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Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
IF you always fancied a Mercedes-Benz GLC, here's your chance to buy one for S$10,000 less than before.
For more than a year, the only version available was the GLC 250 4Matic, but a cheaper GLC 200 has joined the range.
The two cars have 2.0-litre turbo engines, but the new model is slightly less powerful. There's another material difference: it does without Mercedes' 4Matic four-wheel-drive system.
Lacking the extra traction of all wheel-drive probably seems like something of a handicap in a vehicle designed for off-roading, but the GLC 200 handled itself well in the muddy trails we encountered at its regional launch in East Malaysia.
It's still tall enough to tiptoe over rocky terrain, so while it might not cross the Sahara, the GLC 200 could take you on a merry jaunt into a durian plantation with ease. The Mercedes does feel at more home in the city, however. The turbo engine has vim enough for sprightly acceleration, and the handling is both secure and responsive. That SUV shape creates plenty of space in the back, too, along with room for an enormous boot.
More to the point, the GLC 200 looks every bit as rugged as any Mercedes SUV - towkays may favour the E-Class, but a cowboy would drive this instead.
The GLC itself is probably Mercedes' strongest SUV offering at the moment, so the more salient question here is whether to choose this and save money, or splurge on a GLC 250 4Matic.
S$10,000 might not seem like much in the context of buying a Mercedes, but there are better ways to spend it. It could certainly buy you more than a few GLC-loads of durian.
Mercedes-Benz GLC 200