2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Mercedes GLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Murano are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLC doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano (except S/SV) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLC doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s 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 Murano and the GLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

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 Nissan Murano is safer than the Mercedes GLC:

 

Murano

GLC

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

354 lbs.

409 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

46 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

784 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

681 lbs.

787 lbs.

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

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLC. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLC ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Murano’s reliability 32 points higher than the GLC.

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

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 19 more horsepower (260 vs. 241) than the GLC 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLC requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Murano has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLC (19 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Murano has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The GLC doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Murano stops much shorter than the GLC:

 

Murano

GLC

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Murano has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The GLC doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Murano has a standard 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 Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the GLC 300 4MATIC pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Murano has a 1.9 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLC 300 (6.9 vs. 5 inches), allowing the Murano to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Murano’s minimum ground clearance is .2 inch higher than on the AMG GLC 43 (6.9 vs. 6.7 inches).

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Murano has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The GLC uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 2.1 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLC.

The front step up height for the Murano is 4.2 inches lower than the GLC (15.8” vs. 20”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 7.4 inches lower than the GLC’s (15.1” vs. 22.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLC with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLC with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

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

 

Murano

GLC

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

36.6”/61.3”

Max Width

54”

49.4”

Min Width

43”

43.3”

Height

33.7”

31.1”

Ergonomics

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Murano owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Murano will cost $2005 to $6740 less than the GLC over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the GLC because it costs $360 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the GLC, including $348 less for a water pump, $201 less for a muffler, $139 less for front brake pads, $178 less for a starter, $122 less for fuel injection, $180 less for front struts and $199 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $7935 to $17592 less than for the Mercedes GLC.

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Murano outsold the Mercedes GLC by 31% during the 2018 model year.

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

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