2020 Mercedes GLC Coupe vs. 2020 BMW X1

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC Coupe have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X1 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The GLC Coupe’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X1 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC Coupe are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X1 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The GLC Coupe has standard NECK-PRO front head restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO front head restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The X1 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLC Coupe. But it costs extra on the X1.

The GLC Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The X1 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The GLC Coupe’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the GLC Coupe’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 X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the GLC Coupe and the X1 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLC Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 GLC Coupe’s reliability 14 points higher than the X1.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC Coupe third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The X1 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The GLC Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (255 vs. 228) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

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

GLC Coupe

X1

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

6.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLC Coupe has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the X1 (17.4 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLC Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X1.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLC Coupe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X1:

GLC Coupe

X1

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC Coupe has larger standard tires than the X1 (235/55R19 vs. 225/50R18). The GLC Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X1 (F:255/45R20 & R:285/40R20 vs. 225/50R18).

The GLC Coupe’s optional 285/40R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X1’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLC Coupe has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the X1. The GLC Coupe’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the X1.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLC Coupe’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 X1 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC Coupe’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the X1 (113.1 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC Coupe is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the X1.

Passenger Space

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The GLC Coupe has .4 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the X1.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLC Coupe’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X1 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The GLC Coupe has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The X1 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLC Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the X1. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The GLC Coupe 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 X1 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X1, the GLC Coupe offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GLC Coupe’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The X1 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the GLC Coupe to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X1 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The X1’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The GLC Coupe’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The GLC Coupe has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the X1. The GLC Coupe also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the X1.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the GLC Coupe keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The X1 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The GLC Coupe has a 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 X1 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The GLC Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The X1’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC Coupe is less expensive to operate than the X1 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC Coupe than the X1, including $223 less for a muffler, $32 less for a starter, $104 less for a fuel pump and $925 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/19

Motor Trend selected the GLC Coupe as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The X1 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the BMW X1 by almost four to one during the 2019 model year.

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