2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 Audi A4 Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the A4 Allroad 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, 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 87 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A4 Allroad has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLC’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A4 Allroad 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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) than the A4 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLC has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 Allroad (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 A4 Allroad.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLC’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A4 Allroad:

GLC

A4 Allroad

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13.3 inches

The GLC stops shorter than the A4 Allroad:

GLC

A4 Allroad

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A4 Allroad (255/45R20 vs. 245/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLC has standard 20-inch wheels. The A4 Allroad’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 A4 Allroad 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 A4 Allroad 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the A4 Allroad (113.1 inches vs. 110.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the A4 Allroad.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the A4 Allroad Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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The GLC is 4.2 inches shorter than the A4 Allroad, making the GLC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 A4 Allroad (.33) 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4 Allroad.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLC’s rear seats recline. The A4 Allroad’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLC’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the A4 Allroad, 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’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The A4 Allroad’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.

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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The GLC’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 A4 Allroad Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The GLC is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 A4 Allroad only retains 42.51% to 42.92%.

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

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes GLC, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The A4 Allroad has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the Audi A4/S4 by almost three to one during 2019.

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