Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is one of the most successful SUV from the brand. It is well received overseas and now Mercedes-Benz Indonesia offers the locally assembled car in the market. The car is a SUV version of the C-Class, and will be a rival to the BMW X3, which means it can be an option for one who wants an SUV but not a very big one. Mercedes-Benz hosted Forbes Indonesia for a media test drive around Jakarta, from Kuningan to the old town and finishing at Ancol.
From the outside, the GLC is a beautiful and sleek car, with smooth lines in sync with the current Mercdes design cues—it is unmistakenly a Mercedes-Benz. Inside, the brand successfully designed a luxurious interior—a big plus for a car in this price range. The cabin was decorated with black wood panels and leather; one minor letdown was some metal accents in the dashboard were plastic and not real metal, but these are still acceptable. The entertainment system is typical of the contemporary design from the brand, with a tablet like display in the middle. The standard audio system delivers an adequate performance with a good sound quality and a performance more on the bass side. For one that likes to hear music, the sound system is more than adequate for the typical driver.
When you drive, the car is very quiet inside. The engineers have done a good job in dampening the sounds from outside, including the tire noise—even at high speeds. At low speeds, you can really appreciate the silence of the cabin, especially with the hubbub of Jakarta outside. Another plus for the GLC is the comfort, and for a SUV, it is quite comfortable. Mercedes also offers the option to upgrade to an air suspension. Even though it’s comfortable, when you want to enjoy driving the car, it still handles very well and is quite responsive. The steering feel in comfort mode is light and enjoyable for daily driving. The GLC’s size is quite decent, it’s not mammoth, so one isn’t intimidated driving it by yourself in Jakarta.
The car is powered by a four cylinder turbocharged engine with a two liter displacement, that generates 155 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque starting at 1,200 rpm. Having a good chunk of torque is essential to make the car suitable for daily driving, as a car weighing 1.7 tonnes needs plenty of push. The car claims to be able to sprint from a standstill to 100 kmh in 7.3 seconds. When tested in sports mode, the car has decent thrust, however it was smooth and linear; the gearbox was also smooth and even when in manual mode, didn’t give any jolt when changing gears at the maximum rev. This performance may be a letdown for someone who wants more fun, but for daily driving, it is a very good transmission. Another highlight is the GLC is equipped with the new nine speed automatic transmission—a first for Mercedes. The expanded gears mean that it is more fuel-efficient and has a smoother ride. The GLC also is a proper all-wheel drive SUV, means that it can handle itself offroad if needed.