SUV hybrid? As a diesel, the GLC has already proven superior to the C-Class in previous test. But how does the attractive SUV fare in the same company, albeit in the significantly more expensive plug-in hybrid guise? FIRST COMPARISON TEST via auto-motor-und-sport.de.
First pay, then save – this is what we already know from our diesel owning and testing experience. Especially in the case of the moderate Mercedes-cars, the self-starters were usually the better choice because the running costs were mainly lower. Now the topic of exhaust fumes is at the forefront, and on the way to emission-free cars, plug-in hybrids are at least a bridge technology. A very expensive one, however, because compared to the models with similar gasoline engines, but without the support of an electric motor, the additional price difference (even with comparable equipment) amounts to 8,000 – 10,000 euros.
Depending on the model, the electric engine integrated in the seven-speed automatic transmission produces 60 or 85 kW and pushes the total system output to 279 hp (C 350 e) or 320 hp (GLC 350 e), but the possible economy effects are more important than the only marginally higher sporty temperament: In this combination, the fuel consumption in the standard cycle is reduced from 6.0 to 2.1 l / 100 km compared to the conventional C 250, in the SUV from 6.5 to 2.5 l / 100 km. In reality, both need two liters more and about 12 to 14 kilowatt hours of electricity, as a prerequisite for such values is a regular recharge of the battery at the socket, which takes about three hours.
With a full load, you can drive the car up to 135 km / h (34 km) in pure electric mode. On the other hand, in real life, we achieved a much more meager 17 km (C 350 e) and 21 km (GLC 350 e). This is hardly enough for local emissions-free trips to the city, and on long-haul routes without a load, the fuel consumption is at the level of the normal combustion engine. After all, the more powerful electric motor in the SUV allows for even more silent powering, while in the case of a mild gradient, the gasoline is switched on – soft and discreet, but just audible.
Remarkably inconspicuous technology
A lot of effort for a modest yield, especially since the heavy battery in the stern next to the loading compartment also reduces the permitted load and trailer load and at the same time vigorously helps to take the unladen weight up by almost 300 kg. In addition, the haptic accelerator pedal shows more resistance during acceleration and, with a gentle pulsation, reminds you whenever an early gas lift is required – when approaching a slower car in front for example. In everyday life, the concentrated technology functions pleasantly and unobtrusively.
This applies to the C-Class as well as to the GLC, which both use the same technical basis and convey the typical Mercedes feeling in operation, quality and comfort. The decisive difference is the body: because of the larger width and height, the slightly shorter SUV delivers a noticeably better space offer and room feeling. In return, the hybrid technology will cost even more space in the trunk (minus 155 liters) than in the Kombi (minus 40 liters) and will lift up the already higher loading area.
Disadvantages for the C-Class
Although the seat position also moves upwards, the GLC does not have the bulky, unwieldy feeling of large off-road vehicles. Sure, you get more comfortable and a better view ahead, but sit as relaxed as in the C-Class, only slightly elevated. Even people without a girth dimension or back problems are far more comfortable than having to get into a conventional passenger car. Also, children’s seats are easier to mount here, which can be a weighty argument for families.
The fact that the heavier SUV is a little better is also helped by the standard all-wheel drive, which is not available for the hybrid Kombi. This can only convince curve lovers with the more pronounced agility and driving dynamics – and perhaps volunteers with the indication that the T-model in C 160 format is already starting under 34,000 euros, the GLC is not less than 45,000 euros. With the same drive and at 53.110 euro compared to 51.051 euro for its lower brother, the GLC is however not only the more favorable, but overall also the better car.
In comparison, the SUV has more advantages than disadvantages. In economic terms, the high hybrid surcharge can never be reinstated, even if the ecological benefits are rather low. In addition to the high cost, the heavy, bulky battery also requires concessions in space and dynamics, which is less important for the more spacious SUV than the Kombi. In the C, the drive is a bit nicer and more economical, but the T-Model is more narrow inside and with comparable performance the GLC simply offers more car for similar money.
|Mercedes C 350 e||Mercedes GLC 350 e|
|Base price||51.051 €||53.110 €|
|Lenght x Width x Height||4686 x 1810 x 1442 mm||4656 x 1890 x 1639 mm|
|Trunk volume||335 l||395 – 1445 l|
|Engine||1991 cm³ / 4-Cylinder||1991 cm³ / 4-Cylinder|
|Max. power / rpm||205 kW / 279 PS at 5000||235 kW / 320 PS at 5000|
|Max. speed||250 km/h||235 km/h|
|Mixed consumption||2,1 l/100 km||2,5 l/100 km|