2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2019 Infiniti QX30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The GLC’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The QX30 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The GLC 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the GLC’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 QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The GLC’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 QX30 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the QX30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The Mercedes GLC weighs 416 to 716 pounds more than the Infiniti QX30. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 GLC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 79 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLC’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the GLC has a standard 150-amp alternator. The QX30’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The QX30 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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (255 vs. 208) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLC has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLC has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.8 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLC higher (5 out of 10) than the Infiniti QX30 (3). This means the GLC produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the QX30 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLC, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX30.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLC’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX30:

GLC

QX30

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

The GLC’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the QX30 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX30 (255/45R20 vs. 235/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLC has standard 20-inch wheels. The QX30’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLC offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX30’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GLC has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLC’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The QX30 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The GLC’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 QX30 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 6.8 inches longer than on the QX30 (113.1 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 2 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the QX30.

The GLC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the QX30’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the GLC more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes GLC amounts to more than styling. The GLC has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the QX30 (.31 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLC get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the GLC uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The QX30 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLC has 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLC’s rear seats recline. The QX30’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLC has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 34 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLC’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the GLC has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The GLC has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The QX30 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The GLC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The QX30 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the QX30. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The GLC 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The GLC 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the GLC and the QX30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLC is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The GLC’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The QX30’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The GLC’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The QX30’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The GLC’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The QX30’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GLC has standard extendable sun visors. The QX30 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The GLC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential. The GLC also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX30.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the GLC keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The QX30 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the GLC’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLC offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The QX30 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The GLC 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the GLC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the GLC will cost $430 less than the QX30 over a five-year period.

The GLC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GLC will retain 44.66% to 45.7% of its original price after five years, while the QX30 only retains 36.01% to 36.87%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the QX30 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the QX30, including $424 less for a timing belt/chain and $213 less for a power steering pump.

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 2019/11/21

Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The QX30 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the Infiniti QX30 by over sixteen to one during the 2019 model year.

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