MERCEDES-BENZ has a model strategy that a deep-sea trawler working with a pukat tunda (dragnet) on the east coast would be familiar with.
This comparison may seem random, but there is no denying that their extensive model range is as effective as a Terengganu fisherman’s trawl net.
With a model range that spans the width and breadth of almost all passenger car types, and 17 local launches last year alone, Mercedes’ giant trawl net means few prospective customers will escape and be fished up by competitors.
The GLC200 is a particularly brilliant package from the Stuttgart-based manufacturer.
Slotted neatly as the base model in the GLC range, the compact luxury SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre 4 in-line engine hooked to a nine-stage 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. The powerplant churns out 184hp at 5,500rpm and 300Nm of torque from 1,200rpm to 4,000rpm.
Performance figures are more than good enough for your daily commute and even the occasional interstate cruise on the North-South Expressway. It can achieve 100kph from a standstill in 8.7 seconds, with a top speed of 210kph.
It may be a base model, but Mercedes’ base is impressive.
On the exterior, the GLC 200 is suave and sophisticated, equipped with 19-inch five-spoke light-alloy wheels, chrome-plated simulated under guard, chrome-plated tailpipe trims, roof rails, LED high performance headlamps, LED trail lights and twin tailpipes.
The inside is not too shabby either.
Leather and fabric upholstery, ash wood trim and ambient lights give class to the cabin. The GLC200 comes with electrically adjustable front seats, roller sun blinds for the rear passengers and a powered tailgate because, how could you make a luxury car for 2018 without powered everything?
The features list is extensive. The GLC has dynamic handling control, thermotronic automatic climate control air-conditioning, keyless entry with push-start button, cruise control, parking pilot with Parktronic, a tyre pressure monitoring system, seven-inch display and Audio 20 infotainment system.
It has seven airbags, active brake assist, interior monitoring system, adaptive brake lights, pre-safe system, run-flat tyres and Isofix child seat mounting points and a anti-theft warning system.
Behind the wheel, the GLC200 is smooth as silk.
Gears flow into each other on the 9-speed transmission, fluid as a lane change on the German Autobahn.
The four-pot purrs with the gentlest whirr from the forced induction.
Just like limousines, the ride in the GLC is plush and cosseting, a magic carpet ride.
The GLC is the penultimate expression of the modern compact SUV.
There’s a premium of space as well, despite its compact dimensions. A six-footer, though rare in Malaysia, will have adequate leg room in the front row, with adequate shoulder room to boot unless he’s unusually wide. Second row seats are good as well, making the GLC a good daily drive for the average-sized family. In the rear, there is 550 litres of trunk space to haul around the odd assortment of goods for daily life.
But then, here’s the clincher.
It is priced at RM288,888 without insurance, but inclusive of GST.
That may seem like a lot, but when you take into consideration the company’s Agility Financing — monthly repayments start at RM2,888 for the GLC 200 — it is within reach of many wise-spending Malaysians.
Heck, a M40 household could almost afford this if they live by the ethos of the Kelantanese proverb, “biar papa asal bergaya”.
Mercedes even throws in a sweet deal to ensure you can have some peace of mind.
To give even more value for your ringgit, every purchase of the GLC 200 comes with a four-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Now, isn’t that a sweet deal?