Mercedes was a latecomer to the compact premium SUV sector in right-hand-drive markets, as it didn't sell the first such model that it built, the Mercedes GLK, in these territories. That was rectified in 2016 with the arrival of the Mercedes GLC, and in 2022 the second-generation GLC will be launched.
It's being marketed as a brand-new model, but the new GLC-Class uses an evolution of the previous generation's platform, while a lot of the technology on board is shared with the latest Mercedes C-Class, which was launched in 2021.
One thing that is new is that every model in the GLC line-up now features hybrid technology, whether it's 48-volt mild-hybrid tech or a full plug-in drivetrain. The plug-in hybrids are capable of travelling more than 100km on a fully charged battery, too, making them an even more attractive proposition for drivers not quite ready to make the switch to full electric drive.
In terms of design, the GLC is a clear evolution of its predecessor. It looks similar, although it's not quite as rounded as before, while the slender taillights are a design cue that's taken from the likes of the Mercedes S-Class. The new GLC is longer and lower than its predecessor, but is wider, too, so there's more space inside, including a 600-litre boot.
Up front, there's the latest version of the MBUX infotainment system, with twin screens making for a large glass area across the dashboard, high-resolution graphics and plenty of connectivity and tech. Much of this is carried over from the C-Class saloon, including augmented reality navigation directions.
Under the skin, revised suspension is designed to boost comfort and handling, while air suspension will be available as an option, as will rear-wheel steering for improved agility and manoeuvring. Unlike some rivals, Mercedes is committed to making the GLC capable off-road, and comes with tech such as Downhill Speed Regulation and a 'transparent bonnet' mode when using the car's 360-degree camera system.
All engines offered in the GLC will be four-cylinder units. The 150hp GLC 200 and 190hp GLC 300 petrol options and the 197hp GLC 220 d diesel all feature 48-volt hybrid assistance to boost fuel economy.
The plug-in models comprise the 313hp GLC 300 e, 381hp GLC 400 e and 333hp GLC 300 de diesel-electric hybrid. There's an all-electric range of 120km for the petrol hybrids, and 117km for the diesel.
Prices for the new GLC will be announced when an official on-sale date for Ireland is confirmed, but it should hit showrooms before the end of the year.