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Mercedes confirms compact 4x4

03 May 2005

Mercedes has confirmed that it will build a small off-roader to sit below September’s new M-Class and take on BMW’s X3.

Although the off-roader has already been spied testing on public roads, finished versions are unlikely to arrive in showrooms before 2007. Prices are likely to start at around £28,000.

As well as existing rivals, such as the BMW X3, the new baby Mercedes 4x4 faces competition from other manufacturers.

Audi is planning a brace of off-roaders: the seven-seater Q7 goes on sale next spring, while the smaller Q7 is rumoured to be launched in 2007.

Jaguar is also working on a crossover model. Although not an out-and-out off-roader, it could compete with the Mercedes, BMW X3 and Audi Q5, and is likely to go on sale late next year or early in 2007.

Volvo could target buyers with smaller budgets with an XC50. The manufacturer has not confirmed it is developing the compact 4x4 but, given the success of the XC90, persistent rumours of an XC50 are likely to be true.

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