2019 Lincoln MKC vs. 2018 Mercedes GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Lincoln MKC are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes GLA has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the MKC (except Premiere)’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 GLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the MKC and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the MKC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the MKC’s warranty.

Reliability

The MKC has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The GLA doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 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 Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

Engine

The MKC’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (245 vs. 208) and 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 258) than the GLA 250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lincoln MKC 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the GLA 250:

 

MKC

GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.1 MPH

89.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln MKC uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The MKC has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (15.7 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The MKC has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the GLA 45 AMG’s standard fuel tank (15.7 vs. 14.8 gallons).

The MKC has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GLA doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the MKC’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:

 

MKC

GLA

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.6 inches

The MKC stops shorter than the GLA:

 

MKC

GLA

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

128 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MKC has larger standard tires than the GLA (235/50R18 vs. 225/40R18). The MKC AWD’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (255/40R20 vs. 235/45R19).

Suspension and Handling

The MKC has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLA 250 suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The MKC’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The GLA doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The MKC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the MKC more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The front grille of the MKC uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLA doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKC uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLA doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the MKC AWD is quieter than the GLA 250 4MATIC (69 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

The MKC has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (97.9 vs. 91).

The MKC has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front legroom, 3.3 inches more rear headroom, 9.7 inches more rear legroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the MKC’s rear seats recline. The GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The MKC has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (25.2 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The MKC has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (53.1 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

Towing

The MKC has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKC’s exterior PIN entry system. The GLA doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its mbrace can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the MKC has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLA only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the MKC’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the GLA’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the MKC (except Premiere) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The MKC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the GLA. The MKC also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLA.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the MKC Reserve/Black Label keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The GLA doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the MKC’s optional (except Premiere) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The MKC (except Premiere) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The GLA doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the MKC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MKC will cost $310 less than the GLA over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKC is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the MKC than the GLA, including $337 less for a water pump, $31 less for a muffler, $119 less for front brake pads, $482 less for a starter, $365 less for fuel injection, $161 less for a fuel pump and $254 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lincoln MKC will be $1156 to $4917 less than for the Mercedes GLA.

Recommendations

The Lincoln MKC outsold the Mercedes GLA by 12% during 2017.

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

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