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Mercedes-Benz GLC GLC 63 S 4Matic+ e Performance Premium 5dr MCT

  • Automatic
  • Petrol Parallel PHEV
  • 5 door suv
  • 170 g/km CO2
  • 3.5 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 680 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The SUV segment is a profitable niche for car makers - and the high performance end of it even more so. Here's the second generation version of the model that claims to rule the mid-sized part of that segment, the thunderous Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. Now, it's badged the '63 S E Performance 4MATIC', which designates a switch to the Plug-in electrified powertrain that rivals will in future have to adopt as well. It's a heavier, more complex beast these days. But, potentially, still just as addictive as it ever was.

Background

This is the fastest, most powerful mid-sized SUV you can buy, the second generation Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. No longer quite so politically incorrect but still fantastically desirable. All the right ingredients then. It's the kind of machine you might conceivably come up with if, in a pleasant few moments, you were to mentally assemble all the elements necessary to create your ideal car - assuming you could only have one and that money was no object. It'd need plenty of interior space, yet couldn't be so large that cornering agility would be compromised. You'd want a commanding driving position, 4WD traction, storming acceleration, a potent engine soundtrack and a bit of EV range to salve your eco conscience. This Mercedes confidently ticks all those boxes. You can even have it in coupe-SUV form if you don't want the standard body shape. No other brand has more experience in high performance SUVs like this one, the Mercedes legacy in this market niche dating back to 1999 and the fast but rather wayward ML55. The company's AMG tuning division in Affalterbach has got rather better at producing go-faster versions of Mercedes products since then - they're now good for corners as well as straight lines - and it really shifted up a gear with the introduction of the 4.0-litre V8-powered first generation GLC 63 in 2019. This second generation model though, gets a performance PHEV powertrain borrowed from the C 63, but it's more powerful than before.

Driving Experience

Relaunching this GLC 63 as a Plug-in Hybrid with a four cylinder engine seems rather contradictory to the kind of car this was and hopefully still is. But stay with us. For a start, this isn't just any four-pot PHEV powertrain. It has a track record from use in non-EV form in the market's fastest hot hatch, the AMG A 45. And as a result of fiendish technical complexity, it develops more power than the old GLC 63's 4.0-litre V8, with a 671bhp combined output. There's also now a full-electric drive-off setting allowing you to leave the house early in the morning without waking everyone up and annoying the neighbours. By and large though, you choose a GLC 63 because you want to hear what the engine can do. And AMG promises that in 'RACE' mode, the most fiery of the eight main drive settings, you really will, particularly if you engage 'RACE START' and fire the car off the line to reach 62mph in just 3.5s. That's if you're quick with the paddle shifters for the 9-speed auto gearbox. Top speed is 171mph. Those figures are virtually the same as the equivalent C 63. More on that AWD drivetrain now. Even without the assistance of electric motor, the 476hp 2.0-litre engine is the world's most powerful four cylinder unit. Add in the rear axle-mounted 204hp electric motor (which has its own 2-speed gearbox) and total system output rises to class-leading levels, the 680hp figure we mentioned earlier backed by a thumping 1,020Nm of torque.

Design and Build

Get one of these bearing down in the fast lane upon you and you'd scuttle over pretty quickly. Whether you choose your GLC 63 in this SUV guise or in its alternative Coupe form, it's a mean-looking beast. Setting it apart from lesser GLC is the deep front bumper, the AMG signature and Americana front grille, revised wheel arch treatment, wider door sills, AMG mirrors, a big roof spoiler and a bespoke rear bumper with 4 rectangular exhausts. As with the standard GLC, the cabin is a radical generation on with this model, thanks primarily to the huge MBUX centre screen, which here gains various bespoke AMG and Hybrid-specific displays. The instrument screen is bespoke too, gaining a 'Supersport' display style which uses a vertical menu structure. Even the Head-up display has AMG-specific 'Race' and 'Supersport' formats. Away from screens, you grasp a twin-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel. And there are AMG sports seats which many owners will want to upgrade to the more prominently-bolstered AMG Performance seats. Out back, this MK2 model's 15mm wheelbase increase has been put to good use in the slightly more spacious rear section of the cabin - mainly to improve legroom, not one of the previous model's strong points. The bench slides back and forth too, which aids cargo flexibility. Ah yes, boot space. That's down by 80-litres over the old model (because of the PHEV system) to 470-litres (80-litres less than a rival BMW X3 M Competition). There's a 55-litre reduction in that figure if you opt for the alternative GLC Coupe body shape.

Market and Model

Prices for this Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ start from around £109,000 and there are three trim levels - 'AMG Premium', 'AMG Night Edition Premium Plus' and 'Edition 1'. That's an awful lot more than you'd have to pay for obvious rivals, but none of those have the sophisticated PHEV powertrain in play here. Mercedes also claims a class-leading level of camera safety kit and drive assist tech. You do of course get plenty of kit for the figures being asked. The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes system offers a choice of no fewer than eight different driving modes - 'Electric', 'Comfort', 'Battery Hold', 'Sport', 'Sport+', 'Race', 'Slippery' and 'Individual'. There are 21-inch cross-spoke forged AMG alloy wheels painted in titanium grey, an AMG high-performance composite braking system with red painted calipers, DIGITAL LIGHT LED headlamps and privacy glass. Inside, there's a bespoke Mercedes-AMG interior with carbon fibre trim and upholstery in a combination of ARTICO man made leather and MICROCUT microfibre. There are sports pedals in brushed stainless steel and an AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather with DINAMICA microfibre trim and AMG steering wheel buttons. You also get THERMATIC two-zone automatic climate control, AMG floor mats and illuminated AMG door sills.

Cost of Ownership

Obviously, the whole point of switching to a Plug-in Hybrid powertrain here is to gain extra efficiency and (you'd think) some EV range thrown in too for your commuting journeys, so you don't have to use the powerful petrol engine until you get to roads where you can really enjoy it. So how does Mercedes explain the fact that this PHEV model offers only 9 miles of range? It's somewhat disappointing given that an ordinary Plug-in Hybrid GLC like the GLC 300e manages a segment-leading 80 miles of EV range.... But to make observations like this is to miss the point of this powertrain. It's made for performance not EV range. Mercedes says that it's not even essential that GLC 63 owners plug their cars in. The idea behind use of an electric drivetrain here is based around providing the instant power that the petrol engine can't. And generating efficiency as you drive, so even if the 6.1kWh lithium-ion battery doesn't have a lot of charge, you'll still be getting a benefit. The GLC 63's Hybrid system can regenerate over 100kW of electric power under braking to feed back to the battery; Mercedes claims that in 30 minutes of driving, you can completely discharge the battery and recharge it twice. All of which is just as well because this PHEV powertrain is heavy, tipping the scales at 2,111kg. The driver can select four different regeneration levels using the right hand AMG steering wheel button. Combined cycle fuel economy is quoted at 37.3mpg (3mpg less than a C 63) and CO2 emissions are rated at 170g/km (C 63 is 156g/km). To give you some perspective on that, the old V8 C 63 model was quoted at 24.4mpg and 265g/km in SUV form at launch - but owners will tell you that those were fantasy figures. This one should get much closer to the quoted official stats.

Summary

The easy way to summarise here would be to point out that if you want a versatile, spacious, high performance road burner of this size, a Mercedes-AMG C 63 estate makes far more sense. It uses all the same engineering that's on offer here, is cheaper, more efficient and, because it's 200kgs lighter and lower to the ground, handles much better. Despite all of this, this GLC 63 S E Performance 4MATIC will be the car that a potential buyer in this segment is much more likely to want. It has a road presence the C 63 just doesn't possess and from your elevated perch at the wheel, you'll enjoy it all the more. Does any Mercedes-AMG product make more of a statement than this one? Possibly only the GT sportscar. Ideally, you'd have both. Critics of course are lining up to snipe at this car for its weight, its still prodigious thirst and what in their eyes is a misguided sense of automotive fashion. It tries, they'll tell you, to be five cars in one - SUV, estate, performance sportscar, luxury saloon and, in its alternative form, coupe as well. Yet ends up hitting none of these marks satisfactorily. To some extent, that's true, but it's quite a thing to watch this model strive to reach such an impossible objective. And get surprisingly close to meeting it.

  • Easy pack automatic powered tailgate
  • Remote boot release
  • DAB digital radio tuner
  • MBUX extended functions
  • Mercedes benz sound system
  • AMG bodystyling front apron, rear apron and side skirts
  • AMG exhaust system with sporty engine sound
  • AMG radiator grille with vertical struts in high gloss chrome and AMG logo
  • AMG Real Performance Sound
  • AMG spoiler lip
  • Chrome roof rails
  • Illuminated front door sill panels
  • Mercedes AMG exterior
  • Rear side wing doors
  • AMG Artico man-made leather/ Microcut microfibre upholstery
  • AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather/dinamica microfibre
  • AMG steering wheel buttons
  • Artico leather dashboard with contrast stitching
  • Audio and onboard settings control on multifunction steering wheel
  • Double cup holder in centre console
  • Electrically height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Front centre armrest with stowage compartment
  • Gearshift paddles on steering wheel
  • Illuminated door sill panels with AMG lettering and with exchangable cover
  • Illuminated glove compartment
  • Load compartment cover
  • Mercedes AMG interior
  • Sports pedals with stainless steel surfaces and rubber studs
  • AMG Aerodynamics package - GLC AMG
  • AMG Driver's package - GLC AMG
  • Interior lighting pack - GLC AMG
  • Memory pack - GLC
  • Mirror pack - GLC AMG
  • Stowage pack - GLC AMG
  • USB Plus Pack - GLC
  • 3 rear 3 point seatbelts
  • Active bonnet
  • Black seat belts
  • Child proof door locks
  • Dual-stage airbags - driver and front passenger, sidebags in front seats, driver kneebag, pelvis bag and window bags for driver
  • Electronic key chrome surround
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front passenger seat occupancy sensor
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Central locking with interior switch, automatic locking and crash sensor with emergency opening function
  • Guard 360 degree vehicle protection
  • Immobiliser
  • Keyless Go comfort access
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 6.1
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 10-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 3.7
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Right Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 3.7
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 62000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 6
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 6.1
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 39.1
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 39.1
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 39.1
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 1.6
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 1.6
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 1.6
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 14
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEH: 14
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEL: 14
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 9
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEH: 9
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEL: 9
  • CO: 0.537
  • HC: 0.013
  • HC+NOx: N
  • NOx: 0.003
  • Particles: 0.0001
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 170
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 170
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 170
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1991
  • Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 83
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 92
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Gears: 9 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 11
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 11
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 11
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High: 11.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 11.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 11.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High: 10
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High - TEH: 10
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High - TEL: 10
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low: 14.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 14.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 14.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium: 10.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 10.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 10.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 25.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb - TEH: 25.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb - TEL: 25.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High: 25.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High - TEH: 25.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High - TEL: 25.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High: 28.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High - TEH: 28.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High - TEL: 28.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low: 19.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low - TEH: 19.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low - TEL: 19.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium: 28
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium - TEH: 28
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium - TEL: 28
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 7.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 7.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 7.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 37.7
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - TEH: 37.7
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - TEL: 37.7
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 680
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: S 4Matic+ ePerformance
  • Coin Series: AMG Premium
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 50E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 30
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 90
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 74
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 84
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 3.5
  • Engine Power - BHP: 680
  • Engine Power - KW: 500
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6750
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 752
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 104
  • Engine Torque - NM: 1020
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 5250
  • Top Speed: 171
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 265/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Rear: 295/35 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: AMG CROSS SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Height: N
  • Height (including roof rails): 1635
  • Length: 4749
  • Wheelbase: 2888
  • Width: 1920
  • Width (including mirrors): 2076
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 65
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2885
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1530
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 470
  • Max. Loading Weight: 575
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1800
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2310
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.3