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Mercedes' all-new GLC muscles in on the mid-size premium SUV market

CarsBy Robbie Farrell
The all-new Mercedes Benz GLC is top notch
The all-new Mercedes Benz GLC is top notch

Mercedes Benz GLC 220d 4MATIC

In all fairness, Mercedes Benz hardly ever misses a trick.

The German company is usually up there, if not way ahead, of the premium posse when it comes to its products.

However, the three-pointed star brand may have missed a trick when it never introduced its mid-sized premium SUV to the Irish market, thus giving the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 the whole market to themselves.

You see, the GLK, as it was named in Europe, was never produced in right-hand drive for the Irish, U.K. and Australian markets.

However, the company obviously realised the error when it recently introduced a new, renamed model to the right-hand drive market in the form of the new GLC.

This new model fits into the Mercedes-Benz line-up between the smaller GLA and larger GLE, and brings something new for buyers to scratch their heads over in the mid-size SUV market.

Based on the latest C-Class platform, but with a longer wheelbase, the GLC has the characteristic appearance of a Mercedes-Benz SUV.  

On the outside, the GLC has a very muscular stance. We would even go as far as saying it is better looking than its Q5 and X3 rivals.

There is a mixture of curves and sharp lines, and the sloping bonnet blends beautifully with the chrome grille, which sports an enormous three-pointed star.

Below the grille and bootlid at the back, the designers have added some aluminium-style skid plates, and the chunky wheel arches give the GLC some serious road presence.

Step inside the cabin and the luxury feel continues throughout.  

It’s fresh and modern, with a mini iPad-like centre console, and the mixing of dark leather and chrome air vents work really well together.

We ae both agreed that we would still possibly give the Q5 the nod for its interior looks, but the GLC’s are possibly better than BMW’s slightly-dated interior found in the X3.

Elsewhere in the cabin, there is plenty of room on offer, with generous amounts of head and leg room for all passengers.

The boot, too, is accommodating, with a decent 550 litres of luggage space on offer, which expands to 1,600 with the 40/20/40 seats folded flat.

The GLC package doesn’t end there, though, as Mercedes has loaded every model, from entry level up, with the latest technology and safety systems.

We have noticed recently that Mercedes is sharing some of its state-of-the-art toys from its flagship S-Class across its range.

This means buyers really are getting a lot of bang for their buck across the entire range.

On the road, the all-new GLC is a dream to drive. There is no doubt it is more at home on the motorways, but is equally as good on the twisty country roads we encountered on our week-long test.

The new GLC is available in four models – all with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive as standard. 

Diesel models come in the shape of 170bhp GLC220d 4MATIC and a 204bhp GLC 250d 4MATIC. 

Completing the model offering is a 211bhp GLC 250 4MATIC petrol and a GLC 350e 4MATIC plug-in Hybrid with 211+116bhp output.

The core of Irish sales will come in the form of the 220d and the 250d.

Both of these models come with nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and both models fall in the B1 tax category – which will set you back €270 per year.