• David Chao

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 4Matic SUV



Introduction

The AMG name stands for “pure performance,” and while it seems contradictory to apply that to a practical SUV, the integration of the AMG with GLC sport utility vehicle results in a whole new level of high performance SUV that is second to none.

The AMG GLC 43 combines the best of both worlds – AMG performance and an elegant benchmark SUV. Impressive tech, sleek lines and a world-class performance make this vehicle one of the best in the market.



Design

The exterior can be best described as “aggressively elegant.” It is difficult to make an SUV appear like a sports car, but Mercedes has smartly integrated elements of the AMG styling into the exterior design. This includes an AMG vertical-bar Panamericana grille, which was previously only used for the AMG GT line of sports cars. Other elements included are a deep front apron, muscular rear and front haunches, and coupe-like side windows.

The cabin is performance-focused, but with an indulgent and luxury feel. Standard features within the cabin include heated power front seats with memory, 64-color LED ambient lighting, illuminated entry and front door sills, 40/20/40-split rear seats with power folding, retractable luggage cover, power-folding side mirrors, AMG instrumentation as well as a few others. Luxury standard features are fairly limited unless you purchase one of the add-on packages outlined below, something that must be considered when looking at the base price of $65,500 MSRP.

The cargo capacity in the AMG GLC 43 ranges from 550-1,600 litres depending on how many seats are folded in the back.

For the tech standard features, included is a 7-inch touchscreen, 5 USB-C ports, Bluetooth capability, MBUX infotainment system, voice control, and a few other features. To access the rest of the tech features, drivers have a choice to add-on the “Technology” package.



Performance


With an AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine producing 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, this SUV can accelerate from 0-100 km/hour in just 4.9 seconds.

Paired with the feisty engine is an AMG speedshift TCT 9-speed automatic transmission and AMG Performance all-wheel drive. The suspension is a 4-wheel independent sport suspension based on “Air Body Control” and contains a 4-link front and 5-arm multilink rear. Air body control is an adaptive system that responds within 60 milliseconds to changes in driving conditions and terrain. It also lowers itself at higher speeds to improve efficiency. With Dynamic Select, you can vary the firmness and ride height to give a more customized driving experience.

On the road, the GLC 43 performs like a ballet dancer – moves around corners and difficult terrains with ease and grace. Step on the accelerator, though, and the engine “wakes up” with a growl and it’s ready to pounce the road with power and torque. The GLC 43 has just the right amount of steering effort and feedback – perhaps better than what we’ve experienced in a BMWs and on par with Audi’s. The GLC 43 competes with Audi SQ5 and BMW X3 M40i, to name some of the competitors. It’s not quite as nimble as the Porsche Macan S but the Mercedes version offers more space and better ride.

The vehicle performs with a much more “fun to drive” factor than Asian SUVs, which tend to lack true performance-oriented sport utility vehicles.

Fuel economy for the AMG GLC 43 is not posted but should be similar to the 2020 model year in which it was 13.1/9.8/11.8 L/100km for city/highway/combined, respectively.

The towing capacity is 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg), which is less than some of the other competitors including the Porsche Macan.



Summary

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 has a starting price of $65,500 MSRP. There are four extra packages available to add certain extra features to your ride. The Technology package ($1,600) gives a 12.3-inch digital display, adaptive highbeam assist as well as an active multibeam LED lighting system.

The Premium package ($6,200) gives a variety of features such as GPS, MBUX Augmented Video for Navigation, keyless entry, traffic sign assist, wireless charging, power tailgate, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 360 camera, Burmester Surround Sound, parking assist as well as a few others. Many other competitors offer these features as standard and one could argue that many of these features should be standard in the AMG GLC 43 at this point as well.

The Intelligent Drive package ($2,700) adds all sorts of drivers assist features, and some of them are really neat. But again, many of these are already standard features for competitors. This being said, the PRE-SAFE plus, Evasive Steering Assist, Enhanced-Stop-and-Go as well as a few other assist functions are really useful and cutting edge.

Finally, the AMG Driver’s package ($3,000) includes a Nappa leather steering wheel with specialized performance buttons, performance exhaust system, AMG-styled wheel rims, and an app that can monitor your vehicle during track driving and show your speed, acceleration, lap and sector times.

With competitors like the Porsche Macan S, Audi SQ5, and the BMW X3 M40i, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 has a high standard to reach out – but we think the Mercedes does it better than most.