by Seán Creedon

Two weeks ago I drove an automatic version of the Nissan Qashqai for the first time. It was a bit unusual as normally the Qashqais have manual gearboxes. But it was no surprise last week to sit into the Mercedes GLC and find that it was also an automatic; so many of Mercedes cars are automatic.

So after two weeks of very relaxing driving, despite the early Christmas traffic problems, I am beginning to get used to automatic cars. So much so that I wouldn’t say ‘no’ if Santa obliged with an automatic.

The GLC has been described a as a compact SUV, but I would say that it’s a mid-size luxury  mid-size crossover. It was first introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the Mercedess GLK and earlier this year it got a revamps.

I know it can be difficult to keep up to speed with all of Mercedes’ lettering when naming their cars. 

Under the vehicle naming scheme maintained by Mercedes, SUVs use the base name ‘GL’ followed by the model’s placement in Mercedes hierarchy. The ‘G’ is for Gelandewagen, which is German for off-road vehicle, and alludes to the long-running G-Wagen. This is followed by the letter ‘L’ that acts as a linkage with the letter ‘C’ the GLC being the SUV equivalent to the C-Class. Now we all know!

It’s gorgeous and all my family who availed of a ‘lift’ loved the high driving position. I can tell you that they were all very proud to be seen in a Merc. My wife, who has a touch of arthritis didn’t have any problem climbing on board.

It’s a big chunky motor, but so easy to handle. I think the automatic version really added to that ‘gliding along the road’ effect Mercedes cars have.

Simply gorgeous

The cabin is spacious and simply gorgeous. By now I’m familiar with Mercedes cars and no longer try to use the gear lever when I want to use the indicators.

Mercedes-Benz GLC (X253), 2019, designo selenite grey magno, saddle brown leather interior. (©Daimler AG)

Straight away the technology linked up seamlessly with my i-phone and I enjoyed listening to various Irish radio stations through the week. Just in case you didn’t know most local radio stations play some great music on Sunday mornings.

There is great space but the roof is a bit dark. Still there is enough light in the cabin and the dark roof didn’t spoil the pleasure of the drive.

The test model was 2.0-litre diesel, but of course diesel is a dirty word right now. However, most people agree that many of us will still be driving diesel cars past 2030, which is the year when we are told that most Irish motorists to be driving electric cars.

Mercedes has 22 new models on the way in 2020, 16 of which will be plug-in hybrids.

There is no spare wheel provided, but there is a huge ‘well’ area in the boot, so my advice once again is that if you are buying new, haggle with the sales person for a spare wheel.

It’s simply gorgeous and I doubt if Santa can afford one for me, so one of my New Year resolutions is to try and do the EuroMillions draw more often.

Prices start at €52,260 and my test model had a few expensive extras like AMG Line, which brought the price of the car as tested up to €62,487. Road tax is €280.