2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 BMW X3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/11/22

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 X3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the GLC and the X3 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, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 X3 isn’t in the top three.

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 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mercedes GLC is faster than the X3 s/xDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

GLC

X3

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.8 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

92 MPH

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 X3.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLC’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the X3:

GLC

X3

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

The GLC stops much shorter than the X3:

GLC

X3

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC has larger standard tires than the X3 (235/60R18 vs. 225/60R18). The GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X3 (255/45R20 vs. 245/45R20).

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 X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the X3 xDrive30i pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the X3 xDrive30i (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GLC’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The GLC’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the X3 M40i’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .5 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLC’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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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 X3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X3, 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 X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the GLC’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 X3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/11/22

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the X3 because it costs $181 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the X3, including $20 less for a water pump, $350 less for a muffler, $56 less for a starter, $69 less for a fuel pump, $699 less for a timing belt/chain and $306 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 2019/11/22

Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The X3 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the BMW X3 by 2167 units during the 2019 model year.

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