Mercedes may be late to join the mid-sized premium off-roader party in the UK, but the new GLC 4×4, which the company unveiled last night, looks set to make a big dent on BMW X3 and Audi Q5 sales.
This sleek new model replaces the boxy GLK sold in mainland Europe and offers boosted fuel economy, tonnes of safety kit, permanent four-wheel drive and sophisticated air suspension for increased ride comfort. Mercedes also claims that this new model offers some tangible off-road abilities, unlike many of the new breed of ‘off-roader’, which are all show and no go, when the going gets muddy.
The GLC also features a more spacious cabin for those in the front and rear seats alike, while access into the cabin has been made easier, too. The boot has increased in size as well, now offering up to 580 litres, which jumps to a substantial 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down.
At launch three models will be available – all fitted with 4MATIC four-wheel drive – consisting of the diesel GLC 220d and GLC 250d, along with the petrol GLC 250 petrol. Both diesels return claimed economy of 56mpg, with CO2 emissions of 129g/km putting them into the £110 annual car tax band.
With 168bhp on tap the less powerful model accelerates to 62mph in a brisk 8.3 seconds, while the GLC 250d takes just 7.6 seconds for the benchmark sprint. Meanwhile, the petrol version returns a fuel consumption figure of 43mpg, with emissions starting at 152g/km warranting £180 car tax bills. Thanks to its 208bhp motor this is the fastest GLC at launch, taking just 7.3 seconds to whizz to 62mph.
A four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid GLC 350 e version will also be launched in the near future, with CO2 emissions of just 60g/km and the ability to cover up to 21 miles on electricity alone. Thanks to a petrol engine and an electric motor this model can still sprint to 62mph in a mere 5.9 seconds.
The new car goes on sale in mainland Europe from September onwards and should follow in the UK shortly afterwards. UK prices are likely to be announced closer to the launch.