Mercedes-Benz look set for a good summer, with the release of the GLC five-seater SUV due later this year. Big Motoring World reviews the effects this could have on the market.

The GLC follows the GLK, which was never sold in the UK as it was left-hand drive only. With the new platform structure and four-wheel drive for Mercedes, the GLC will be produced from the outset in left-hand and right-hand drives.

Rivals

The move to right-hand drive gives Mercedes UK their first true rival to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, providing the basis for a sportier GLC Coupé that will compete against the Range Rover Evoque and BMW X4. That is planned for production in mid-2016.

Whilst the GLK looked edgy, the GLC looks cohesive – arguably more consistent with Mercedes’ overall line-up in recent years. The soft-nosed grill and sleek cabin are in line with the most recent C-Class models.

The engine for the new SUV will include a range of existing 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol units in the GLC250 and GLC400 and a 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel in the GLC220d and GLC250d. They will all come with a standard seven-speed or nine-speed automatic gearbox and a rear-wheel or permanent four-wheel drive.

Other releases

A plug-in electric hybrid is planned for release, but not in the UK. The hybrid GLC350e is capable of running on electric power for up to 19 miles, running the same powertrain as the recently unveiled C350e. It has a four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor providing a combined 275bhp and four-wheel drive.

There are also two AMG-developed models at the top end of the GLC line-up, with the GLC450 Sport running a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with 362bhp. The other is the GLC63, which is powered by a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 offering 469bhp – up to 503bhp in the S model.

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