2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Mercedes GLC

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 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLC. 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 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’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

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

RDX

GLC

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX FWD gets better fuel mileage than the GLC 300 RWD (22 city/28 hwy vs. 22 city/27 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLC 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 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 (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the GLC 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.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the GLC:

RDX

GLC

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The RDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLC’s standard 60 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the AMG GLC 43’s 45 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the GLC.

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 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; 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 4MATIC pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

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

Chassis

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 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 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 1.8 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLC.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLC with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLC with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX 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 RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $3250 to $7640 less than the GLC 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 only retains 46.24% to 49.68%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the GLC because it costs $155 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the GLC, including $438 less for a water pump, $324 less for a muffler, $142 less for a starter, $291 less for fuel injection, $4216 less for front struts, $52 less for a timing belt/chain and $13 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $8031 to $20910 less than for the Mercedes GLC.

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

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