2019 BMW X1 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X1 xDrive’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The GLC doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the X1 and the GLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and driver alert monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW X1 is safer than the Mercedes GLC:

 

X1

GLC

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

68 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 BMW X1 is safer than the Mercedes GLC:

 

X1

GLC

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

637 lbs.

784 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

40 G’s

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

Warranty

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLC’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLC.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The GLC was rated third in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X1 is faster than the GLC 300:

 

X1

GLC

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

6.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.5 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the GLC:

 

 

 

MPG

X1

 

FWD

sDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

 

AWD

xDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

GLC

 

RWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

 

 

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The X1’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 X1 stops shorter than the GLC:

 

X1

GLC

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLC’s standard 60 series tires.

The X1 offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the GLC; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .85 G’s, while the GLC 300 4MATIC pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLC 300 4MATIC (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the X1’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the GLC’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The X1’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the AMG GLC 43’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a 2.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLC 300 (7.2 vs. 5 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X1’s minimum ground clearance is .5 inch higher than on the AMG GLC 43 (7.2 vs. 6.7 inches).

Chassis

The BMW X1 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 450 pounds less than the Mercedes GLC.

The X1 is 7.9 inches shorter than the GLC 300, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X1 xDrive28i is quieter than the AMG GLC 43:

 

X1

GLC

At idle

40 dB

40 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

Passenger Space

The X1 has 4.1 inches more front headroom and .9 inches more rear headroom than the GLC.

The front step up height for the X1 is 3 inches lower than the GLC (17” vs. 20”). The X1’s rear step up height is 5.2 inches lower than the GLC’s (17.3” vs. 22.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLC with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLC with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

The X1’s cargo area is larger than the GLC’s in almost every dimension:

 

X1

GLC

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

35.1”/69”

36.6”/61.3”

Max Width

51.5”

49.4”

Min Width

39.5”

43.3”

Height

33”

31.1”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X1 will cost $1715 to $5900 less than the GLC over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X1 is less expensive to operate than the GLC because it costs $279 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the X1 than the GLC, including $67 less for a water pump, $88 less for front brake pads, $2 less for fuel injection, $59 less for front struts and $45 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X1 will be $7208 to $24566 less than for the Mercedes GLC.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GLC was rated second in its category.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 3 years. The GLC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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