A couple of weeks ago, Mercedes Benz Malaysia asked us if we would like to take home the powerful Mercedes-AMG GLC 43
(well, not permanently).
It was perfect timing, because we had a year-end road trip to Penang and Cameron Highlands planned, really, there's no better opportunity to take the GLC 43 for a spin.
Come to think of it, the road trip was the perfect test track: we had the 300km North-South highway to test out the power of the AMG-tuned engine, and the long winding roads of Cameron Highlands to put the handling to the test.
It was a Wednesday afternoon when we picked up the car at Mercedes Benz's office in Kinrara, and before we drove off, the Merc rep said: "Have fun with the car".
You see, that guy knew what was coming; he knew we would fall in love with the car. True enough, we couldn't get enough of it.
In fact, we had so much fun with the car, when it came time to pass it back one week later, we found ourselves unwilling to give it back.
Here are five things we absolutely loved about the sweet beauty (which we named Brenda):
#1 That raw, filthy power
It's forgiveable if you can't go vroom in a SUV, because, well, it's a SUV; you're not supposed to drive it like a two-door sportscar. The thing about the GLC 43 AMG is, it's an absolute beast the moment you step on the pedal.
When you don't feel like going fast, the GLC 43 is tame and functions like your normal SUV. But when you want to go fast (like, to overtake those highway hoggers), all you need to do is step on the accelerator, and you'll literally feel the kick from its AMG-tuned 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbocharged engine.
To be honest, the first time we took the car to the highway, we weren't expecting that amount of kick, because our trusty old Nissan isn't capable of giving us any kick.
Once you feel that power, though, you can't stop thinking about it. You want to feel the power again and again and again, and before long, you'll find yourself wanting to speed down every road. We, of course, didn't do that because we are responsible drivers, ahem.
Apparently, Mercedes stated in its website that the GLC 43 is capable of going from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds! Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to put it to the test. But judging by the power we experienced accelerating out of a traffic light, we believe you, Mercedes.
Our favourite part? That sexy growl from the engine when you start the car. Total eargasm.
#2 If looks could kill...
If you look at other SUVs on the road, there's one thing in common: they are more function than looks.
It's pretty difficult to find an SUV in the market today that has the best of both worlds.
Thank goodness, the GLC 43 doesn't suffer from that at all. When you look at the car from certain angles, it looks absolutely gorgeous. With its AMG sports styling, you can sense that the GLC 43 was made to stand out.
We absolutely love the design element on the car: that diamond-pattern grille with the subtle AMG branding, those gorgeous 21-inch rims with the pretty AMG brake calipers, the two chrome-plated tailpipes at the back; we found ourselves looking back at Brenda the moment we parked it just to oggle at her beauty.
In fact, we weren't the only one doing that: on numerous occasions, we noticed people stealing glances when we drive by.
But you know what we love most? Those red seatbelts. Damn, they're sexy.
#3 The pure comfort of the car
As an SUV, the GLC 43 is certainly capable of going off-road, but Mercedes made sure that it's ultra comfortable while they're at it. The basic GLC 43 comes equipped with AMG-designed sports seats made with ARTICO faux leather and DINAMICA microfiber.
The seats, we feel, has that perfect firm-soft ratio, which means that it's not soft enough to give you a backache and it's not hard enough to make you feel like you're sitting on a rock.
The bucket seat design in the two front seats, meanwhile, does a great job at holding our butt in our seat, especially when we're attacking a corner a little bit too fast (oops!). Throughout our ride up and down Cameron Highlands, never once did we feel like we're sliding around in our seats.
Speaking of comfort, the feel of the sports steering wheel in your hands is out of this world. The steering wheel feels really good to the touch, and it fits perfectly in your hands, in terms of size and the weight. A couple of times, our friend volunteered to take over the driving duty, but we're reluctant to do so because, well, we don't want to let go of the steering wheel.
#4 It cares about the driver
We know you care about your car, but how often can you say that your car cares about you?
We were driving down the North-South Highway after our Cameron Highlands trip and suddenly, a loud beep filled the cabin and this message came up on the instrument cluster:
OK, we have to admit that we had no idea what this Attention Assist feature was when we picked up the car (noobs, we know!), but after a quick Google search, we were impressed.
Basically, the Attention Assist feature was designed to alert drivers when they begin showing signs of fatigue behind the wheel. The moment we stepped into the car, it creates a profile of the driver to record his behaviour when he's fully alert. Then, using highly sensitive sensors, it monitors for sudden steering movements and speed because research shows that when a driver is fatigued, their steering behaviours would change.
So, long story short, at one point during our trip on the North-South Highway, Brenda somehow detected that we were feeling drowsy behind the wheel, drifted a little bit out of the lane and quickly alerted us with a beep and a message to remind us to take a break and have a Kit Kat (and don't crash the car).
How very thoughtful of you, Brenda.
So, when the time came for us to give Brenda back to her owner, truth be told, we actually felt sad. We will definitely miss you, Brenda. Don't forget us!
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 is priced at RM468,888. For more information, check out Mercedes Benz Malaysia's official website