2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2019 Lincoln Nautilus

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 Nautilus doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the Nautilus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Nautilus was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 3 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (255 vs. 250) than the Nautilus’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLC gets better fuel mileage than the Nautilus:

GLC

Nautilus

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/29 hwy

21 city/26 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

21 city/28 hwy

20 city/25 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Transmission

© 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 2019/11/20

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

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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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLC’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Nautilus’ (38.7 feet vs. 39.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes GLC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Lincoln Nautilus.

The GLC is 6.7 inches shorter than the Nautilus, making the GLC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Nautilus doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the GLC easier. The GLC’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Nautilus’ liftover is 30 inches.

Towing

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The GLC’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Nautilus’ (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Nautilus. 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 Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 5% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Nautilus, the GLC 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 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the GLC and the Nautilus 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 Nautilus prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Nautilus’ 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 Nautilus’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The GLC’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Nautilus’ headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the GLC detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Nautilus doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Nautilus Select/Reserve/Black Label’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The GLC’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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLC to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Nautilus doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

When the GLC is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Nautilus’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

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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 Nautilus only retains 38.53% to 39.02%.

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 2019/11/20

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

The Mercedes GLC outsold the Lincoln MKX/Nautilus by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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