Mercedes took advantage of the restyling of its GLC to graft some additional horsepower (+ 23 hp) to one of the most interesting versions in the catalog, the 43 AMG. In this case, it was already not lacking in character. Concretely, what does this bring?

The Mercedes GLC is a relatively rational SUV: compact, sober, family oriented (it is the best-selling premium in its category in Europe). However, this one assumes very well the most virulent mechanics, it is enough to be convinced of it to take a look at our test of the 63 S AMG version! Still, for some customers, the latter may seem a little too eccentric and radical to ride on a daily basis. No big deal, because the 43 AMG version has something to satisfy them.

Question look already, this 43 AMG version is done in half measure with a body kit very similar to that of the 63 AMG, but in a more elegant. The shield still sports a gaping mouth, but the absence of side lips makes it more sober. The narrower rims allow the installation of less prominent fender flares. And the rear accommodates a four-way exhaust within the diffuser, almost common these days. On the other hand, we find the superb Panamericana grille with vertical bars, as chic as it is aggressive. No more, no less. The whole is balanced and perfectly harmonious.

Impossible to distinguish the interior of a 43 AMG version from that of the 63 AMG. In both cases, it combines luxurious materials, modern instrumentation and a sporty atmosphere.

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Mercedes GLC, the alternative to the Argus rating.

Mechanical nobility

But the strength of the GLC 43 AMG is its mechanics. A V6 – 3.0 liters bi-turbo developing 390 hp at 5,500 rpm and 520 Nm of maximum torque from 2,500 rpm. Relatively discreet at first glance. No outrageous sound from the exhaust. It attracts much less attention than in a 63 AMG. Only connoisseurs know the pedigree of the beast that lies dormant under the hood, and that’s fine.

At the wheel either, the first turns of the wheels do not give the feeling of taming a beast. Everything is done smoothly, without the slightest brutality. The voice of the engine already tells us about its nobility. Only the seats and the controlled damping may appear a little firm during city trips, even in Comfort mode. It is clearly not essential to check the box “AMG Performance bucket seats” which increases the bill by 7,700 euros.

Nevertheless, we get used to this relative firmness very well. We quickly realize that it is on expressways that this GLC is most comfortable with its particularly smooth 9-speed gearbox, allowing to establish a average consumption of 10 l / 100 km. But it is on winding roads that we understand what his favorite diet is: swallow the bends!

In terms of damping, we would have appreciated a greater amplitude between Comfort and Sport modes.

A perfect compromise?

Sport mode engaged. No change in sound level. Perhaps we should have opted for the AMG Performance exhaust charged 1,450 euros for the blow. No big change in the stiffness of the suspension either. But the mechanics adopt a configuration that makes our GLC ready to pounce. Foot to the ground, the acceleration surprises with its reach. The 0 to 100 km / h is shot down in 4.9 s and no shortness of breath is felt at high speed. On the contrary, beyond 2,500 rev / min the 1,870 kg of the machine are completely forgotten and the thrust becomes more and more important as one goes up in the towers.

Despite the adoption of larger turbos, performance has not changed by a tenth of a second compared to its 367 hp predecessor. But the character is preserved. It’s clean, perfectly suited to the capabilities of the chassis. Too bad it is not a bit overflowing? No, the exceptional character (these days) does the job very well. And the sound at full load is what you would expect from a good 6 cylinder!

Especially as in terms of behavior, despite its high center of gravity, the precision is excellent. The cash movements are perfectly contained and traction when entering or exiting the curve remains unperturbed. Which in the segment is not the case with all its competitors.