Those not personally invested in the first-generation GLA may not notice that this 2018 version has received a mid-cycle update, but put the new model beside its predecessor and the changes are obvious.…

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4Matic Road Test

While luxury branded competitors scramble to fill niches within all the various SUV categories, Mercedes has long led the way.

The German automaker was one of the first with a serious 4x4-capable SUV, its legendary Gelandewagen, now G-Class, dating back to 1979, as well as one of the first with a luxury crossover SUV in the M-Class, more recently dubbed GLE-Class, a mid-size five-seater that harks back to 1997.

The three-pointed star brand has steadily grown its SUV lineup since then, adding the seven-occupant GL-Class in 2006, now named GLS, the GLK in 2008, now replaced by the entirely new GLC, and more recently this GLA-Class in 2014. The following year Mercedes expanded its GLE-Class lineup by adding a sportier Coupe variant, which was followed up last year by the GLC-Class Coupe.

The last two models have more in common with the GLA than any of the others on that long list. No doubt the success of Mercedes' entry-level SUV, along with the mid-size BMW X6 Read Full Story
Anyone not cognizant of a steady increase in luxury SUV sales has been focused on other things than the automotive market, but they’ll likely become amply aware when it comes time to trade in their…

New AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ to leave sport ute rivals far behind

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe
New 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe models to dominate compact SUV performance segment with 503-hp apiece. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
Anyone not cognizant of a steady increase in luxury SUV sales has been focused on other things than the automotive market, but they’ll likely become amply aware when it comes time to trade in their ride and they visit the showroom of their favourite premium brand. Along with the usual assortment of sport-luxury sedans, two- and four-door sport coupes, convertibles, and traditional sport wagons, they’ll be met by more new SUVs than they’ve ever seen, filling ever-increasing segments as well as micro niches never before imagined. The new GLC Coupe is just one of those unusually welcome alternatives within the burgeoning luxury SUV sector, helping to fill out a particularly focused market segment that was previously only occupied by BMW’s X4. The sporty Mercedes SUV arrived in similar fashion as the German brand’s GLE Coupe, which now handily goes up against BMW’s long-running X6 in the larger mid-size SUV category. The fastback Merc went on sale in 2014, a considerable eight years after the Bimmer, with Stuttgart appearing to have waited in order to judge market reaction to the Bavarian’s entry. Surprising many, Mercedes took no time bringing the smaller GLC Coupe to market the following year as a 2016 model.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV
The AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV is the more practical of the two due to its traditional SUV design. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
Now that we’re about to enter model year 2018, things are heating up a lot more thanks to the expected arrival of Mercedes-AMG’s new GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe. It’s a perfect example of how the top German brands lead all premium competitors by filling niches within niches. In this case BMW was first with its X4 M40i, but that sporty model in no way diminishes the impact of this exciting new three-pointed star entry, especially considering that along with the SUV coupe version comes a more practical AMG-tuned compact SUV. That would be Mercedes-AMG’s GLC 63 S 4Matic+ that first showed up alongside the SUV Coupe variant at the 2017 New York International Auto Show in early April, a model that only has Audi’s SQ5, Jaguar’s F-Pace S and Range Rover’s new Velar for competition, being that BMW has yet to modify its more traditional compact X3 SUV. Just the same, both AMG-tuned M-B SUVs deliver a level of potency that should cause their rivals to shy away from a direct fight on the track.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe
The sweptback AMG GLC 63 S Coupe 4Matic+ gets a unique “Race” mode for track dominance. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
Where the X4 M40i and SQ5 put out a similar 355 and 354 horsepower respectively, plus 343 and 369 lb-ft of torque, and the slightly larger supercharged 3.0-litre V6 powered F-Pace and Velar improve on both with 380 horsepower apiece, albeit only 332 lb-ft of torque, Mercedes seems to have its targets set more directly on Porsche’s Macan Turbo that unleashes 400 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque in regular trim or 440 and 442 respectively with its Performance package. Still, as impressive as Porsche’s top compact SUV is, in all-conquering AMG style the two new GLC 63 S 4Matic+ models produce 503 scorching horsepower and 516 lb-ft of tire smoking torque. The dominant engine is nothing less than Mercedes-AMG’s handcrafted and individually signed twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, a dry-sump version of which is shared with the mighty AMG GT sports car, whereas cog swapping duties come by the brand’s new in-house designed and built AMG SpeedShift MCT 9-speed automatic that debuted in the E 63 S 4Matic+, a lightweight paddle shifter-actuated transmission boasting a start-off wet clutch (that replaces the torque converter), ultra-short shift/response times, and double-declutching functionality.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe
Both AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe models boast the same hand-built twin-turbo V8. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
Of course, such specifications result in a very quick tag team of sport utilities, with zero to 100 km/h sprints of 3.8 seconds each, aided by an electronic limited-slip rear differential and constantly variable front-to-rear torque distribution from the standard 4Matic+ all-wheel drivetrain that’s also tuned by AMG. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. Four wheel grip is further enhanced by a standard set of twinned five-spoke lightweight 20-inch alloys on 265/45 front and 295/40 rear performance tires (or optional 21-inch forged alloys with 265/40 front and 295/35 rear rubber) that also help it stop faster via special high-performance brakes featuring 390-millimetre drilled and internally-ventilated discs front and back, whereas an adjustable air suspension with adaptive adjustable damping optimizes cornering capability. What’s more, in order to give the GLC 63 S Coupe 4Matic+ an edge over its more pragmatic sibling, Mercedes has added a “Race” mode to its usual Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual driver-selectable AMG Dynamic Select performance settings. These modify engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP, and all-wheel drive responsiveness depending on demands.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe
Interior detailing includes high grade materials finished with unique AMG detailing in black and red. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
An easy way to tell these ultimate performance SUVs apart from their less formidable brethren are AMG Panamericana-style frontal grilles with unique vertical strakes, similar in design to those found on the much lauded Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster and GT R sports coupe. The GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe also benefit from unique front and rear bumper designs, while the wheel arches are widened to fit their meatier rims and rubber, plus the SUV body style gets its first rear rooftop spoiler. Inside, special sport seats are covered with Mercedes’ exclusive Artico leatherette bolsters and suede-like Dinamica microfibre inserts, these materials showing up elsewhere around the cabin as well. Additionally, a tasteful supply of aluminum trim joins a mostly black interior that gets spiced up with red accents, not to mention the expected AMG-embossed badges. Beautifully finished carbon-fibre trim is also available, inside and out.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV
The new Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe promise superb handling for both road and track. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
“For us, the new GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ is quite a special vehicle,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “It is no easy job designing an SUV to be highly sporty and dynamic, while at the same time offering exceptional driving stability. This required us to put our heart and soul, along with our many years of SUV expertise, into the development of this vehicle. The result is an SUV that can be driven with high precision and agility and which, if required, is equally at home on a high-speed lap of the racetrack. With our V8 biturbo engine, we hold a decisive USP in the Performance market. What is more, with SUV and Coupe, we offer the widest choice in the segment. Also, the technical closeness to our sports cars is underscored visually by the Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for our AMG GT models.” Of note, the Canadian market will not be getting the 469 horsepower non-“S” AMG GLC 63 variant of these two SUVs, models that are available in the U.S. as well as other markets. When the 2018 Mercedes-AMG 63 S 4Matic+ SUV and Coupe arrive in showrooms across Canada later this year, pricing will likely start in the high $80k to low $90k range.
Making a sport model larger is rarely positive, but Mercedes’ choice to grow its E-Class Coupe to nearly match the midsize sedan’s dimensions was the right decision. The new two-door now seats four…

2018 Mercedes-Benz E 400 4Matic Coupe Road Test

The personal luxury coupe sector is a tricky market to get right. I won't even attempt to count the number of brands that have entirely given up on two-door hardtops, this especially true of mid- and full-size E- and F-segment participants.

In fact, with the admission that BMW ended production of its 6 Series Coupe in February (and no confirmation of the much anticipated 8 Series), Lexus and Mercedes-Benz are the only premium brands that dare go up against ultra-luxury players such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Maserati with premium coupes of their own. The Japanese brand has just introduced the daring new LC, its first foray into these dangerous waters, whereas Mercedes' E-Class Coupe (previously CLK, CE) and S-Class Coupe (previously CL, SEC, and SLC) have experienced relatively smooth sailing for decades.

Way back when I was emulating Alex P. Keaton as an up and coming '80s-era yuppie, I unabashedly lusted after the 500 SEC. It was and still is Read Full Story
After a report issued by Daimler on May 10th stating it would no longer be selling the 2017 model diesel cars in the United States. Daimler has since become the center of attention of an investigation…

German Police Investigate Daimler AG Offices

After a report issued by Daimler on May 10th stating it would no longer be selling the 2017 model diesel cars in the United States. Daimler has since become the center of attention of an investigation by German authorities. Twenty-three prosecutors and 230 German police searched Daimler offices to seek evidence related to the possibility of diesel engine emissions irregularities. The police and prosecutors say 11 sites are being investigated in the German states of Baden-Wuerttemburg, Berlin, Lower Saxony and Saxony with employees that are “known and unknown” to Daimler. Earlier in the year Daimler admitted that some of its employees were part of a criminal investigation. This investigation comes after a United States federal judge gave the final approval to a settlement for Robert Bosch GmbH to pay $327.5 million USD to American VW diesel car owners. Bosch, the world’s largest car parts supplier, has not admitted to any wrongdoing stating “Bosch neither acknowledges the facts as alleged by the plaintiffs nor does Bosch accept any liability” however, last year it was reported by Reuters that $747 million USD was put aside to cover potential settlements. Investigators confiscated files and hard drives, apparently containing sensitive information. Daimler and Bosch are both based in Stuttgart Germany and in a recent quarterly report Daimler said, “Europe and the United States, have inquired about and are investigating test results.” Last year the U.S. Department of Justice had asked Daimler for an internal investigation to be done because of possible emission irregularities, however, it went mostly unnoticed by German authorities. Since May 23, the launch of the investigation into Daimler has seen its stock price drop three points. Which may be an indication of further fallout, or it may have more to do with the fact that U.S. President Donald Trump said he would like to impose a 35% import tax on all German cars. This import tax is unlikely to happen as the largest BMW factory in the world is located in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and employs 8,800 Americans and has a current daily output of nearly 1,400 vehicles. For now though Daimler says they are fully co-operating with the investigation but refuse to comment on the proceedings.
It only makes sense that the luxury auto sector’s most successful brand in new vehicle sales is also strong on the pre-owned market. Mercedes-Benz’ popularity helps drive up used prices, which is…

Mercedes wins multiple Canadian Black Book and ALG retained value awards

It only makes sense that the luxury auto sector's most successful brand in new vehicle sales is also strong on the pre-owned market. Mercedes-Benz' popularity helps drive up used prices, which is always a bonus for owners when it comes time to trade up to a new model or sell their used car or SUV.

Proving this point, the German brand earned multiple Canadian Black Book 2017 Best Retained Value Awards. The venerable G-Class SUV moved up two places to take top spot in the "Full-Size Luxury SUV" category, while the GLK (now replaced by the GLC) earned runner-up status in the "Compact Luxury SUV" segment behind Audi's Q5, an impressive feat considering just how many compact sport utilities are vying for top position. Mercedes' CLS four-door coupe was also recognized amongst the best three in the "Premium Luxury Car" class, while Mercedes final prize was first place for the Sprinter passenger and cargo van in the "Full-Size Van" segment.

The Sprinter moved up one spot from last Read Full Story