Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 (2020)

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 (2020)

Story by David Symons, photos courtesy of Mercedes

Price:  $64,400 (MSRP)

Price as tested: $84,990

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6

Trans: AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed auto

Power:  385 hp@ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 384 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,191 lbs/ 1,901 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 11.2/13.7​


New for 2020: Mercedes has bumped up the power in this year’s model to a respectable 385 hp and 384 lb-ft torque that serve’s it very well. They have also brought in an updated design language when it comes to both bumpers, as well as headlight and taillights, which look sleeker all round. Speaking of round, the dual exhaust tips dress up the rear end nicely, as does the new ‘panamericana’ grill up front. Overall the new exterior design is really quite stylish. The MBUX infotainment system also finds its way into this year’s updates with all of the accompanying toys that it offers.

 Segment Competitors:  Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Volvo XC60,

 The Skinny: This AMG 43 fits nicely between the GLC 300 and the GLC 63 in the Mercedes roster and might be considered to be in the sweet spot between the two. It doesn’t have the smooth driving comfort of the 300, nor does it possess the neck-wrenching power of the 63, but it sure does find a happy medium. While it may not enjoy having its big brother’s brawn, it does have way more power than you’d think. Blame the bigger turbos. For what can be considered a family wagon, it sure can juice things up a notch when sliding into the Sport+ setting. Hit drag race mode and get ready for track pace. One of my personal highlights is the surprisingly throaty gurgling exhaust notes as one climbs up through the 9 gears, and then the enjoyable crackling pops on the way back down. Music to any enthusiast’s ear, and definitely smile inducing. Now given that we’ve called this a family wagon – for those members of the family that don’t like to draw too much attention to themelves when heading to the grocery store, there’s always the everyday driving mode which keeps the rapturous sounds under wraps.

The AMG 43 drives lower than most smaller SUV’s in the segment, and handles much lighter than it actually is at almost 4,200 lbs. It rotates very well and feels alert. That said, driving in Comfort mode at lower speed produces a little rougher ride than one might expect, leaning more to the performance side of the AMG badge. Now, ‘plant it’ while in Sport + mode… and enjoy the ride! A sporty family car that feels more like it has a dual clutch climbing through the 9 gears. One almost forgets that they’re driving an SUV.

Inside, it possesses great space with comfortable seating up front with more than adequate space in the rear. That said, we were a little disappointed in not finding seat cooling in any of the seats. The cabin is accented with carbon fiber, well placed brush steel on the dash, and leather throughout. Cargo space is very good as well. The MBUX infotainment centre is intuitive and serves as an amazing command centre, where voice recognition serves up whatever you could think to ask for. Additional heat, specific music, directions, it does it all. When giving navigational directions on the now larger touch screen it even incorporates overlays with arrows reminding you of the right exit to take or turn to make just prior to reaching it. Very handy for the directionally challenged of which I am one.

Pros:  Love the gurgling crackles and pops emanating from the exhaust when in Sport+ mode.  Handles much lighter than one might expect. Like the overall revisions made to the exterior.

 Cons:  Lack of any seat coolers. No regular USB portals. Much prefer a rotary knob control over a track pad.

The Verdict: One almost forgets that they are driving an SUV. The option to take it out on the twisties and still feel quite exhilarated is a definite plus to the enthusiast. And let’s face it, this is an enthusiast’s family wagon/hauler. Anyone deciding on the AMG GLC 43 is getting a lot of performance and luxury for the price.

Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests