WE Brits seem to have an insatiable appetite for sporty SUVs and that's why Mercedes-Benz has entered the fray with a car that offers bags of styling, excellent driving dynamics and all the practicality you could wish for.
It's called the GLC and looks really dynamic and athletic from any approach thanks to smart 19-inch alloys, LED high performance headlights with LED daytime running lights, privacy glass, plenty of smart chrome trim and AMG body styling to beef up the front and rear apron and side skirts.
Move inside and the car oozes all the premium styling associated with the Mercedes-Benz marque with a stunning blend of luxurious leather upholstery combined with black ash wood trim.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include the likes of heated front seats, a superb sound system which can be hooked up to all modern media devices, a DAB digital radio, a high resolution seven-inch multi-media display screen and a simple-to-use yet highly sophisticated sat nav system complete with live traffic information and 3D view.
This car also featured a Premium Pack which added £1,695 to the asking price and introduced ambient lighting, an electrically adjustable steering column, memory settings for the front seats, a panoramic glass roof with a fixed rear section and powered front section, keyless start-up and a clever feature that allows you to open and close the boot by kicking your foot beneath the rear bumper - which can be invaluable when laden down with shopping bags.
Although the GLC may not have the dynamism of rivals such as the Porsche Macan or BMW X3, it does offer unrivalled levels of comfort and refinement and that reflects in its driving performance too.
Bumps and dips are ironed out by the highly efficient suspension system and all outside noise intrusions are kept to a minimum thanks to the very effective insulation.
And don't be fooled into thinking the car is lacking on the performance front because the GLC is powered by a punchy 2,143cc, 204bhp diesel engine and can sprint from 0 to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and tops out at 138mph.
According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 56.5mpg with carbon emissions of 129g/km.
The interior is very spacious with ample room for five adults to stretch out. And luggage restrictions need not apply either as the boot has a 550-litre capacity, increasing to 1,600 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
Elsewhere there are plenty of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin, including a good-sized glovebox, a deep central bin, practical door pockets, cup holders and an overhead sunglasses holder.
The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the high seated position and all controls, dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for convenience and ease of use.
In and around town, the GLC is deceptively agile for its size and the great visibility, along with sensors and cameras help to make light work of any parking issues.
Out on faster roads, the vehicle moves swiftly through the nine-speed gearbox (steering wheel-mounted manual paddles can be used if so desired). The road-holding is very assured and grounded, the steering is precise and there is virtually no body roll even when the GLC is pushed hard into tight bends.
Another factor worth noting is the 4MATIC permanent four-wheel drive system and raised ground clearance which means the car is suitably equipped to deal with any unexpected mood swings Mother Nature has in store.