2020 Mercedes GLC Coupe vs. 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

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Safety

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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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Atlas Cross Sport 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 Atlas Cross Sport.

The GLC Coupe’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC Coupe and the Atlas Cross Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The GLC Coupe’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Atlas Cross Sport’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 21 points higher than the Atlas Cross Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC Coupe third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Atlas Cross Sport 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 6 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The GLC Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 20 more horsepower (255 vs. 235) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the Atlas Cross Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The GLC Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 266) than the Atlas Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLC 300 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the Atlas Cross Sport 4Motion turbo 4 cyl. (21 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/23 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLC Coupe higher (5 out of 10) than the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport (3 to 5). This means the GLC Coupe produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Atlas Cross Sport every 15,000 miles.

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 Atlas Cross Sport.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLC Coupe

Atlas Cross Sport

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The GLC Coupe’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 Atlas Cross Sport’s standard 60 series tires. The GLC Coupe’s optional 285/40R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s 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 Atlas Cross Sport.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the GLC Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLC Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Atlas Cross Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The GLC Coupe has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the GLC Coupe flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas Cross Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLC 300 Coupe’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Atlas Cross Sport’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis

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The GLC Coupe is 8.8 inches shorter than the Atlas Cross Sport, making the GLC Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The GLC Coupe’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas Cross Sport’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLC Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Atlas Cross Sport. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 39% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Atlas Cross Sport SEL, 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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The GLC Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the GLC Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Atlas Cross Sport can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The GLC Coupe’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas Cross Sport has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GLC Coupe has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Atlas Cross Sport SE/SEL.

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 Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/10

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

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