Mercedes-Benz GLC off-roader unveiled

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes has lifted the covers off its GLC 4x4, a brand new model that will rival premium off-roaders such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 when it reaches showrooms this autumn.

The GLC is Mercedes' first mid-size SUV offering in the UK. It replaces the GLK, which was never officially imported to Britain.

It shares its underpinnings with the new C-Class saloon, but offers a raised driving position, greater interior space and the promise of off-road capability thanks to its four-wheel-drive system.

Two diesel models will be available at launch, which use differently tuned versions of the same 2.1-litre turbocharged engine. The entry GLC 220d develops 168bhp and will get from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and keep going to 130mph.

The GLC 250d, however, develops 201bhp, meaning a 7.6-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 138mph. Both engines share the same fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions ratings of 56.5mpg and 129g/km respectively, and will come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Additional engines, including a plug-in hybrid with a claimed electric driving range of 21 miles, will be made available soon after the car's launch. There is currently no word on whether a performance AMG version will be offered.

The GLC takes much of its design direction from the C-Class, with the same grille and headlamp arrangement. However, buyers will be able to customise the look of their car with a choice of two styling packs, which give a choice of off-road or aggressive performance aesthetics.

The interior also largely mirrors that of the C-Class, with the same cascading centre console and floating media screen. Mercedes claims passenger space is improved over the saloon, though, particularly for those in the rear seats.

Order books for the new Mercedes GLC are open now, with the first UK customer cars expected for delivery in November. Prices are yet to be confirmed but expect the GLC range to start from around £35,000.