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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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a whiplash protection 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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the GLC and the A6 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.
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.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A6 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.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLC’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
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 A6 Allroad.
For better traction, the GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A6 Allroad (255/45R20 vs. 245/45R20).
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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
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 A6 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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The Mercedes GLC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 600 pounds less than the Audi A6 Allroad.
The GLC is 11.6 inches shorter than the A6 Allroad, 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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
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.
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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the A6 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 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 A6 Allroad’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the GLC offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer cornering lights.
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 A6 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 A6 Allroad’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.
The GLC is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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 A6 Allroad has never been chosen.
The Mercedes GLC outsold the Audi A6/S6 by over four to one during 2019.
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