2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 BMW X2

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X2 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 X2 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X2 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 X2 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Active Brake Assist in the GLC as “Superior.” The X2 scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The GLC offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The X2 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 X2 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the X2 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 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 X2 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW 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 X2 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (255 vs. 228) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the X2’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mercedes GLC is faster than the BMW X2 2.0:

GLC

X2

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLC has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the X2 (17.4 vs. 16.1 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the X2.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLC’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the X2:

GLC

X2

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

The GLC stops shorter than the X2:

GLC

X2

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC has larger standard tires than the X2 (235/60R18 vs. 225/50R18). The GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X2 (255/45R20 vs. 225/50R18).

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 X2 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 X2 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the X2 (113.1 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 2 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the X2.

The GLC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the X2’s (55.6% to 44.4%). This gives the GLC more stable handling and braking.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the X2 xDrive28i (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

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 X2 (.31 to .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 X2 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the X2.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLC has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X2 with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 50.1 cubic feet).

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 X2’s liftover is 30.6 inches.

The GLC’s cargo area is larger than the X2’s in almost every dimension:

GLC

X2

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36.6”/61.3”

30.6”/63”

Max Width

49.4”

48”

Min Width

43.3”

39.6”

Height

31.1”

28”

Towing

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The GLC has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The X2 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the X2. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

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 X2 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X2, 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 X2 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 X2 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 X2’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

The X2’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.

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 X2 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The GLC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the X2. 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 X2.

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 X2 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 X2 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 X2’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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 X2 only retains 39.75% to 42.15%.

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 2019/11/17

Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The X2 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the BMW X2 by over five to one during the 2019 model year.

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