2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Mercedes GLC Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the RDX’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 Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RDX and the GLC Coupe 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, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLC Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 31 more horsepower (272 vs. 241) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 273) than the GLC 300 Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the GLC 300 Coupe:

RDX

GLC

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The RDX 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 GLC Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Mercedes GLC Coupe (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the GLC Coupe every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the GLC Coupe.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the GLC Coupe:

RDX

GLC

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The RDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLC Coupe’s optional 45 series front tires.

The RDX 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 Coupe doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The RDX AWD has a standard space-saver spare (not available on A-Spec) 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 Coupe; 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 RDX AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the GLC 300 Coupe pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLC 300 Coupe (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Mercedes GLC Coupe.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RDX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main 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 Coupe uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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

Passenger Space

The RDX has .7 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLC Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLC Coupe with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLC Coupe with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 49.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The RDX has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The GLC Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX has a standard rear wiper. The GLC Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLC Coupe doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $2950 to $4525 less than the GLC Coupe over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.89% to 53.05% of its original price after five years, while the GLC Coupe only retains 45.7% to 47.57%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $13977 to $21980 less than for the Mercedes GLC Coupe.

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

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