The devil is in the details; everything from the inside to the outside just oozed class and attention to the nitty-gritty details. Towards the rear, the GLC captivates with its distinctive two-part taillights with black-coloured and dark-red connecting elements to create a futuristic look. It was the bee’s knees.

The GLC Coupé offers generous rear head and legroom, accommodating even with a panoramic sunroof. However, it slightly compromises boot capacity compared to the standard GLC, offering 545 litres versus 620 litres.

Apart from the cutting-edge design with practical features and sporty enhancements, it offers a visually striking cabin.

I felt at home, like I was in an aeroplane acting as head huncho. It’s like being in a spaceship. The textiles are smooth and beautiful, sorted into the inlays of the doors.

Plush interior: avant-garde interior embodies modern luxury, elegance and class synonymous with Mercedes-Benz.

Tech-wise, it doesn’t disappoint. The latest generation of the MBUX powers its (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. It was tricky to navigate at first, but it becomes easier once you get accustomed to it.

Hovering above the middle centre console is a massive 11.9-inch infotainment screen from which every function can be accessed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a big screen.

But the drive was the most essential part. Powered by a mild-hybrid 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine serving up a delicious 145kW and 440Nm, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, it inspires a sporty swiftness while keeping comfort at bay.

It proved economical, achieving 8l/100km in the long highway commutes. It also had poised on-road manners and a well-insulated cabin; everything felt plush.

Before optional extras, the GLC Coupé is priced at R1,392,350.00; with all our amenities, it is R 251,405 additionally, bringing it to R 1 643,755.00.

Walking away from the GLC220d Coupé, I think it is a lovely all-rounder, enough to satisfy the taste buds of many loving, adoring Mercedes-Benz fans; however, the price determines one’s happiness. Maybe money can be happiness. “You only live twice”, said Bond, on earth and eternity, which I doubt he was referring to.

*This article is exclusively written for NOWinSA by motoring contributing writer Prashirwin Naidu.  © Higher Education Media

Prashirwin Naidu
Prashirwin Naidu
Aspiring scribe, Prashirwin Naidu is a writer focusing on cars and the arts.
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