When you buy a luxury car, you expect a bulletproof, trouble-free ride, and an outstanding white-glove dealer experience. Eleven months into our long-term test of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic (our 2017 SUV of the Year), that’s largely been the case. However, some small issues have popped up over the last month: The GLC’s auto windshield wipers stopped functioning in the middle of Los Angeles’ brief rainy season, and a rear-seat passenger pointed out an unsightly gap between the rear sunshade and the sunroof it’s supposed to cover.
To be clear—both issues were no more than minor inconveniences. The busted auto wipers meant I had to use the slow or fast setting when it rained—an annoyance because one setting resulted in too much water buildup on the windshield, and the other caused annoyed squeaks. The gap in the rear sunshade wasn’t too big—maybe an inch wide at most—but it was large enough that it’d blast rear passengers’ eyes with sunlight at certain times of the afternoon.
Typically, I’d wait until a service interval to deal with fixes so minor, but with the GLC heading back to Mercedes in a month and in the interest of giving you a complete picture of the ownership experience, I scheduled an appointment at our local Mercedes-Benz dealer for a fix.
Once there, my service advisor set me up with a C 300 loaner (which he apologetically handed over with the gas tank on fumes) and let me know there was an outstanding recall on our GLC: a software update for the GLC’s fuel systems control unit. My advisor said the dealer would take care of the recall and handle the wiper and sunshade fix, too, and give me a call to keep me updated. Cool.
When I didn’t hear back after a couple of days, I gave the dealer a call. It took another couple days before I’d finally get someone on the phone who could speak to the status of our GLC. Turns out, the auto windshield wipers just needed a reflash, and the recall was handled, but the dealer was waiting for parts from Germany to repair the sunshade. Further adding to my frustration was the obvious neglect of the C 300 I’d been driving. Just a day after I’d picked it up, I got a low tire pressure warning—turns out the dealer had underinflated each tire by 15 PSI. There was also a weird judder coming from the front brakes, making it impossible to stop smoothly. And between the hair tie, empty water bottle, crumbs, and booklets I found, I was becoming increasingly convinced that the car hadn’t been cleaned properly, either.
Fifteen days after I’d dropped of our GLC 300 4Matic, I got my first call from the dealer: The car was finally ready to be picked up. I can’t help but think of the old saying, “Don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.” Although my experience with our local Mercedes dealer has been largely positive, this most recent one left a bad taste in my mouth. As for our GLC? Well, let’s just say I’m thankful to have it back, and I’m going to enjoy its final weeks with us.
Read more on our long-term Mercedes-Benz GLC300 here:
- Update 1: Learning Curve
- Update 2: Camping and Cargo Covers
- Update 3: Running Costs and …
- Update 4: Pay Attention
- Update 5: Wiper Blades Saga
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