Mercedes-Benz GLC on the way
Ireland never got the old Mercedes-Benz GLK, as it was never built in right-hand drive. Those who were offended by its styling (many) perhaps thought that a good thing, but a better thing is that its smooth looking successor, the GLC, is coming to Ireland - a car that, along with the GLE and GLA, kicks off Merc's new SUV-naming policy, all of which name-check the daddy of them all, the original G-Wagen.
So, the GLC is a GL (meaning SUV) and a C (meaning it's based on the Mercedes C-Class). If it looks rather smooth on the outside that's because Mercedes has fitted it with radio antenna hidden in the doors and rear spoiler, meaning that it doesn't need a roof fin any more. Progress!
It'll be practical, with a boot that can be expanded up to 1,600 litres and four models will be available at the Irish launch - all with 4Matic four-wheel drive. The range kicks off with the 170hp GLC 220d followed by a 204hp GLC 250d. There will be two petrol versions - a 211hp GLC 250 and (eventually) a GLC 350e plugin hybrid, the hybrid being available early in 2016. A nine-speed auto box is standard on all models (other than the hybrid, which uses a seven-speed auto).
There is, of course, a wide range of options. An Exclusive line offers 18-inch wheels with extensive chrome and aluminium trim highlights while an AMG line boasts 19-inch wheels, AMG bumpers and a similarly appealing range of chrome and aluminium elements. Various equipment packages are also offered including a Night Package that includes dark-tinted glass and black paint finish on exterior mirror housings, underguards, window frames and roof rails. An Off-road Package includes five driving programs and increased ride height. Other optional items include a large panoramic glass roof with electric roller blind, running boards, LED intelligent lighting, automatic tailgate and electrically-operated trailer coupling. There is also air body control, agility control, air suspension and dynamic select handling control systems "plus all of the collision prevention and attention assist systems for which Mercedes-Benz is noted."
Commenting, Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars said: "Expected to launch here at prices in the mid-forties, with the customary high level of standard specifications, the GLC is a model for which we have been waiting. It will fill a void in our model range and will appeal to motorists across the board attracting male and female drivers in equal measure."