Test drive: Adventure through KK with the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200

Sampling the new Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 in a mini adventure drive across KK, Sabah.

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If you’ve followed our social media feed lately, you’d know that the TGM team was in KK, Sabah recently for the launch and test-drive of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 SUV in another instalment of the German firm’s #HungryForAdventure road trip series.

Together with race car driver turned TV host Daniel Woodroof as our guest co-driver, we managed to put the new luxury crossover SUV through its paces during the three-day road trip and managed to garner plenty about it.

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If anything, the picturesque and challenging roads around KK served as an ideal proving ground, and here’s what Mr Woodroof had to say about the GLC 200:

Plush basics
ICYMI, the GLC 200 is slotted as the new entry-level variant in the GLC-Class SUV range that’s based off the C-Class. At the heart of things is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo mill with 184hp and 300Nm. Both outputs are managed Merc’s 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic box exclusively to the rear wheel.

Despite the deletion of the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive (AWD) system in this base model, it does gain a revised suspension setup with 15mm more wheel clearance to boot. Furthermore, the three-point star badge mounted up front also sees this base model making good on its promise for luxury by having enough bells and whistles on board.

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Highlights include a wood dash trim, a choice of three leather colour schemes, triple-zone automatic air-conditioning, as well as a powered tailgate, amongst others. While it may be the lesser-equipped choice in the range, its RM288,888 sticker price will easily tempt any discerning small-sized urban family with a flair for regular weekend adventures really.

How does it drive?
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Despite having slightly less power and torque, there’s adequate of which to get this SUV going without hassle. However, what makes all the difference is the GLC 200’s revised suspension setup, which delivers a much more refined and comfortable ride compared to the sport-oriented suspension in the pricier GLC 250 sibling.

Having charted across the bumpy and twisty B-roads enroute towards the base of Mount Kinabalu from town, the springs and dampers soak up every bumps and cracks easily.  Even so, driving the GLC 200 didn’t feel too different from, say, its C200 Avantagrde saloon cousin, offering enough agility and nimbleness to avoid the occasional random forest animal crossing the road (it happens quite often here apparently).

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Do I need one?
Put it this way: if you wanted a luxurious daily family runabout for the urban jungle, the C200 Avantagrde saloon will do just fine. But if you’re the type who frequently spend weekends hiking through the forest, going on cycling trips, or indulge in a splash of watersports by the beach, you’re going to need some go-anywhere magic too.

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The Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 will do both easily – and perhaps a little more – for just RM35,000 more over the C200 Avantgarde’s asking price. Considering that the GLC 250 4MATIC’s package nearly doubles said price gap, the GLC 200 is indeed a bargain.

SPECS
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic
Power: 184hp @ 5,500rpm
Torque: 300Nm @ 1,200 – 4,000rpm
0-100kph: 8.7 seconds
Top speed: 210kph
Economy: 6.5 - 7.2 (l/100 km)
Price: RM288,888

TopGear
Author: TopGear
TopGear is the world’s best-selling motoring magazine. The Malaysian edition holds similar status, as acknowledged by the industry.

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