Jim Meachens’ Motorway America

2020 Mercedes GLC 300 4MATIC Coupe — A delightful SUV

By Jim Meachen
Motorway America

Through the years a coupe in auto parlance meant a vehicle with two doors. German automakers have revised that definition in recent times labeling anything with a fastback design a “coupe.” In particular Mercedes-Benz and BMW have introduced a line of fastback crossover SUVs — with four doors — as coupes.

We were skeptical at first about turning a crossover into a fastback. It seemed incongruous. What’s the point? No argument, cargo room and perhaps some rear passenger headroom are lost, but then we saw the German results first-hand and discovered that swoopy styling paired with most of the SUV traits of the standard crossover can work in the format if done correctly. And both auto companies have accomplished this transformation with eye-catching vehicles.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe manages to be both comfortable and engaging, and with a long list of driver-assistance features. Introduced as a replacement for the midsize GLK-Class, the GLC-Series has become the most popular SUV in the Mercedes-Benz stable in just four years, outselling even the company’s much-admired, entry-level C-Class sedans and coupes. Available as standard SUV as well as the coupe, GLC-Series sales in the U.S. were 73,650 for 2019, up 5.6 percent over 2018 and over 24,000 more units than the C-Class.

Mercedes-Benz has given the GLC coupe a number of updates for the 2020 model year. The LED headlights, grille, and bumpers have been revised, and some new color and wheel options are available. New fascia front and rear, and part halogen – part LED taillamps are new. Within the cabin, a larger touchscreen has been added that operates Mercedes-Benz’s new infotainment system. And the list of available driver-assistance features has been expanded.

Along with the updates is an enhanced plug-in-hybrid model with a bigger battery and a substantial torque increase. Gas-only GLC models feature a new 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an increase in horsepower — up from 241 to 255 — and now delivering power through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Available models include GLC 300 and 300 4MATIC SUV and coupe, GLC 350e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid SUV, GLC 43 AMG SUV and coupe, and GLC 63 AMG and GLC 63 S AMG coupes.

We drove the GLC 300 4MATIC and found it a solid performer that should please everyone except possibly the need-for-speed guy. The revised turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder now makes 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

The six-cylinder Supra has been clocked from 0-to-60 in 4.0 seconds and in a quarter mile in 12.2 seconds @ 113 mph. These are serious numbers that compete with such vaunted sports cars as the Porsche Cayman GTS and BMW M2 Competition.

The Supra is a surprisingly well-priced sports car starting at $50,945 that can be immense fun on weekend jaunts along winding mountain roads as well as more mundane trips back and forth from work.

The Supra GR — GR stands for Gazoo Racing (Toyota’s performance partner) — comes in three trim levels — base 3.0, Premium and Launch Edition. The Launch Edition is limited to the first 1,500 Supras to arrive in the U.S. and gets a commemorative plaque set in Carbon-fiber trim, and red leather upholstery.

The base car is loaded with features including adaptive suspension dampers, dual-zone climate control, simulated suede upholstery, power seats, 10-speaker audio system, frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist and LED headlights.

We recommend the Premium trim that adds navigation, a JBL 12-speaker audio system, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, and wireless Apple CarPlay for $54,945. And we think the Driver Assist Package is well worth the $1,195 charge. It includes dynamic radar cruise control, blindspot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and parking sensors with emergency brake function.

Toyota will introduce a 4-cylinder version for the 2021 model year. Called the 2.0, it comes with a 255-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder that delivers 195 pound-feet of torque. Toyota projects a time of 5.0 seconds from 0-to-60. Prices have not yet been announced. The Supra 2.0 should start arriving in showrooms this summer.

Our 3.0 Premium test car with the Driver Assist Package carried a bottom line of $56,220 including destination charge.

There’s a lot to like about the new Supra, from its brazen in-your-face-styling to its heart-pounding driving excitement. It’s a car that begs to be driven and you won’t be disappointed when you do.

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