Irish drivers never really got a chance to ponder the Mercedes-Benz GLK over here. The problem was that it was only built in four-wheel drive. Recently though, we have been given the new GLC, and this is the German brand's answer to the likes of the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. Some would even place it against the Land Rover Discovery Sport or even the Jaguar F-Pace.
There are two engine choices for the Irish market. First up is the GLC220D. This 4-cylinder diesel engine offers 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds and has a top speed of 210km/h. For those of you who are looking for more power, you can opt for the 204hp GLC 250D which will bring you from 0-100km/h in just 7.6 seconds, and if you get a chance to drive on some of Germany's unrestricted autobahns, you could reach a maximum speed of 220km/h. The GLC comes with only the 9-speed 9G-Tronic gearboxes, and to be honest these are all good. The whole range is only available here with all-wheel drive, which should keep the purists happy.
Unsurprisingly, the GLC offers quite a refined drive. The AWD grips the road snuggly and it's 9-speed automatic gearbox is so much better than the 7-speed box that you would find in the likes of the A-Class and B-Class. Steering in the GLC is well weighted and very accurate. The steering changes too, depending on what driving mode that you are in. This vehicle doesn't suffer massively from body roll either. We're yet to take the GLC off road, so we'll hold comment on that until we've experienced it.
This is a refined car - it is a Mercedes-Benz after all. There is some engine noise from the 220d engine when you work it hard on the motorway, but once you get to cruising speeds, things even out. Sound insulation around the vehicle is good too.
Inside the Mercedes GLC is very familiar. Everything is of a high standard. The layout of the dash is very nice, however, the infotainment system can be difficult to navigate around.
In terms of safety, the GLC is jam-packed with the best of what Mercedes has to offer in safety equipment. As a brand, Mercedes are very like Volvo with their safety approaches. They are top of their game. This car scored a full five stars in the Euro NCAP with a brilliant 71% for their safety assist features.
The boot of the GLC is competitive with the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 with 550 litres. The interior is very spacious and five adults would fit - but obviously it would be most comfortable with four. I managed to squeeze three baby seats in the second row.