The GLC’s predecessor, the GLK, was never engineered for right-hand drive, costing Mercedes valuable sales in a burgeoning area of the market as a result.
The new car will fill that gap. It’s based on the latest C-Class platform - Merc’s Modular Rear Architecture - but features a longer wheelbase than the small executive saloon. The GLC’s chief target is clearly the X3, with Merc’s offering being just 1mm shorter than the BMW, and 9mm wider. It is considerably lower, though.
Despite their similar lengths, the GLC’s wheelbase is 60mm longer than the X3’s. You notice this in the rear cabin, where there’s enough space for four grown-ups to sit in comfort. Headroom and legroom are especially ample.
The GLC will be offered with two diesel engines to start off with, badged GLC 220d and GLC 250d. They’re actually differently tuned versions of the same motor - in this case, Merc’s M274 2.1-litre unit. The more modest version will have 168bhp, while the 250d will offer 201bhp. As they are both based on the same engine, they also claim the same economy and emissions rating. They both produce 129g/km of CO2 and claim an average of 56.5mpg.
Unsurprisingly the 250d is the faster of the two, with 0-62mph coming in 7.6 seconds, and a top speed of 138mph. The 220d manages 0-62mph in 8.3sec, and has a top speed of 130mph.
The standard gearbox across the regular GLC range will be a nine-speed automatic - no manual transmissions will be offered. Four-wheel drive will be standard on all editions of the car, too.