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Review of the 2021 AMG GLC 43: Exceptional Design Coupled with Impressive Performance

Perfectly sized for city life, equipped for the racetrack, and spacious enough for a family adventure.

The Mercedes GLC 43 occupies the space between a sports sedan and an SUV. Having driven the GLC 43 in its AMG guise, it raised the question for me: Would I trade the third row for a lot more driving excitement on the road?

Design and Interior Features

The GLC 43 comes across as smaller in person than anticipated. However, the interior feels larger than its exterior dimensions, particularly with the panoramic moonroof that adds a sense of openness. The rear cargo area is impressively roomy and accommodated all the essentials for a family of four on a three-night trip, including two portable beds for children.

Despite its practical size, the AMG grille featuring a prominent star, the 20-inch Y-spoke wheels, and dual exhausts clearly indicate the significant sports sedan DNA in the GLC 43. The bucket seats provide a snug fit when you settle behind the sporty AMG steering wheel with its wide diameter and flattened lower section.

The customizable ambient lighting feels like having a setup with Hue bulbs inside, offering an enjoyable experience to experiment with different mood lighting during long drives.

Equipped with a large touchscreen, a center console touchpad, and controls for switching between driving modes, the GLC 43 boasts machined aluminum Burmester speakers and circular air vents, giving it a touch of luxury similar to higher-priced Benzes. Inside the GLC 43, there’s a sense that performance, comfort, and size have been harmoniously balanced.

Performance Highlights

While the size is just right, the AMG GLC 43’s performance exceeds expectations. The 3.0L V6 Biturbo Engine delivers 385 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Teamed up with AMG Performance 4MATIC (4WD), Sport Suspension, and a responsive 9-speed gearbox, the AMG GLC 43 offers an exhilarating driving experience. During a journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains, while a full-sized SUV might show body roll in tight turns, the GLC 43 tackles sharp curves with agility akin to a rally car. Plus, the AMG-enhanced brakes inspire confidence in demanding situations.

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You can tailor the drive modes to your preferences. For instance, if you enjoy driving in Sport Mode but prefer a quieter exhaust note, there’s ample room for electronic adjustments to suit your tastes.

Despite its AMG badge, the GLC 43 proved to be more fuel-efficient than expected. Refueled with zero-ethanol 93-octane gasoline, I managed to surpass the EPA-rated 24mpg highway fuel efficiency, all without driving conservatively.

Final Verdict

Residing in a city while cherishing mountain escapes, the GLC 43 would be an ideal single-car choice. Offering ample interior space and effortless maneuverability in parking areas and on city streets, it provides stability on long highway drives while demonstrating agility on mountain routes. With a blend of practical space and desired performance, the GLC 43 ticks many boxes.

Priced starting at $59,000, the model tested was listed at an MSRP of $71,685.

Image Source: SDA Dan Cars @ YouTube

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