2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Q5 and GLC have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q5 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The GLC’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q5 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLC doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q5. But it costs extra on the GLC.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q5’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The GLC doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

To help make backing safer, the Q5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The GLC doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Q5 and the GLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi Q5 is safer than the Mercedes GLC:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

44 lbs.

87 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

378/445 lbs.




5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

115 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q5 is safer than the Mercedes GLC:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

117 G’s

Hip Force

279 lbs.

409 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

600 lbs.

787 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLC’s (12 vs. 5 years).


The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the GLC’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q5’s reliability 38 points higher than the GLC.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.


The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (248 vs. 241) than the GLC 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Q5 is faster than the GLC 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Q5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLC requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q5 has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLC (18.5 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


The Q5 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The GLC doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Q5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The GLC doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The Q5 stops shorter than the GLC:





60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the GLC’s (38.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The Q5’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the AMG GLC 43’s (38.4 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a 3.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLC 300 (8.2 vs. 5 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q5’s minimum ground clearance is 1.5 inches higher than on the AMG GLC 43 (8.2 vs. 6.7 inches).

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 3.9 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the GLC.

Cargo Capacity

The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume than the GLC with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 19.4 cubic feet).


The Q5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the GLC’s (4400 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.


Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the GLC.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Q5 will cost $40 to $5030 less than the GLC over a five-year period.

The Q5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q5 will retain 52.7% to 53.4% of its original price after five years, while the GLC only retains 46.24% to 49.68%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the GLC because it costs $90 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the GLC, including $142 less for a water pump, $74 less for front brake pads, $82 less for fuel injection, $53 less for front struts and $734 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q5 will be $925 to $13425 less than for the Mercedes GLC.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLC isn't recommended.

The Audi Q5 outsold the Mercedes GLC by 1769 units during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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