ROAD TEST: Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe is a stylish sensation
Can you put a dollar figure on style? Well, in the case of coupe versus standard five-door SUV, it's just over $11,000.
That's the premium you pay for a sleek rear end and more sporty credentials over the basic GLC.
At just over $80,000, this four-cylinder pairing is identically equipped, with diesel or petrol preference the decisive factor.
Mercedes has thrown an impressive line-up of kit at these variants, starting with the stellar safety pack that includes radar cruise control to keep you a safe distance from the vehicle in front, blind-spot warnings and lane-keeping functionality to ensure the vehicle stays central in the lane, along with automated braking if a frontal crash is detected.
Despite its steeply raked rear the GLC Coupe maintains reasonable adult-friendly confines. Three across the bench is a squeeze, unless it's just the kids, but two mature passengers will appreciate dropping the armrest, where a pair of cup holders are housed, for a refined limousine experience.
Like the C-Class sedan we've lauded since launch, the interior styling is modern minimalism combined with chic precision.
There are nice flowing lines across the dash, a seven-inch colour display, leather trim, sporty three-spoke steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and the basics we've come to expect like easy access to USB ports in the console and dual cup holders.
But you do need to dig deeper into the wallet to get the Vision package that incorporates the sunroof and head-up display, as well as the slick Burmester surround sound system, which looks particularly spectacular via the chrome speakers in the doors.
The environs live up to premium expectations and for those minding pennies then you don't have to option to the hilt to achieve a quality cabin.
Torque levels are the pivotal difference.
Those who like the burly shove and miserly fuel consumption will appreciate the diesel, which climbs hills with ease and is more robust at low revs.
Both have a tendency to duck and dive under brakes, but you can opt for sport or sport+ driving modes to drop the ride height and firm up the suspension.
Neither engine will have you shouting about its sporty characteristics. Those wanting extra punch will have to spend an extra $25k for the AMG version.
When it comes to quality, technical safety kit, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are among the front runners.
The ease of use makes the Mercedes a favourite, and with functions such as radar cruise control and lane-keeping assist it makes traffic snarls more friendly.
Drivers can rely on the sensors and technology to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front and even remain within the lane without drive input ... it does remind you to put your hands back on the wheel after about 20 seconds.
There are nine airbags too, so it's fully kitted out. The only omission is the head-up display that projects speed and other info on to the windscreen (part of the $3590 Vision pack that includes the runroof) and really should be standard.
Go for the upgraded sound system and that costs an additional $2990, while opting for the tougher 20-inch AMG alloys as part of the Night Package is $490.
The key rival in this unique genre is the BMW X4, which starts from $71,900 for the petrol and $75,900 for the diesel.
Sporty credentials may have been the marketing spiel, but the GLC Coupe has more style than driving superlatives.
Boot space is long and deep, good enough for an adult-size bike without removing a wheel, all made easier by the electronic 40-20-40 split-folding rear seat, and the primary trade-off compared to the five-door GLC is obscured rear vision via a smaller window.
Traditionalists will continue to debate the "coupe” name despite being a four-door five-seater. But this is another addition to the growing SUV realm and a funky premium offshoot that blends style and practicality.
Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 250 and 250d
Price: 250 - $80,100; 250d - $82,100
Engines: 250 - 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder 155kW/350Nm; 250d - 2.1-litre turbo diesel 150kW/500Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Safety: Nine airbags, five star
Thirst: 250 - 7.4L/100km; 250d - 5.8L/100km.