A car that combines the sleek lines of a coupe with the off-road ruggedness of an SUV may seem like a step too far for some user-choosers. But it’s a combination that has been winning over many UK drivers since the launch of the BMW X6 back in 2008.

Here is the latest sporty SUV to enter the fold, the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, a car that challenges the BMW X4 and, as the name suggests, is loosely based on the superb C-class.

Refined interior

Even if you’re not sold on the combination of these two bodystyles, few would argue with the GLC Coupe’s good looks. More elegant than its SUV sibling, the Coupe takes the standard GLC and adds a sportier suspension, a swooping roofline and a slightly wider track.

Inside showcases the usual Mercedes-Benz luxury we’ve come to expect. There’s a mixture of high-quality materials and finishes throughout the cabin and the dashboard is beautifully crafted.

There’s a choice of two trims in the UK: Sport and AMG Line. The latter features a number of sporty design touches, including 19-inch alloy wheels, stainless steel sports pedals, a chrome finish on the grille, special floor mats and unique side skirts.

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Advanced technology in this AMG Line car is plentiful too. The highlights include a seven-inch touchscreen system with satnav, heated seats, an electronic tailgate, LED lights, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, a reversing camera, electric leather seats and keyless start. 

Powerful diesel engine

Under the bonnet of the GLC Coupe is a four-cylinder 2.1-litre diesel offering 204hp and 500Nm of torque.

It’s a capable and powerful engine with enough low-down torque to enable the car to gather speed quickly. Officially, 0-62mph is achieved in 7.6 seconds, and mated to the engine is the firm’s nine-speed automatic gearbox. 

Because the Coupe sits lower than the standard car, the handling feels sportier than its SUV sibling. Thanks to the 4Matic four-wheel drive system, there’s plenty of grip on offer in the corners too, and bodyroll is kept to a minimum. Put your foot to the floor and the engine can strain a little at times, and the steering lacks feedback too, making the whole driving experience feel a little cold.

The 250d’s economy figure of 56.5mpg means it’s more efficient than the less powerful X4 2.0d, and CO2 emissions of 143g/km are also competitive in this sector.

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One option we would thoroughly recommend is the upgraded Air Body Control suspension. It enhances the ride quality on the motorway and delivers better performance in the corners, so is well worth the £1,495 investment.

There’s a choice of five different driving modes, including Eco, Sport+ and Comfort, which make noticeable changes to the suspension, steering and throttle set-up to suit.

Due to its swooping roofline, the GLC Coupe loses out on 50 litres of space in the boot, offering 500 litres with the rear seats up, although it’s still big enough for a weekend away or a trip to the shops with a horde of teenagers. Rear headroom, for the same reason, also suffers in comparison with the standard car.

Not cheap to buy

Aside from a couple of chassis tweaks and the curvy roofline, the GLC SUV and Coupe are pretty much the same cars underneath. Equipment levels also mirror each other and there’s little to separate the two in the running costs stakes.

The big difference is the price – the GLC Coupe is around £3,000 more than the standard car, which is a significant outlay for those sportier looks.

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Mercedes’ new car sits in the middle of the pack for residual values, offering 41.2%, and for whole-life cost front the GLC Coupe is competitive rather than class-leading at 83.5p per mile; models from Jaguar and BMW achieve lower figures, but cannot match this engine’s performance.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 250d 4Matic AMG Line

Model price range: £40,580-£46,040
Residual value: £17,750 (41.2%)
Depreciation: £25,295
Fuel: £5,721
Service, maintenance and repair: £3,196
Vehicle Excise Duty: £390
National insurance: £4,990
Cost per mile: 83.5p
Fuel consumption: 56.5mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 143g/km (26%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £187/£373
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space: 500 litres
Engine size/power: 2,143cc/204hp