On August 14th and 15th, I took the time to experience the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 4Matic and GLC 300 4Matic on a relatively long road trip, starting from Saigon to Phan Thiet.
I am one of the few Vietnamese people who have taken the Mercedes-Benz GLC off-road, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to Mercedes-Benz Vietnam for giving me the opportunity to experience this interesting adventure. To be honest, there are very few people who dare to spend more than VND 2.2 billion to buy a Mercedes-Benz GLC for challenging terrains like this.
After about 200km of traveling from Ho Chi Minh City, our team arrived in Mui Ne and the final convoy reached the White Sand Dunes in Binh Thuan Province, where I thought the “Off-Road” mode and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system on the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC would fully demonstrate their capabilities.
The “Off-Road” mode is designed by Mercedes-Benz to help the new generation GLC models (GLC 200 4Matic and GLC 300 4Matic) cruise on sandy hills and muddy terrains, and cross the vast, rugged “mini Sahara desert” of Binh Thuan Province.
In this mode, the throttle response is more sensitive than usual to respond instantly to driver’s inputs, while optimizing grip and traction by maintaining high engine revs in low gears.
On sandy terrains, all the experienced professionals let some air out of the tires to improve the vehicles’ performance. However, they also advised not to make sudden steering movements at high speeds to prevent the tires from flying off the rims, as it is a very dangerous situation.
In addition to the Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Individual driving modes, the all-new GLC adds a new Off-Road driving mode, providing a total of 5 different driving modes to meet various experiential needs.
In Off-Road mode, the vehicle’s state and operation are entirely controlled through the advanced 360-degree camera system with “Transparent Bonnet” technology. This technology displays virtual images below the front of the vehicle on the central screen, including the front wheels and the area below the bonnet. This is extremely useful for helping drivers identify obstacles such as large rocks or speed bumps in complex terrains.
When driving on sandy hills, the experts from Mercedes-Benz Vietnam instructed us to switch to Off-Road mode. When climbing, the driver should maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel, apply even throttle, and maintain good momentum to avoid stopping on an incline, which would make it difficult to continue climbing. Based on the experience of those who have gone on similar adventures, it is recommended to use the paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel to downshift to a lower gear when more pulling power is needed, instead of pressing the throttle all the way when climbing uphill.
When descending, the driver should release both the brake and the accelerator pedals, and the vehicle will slide down until near the end of the slope, where the experts will prompt to apply throttle to accelerate, avoiding getting stuck or creating momentum for the next stretch of the journey. The most important thing when overcoming these challenges is to remain calm and follow the instructions of the accompanying experts. Avoid panicking and making incorrect or sudden steering movements, which can be very dangerous.
The all-new GLC has a starting price of VND 2,299 billion for the GLC 200 4Matic and VND 2,799 billion for the GLC 300 4Matic. Compared to the previous GLC models (GLC 200 VND 2,189 billion and GLC 300 2,639 billion), the all-new GLC has seen an increase of VND 110 million and VND 160 million.
Both versions of the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 and GLC 300 are equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine with 48V mild-hybrid technology and a second-generation Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG). They also come with the 4Matic all-wheel drive system, which distributes torque 45-55% to the front and rear axles.
During the long journey, I did not feel tired at all while driving this car, and even when sitting in the second row.
After two days of experiencing many exciting and challenging tests, the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC has proven its value, providing a comfortable and powerful performance on the road. It is definitely an ideal companion for car enthusiasts who crave adventure and conquering challenges.
The author clearly felt the extraordinary power and impressive Off-Road capabilities of the all-new GLC throughout the journey from Saigon to Phan Thiet.
During the trip, the team also got to experience different features and technologies of the all-new GLC, including the 360-degree camera system with “Transparent Bonnet” technology, which proved to be very useful in overcoming obstacles.
Thành Nhơn (forum.autodaily.vn)