2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 Dodge Journey

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 2019/11/13

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 Dodge Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The GLC has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The GLC offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Journey doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The GLC’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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

The GLC’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the GLC’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning 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 Journey doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The GLC has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the GLC and the Journey 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mercedes GLC is safer than the Dodge Journey:

GLC

Journey

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

120

158

Neck Injury Risk

23%

27%

Neck Stress

177 lbs.

250 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

378/445 lbs.

502/600 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

113

321

Neck Injury Risk

24%

52%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

164 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

29/68 lbs.

631/373 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mercedes GLC is safer than the Journey:

GLC

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

23 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

1.1/1 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.64/.41

.8/.83

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mercedes GLC is safer than the Dodge Journey:

GLC

Journey

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

97

Abdominal Force

117 G’s

131 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

156

Hip Force

784 lbs.

972 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches

HIC

206

250

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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

Warranty

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The GLC comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Journey’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The GLC’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Journey runs out after 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the GLC’s reliability 15 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Journey isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 4 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 83 more horsepower (255 vs. 172) and 108 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 165) than the Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLC 300 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Journey (22 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

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 Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLC higher (5 out of 10) than the Dodge Journey (3). This means the GLC produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Journey every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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For more complete vehicle control the GLC has a manually controlled automatic, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. A manually controlled automatic allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Journey doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLC, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a four-speed automatic is available for the Journey.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLC

Journey

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

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

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC has larger standard tires than the Journey (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (255/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The GLC’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Journey SE Value’s standard 65 series tires. The GLC’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Journey Crossroad’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLC has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Journey SE Value. The GLC’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Journey Crossroad.

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 Journey doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLC offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Journey’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 Journey doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The GLC has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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 Journey doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 2 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Journey.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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The GLC is 9.1 inches shorter than the Journey, 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 significantly lower than the Journey (.366) 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 Journey doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLC has a much larger cargo volume than the Journey with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 10.7 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 Journey’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the GLC has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The GLC’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Journey’s (3500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The GLC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Journey uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Journey. 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 Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 66% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the GLC, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat (memory seat optional for the front passenger), steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Journey doesn’t offer a memory system.

The GLC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Journey doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Journey doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLC’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Journey’s parking brake has to released manually.

The GLC’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Journey’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the GLC the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Journey can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Journey’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The GLC has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Journey doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Journey’s 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 Journey 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 Journey’s 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 Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Journey doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLC to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Journey 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 Journey’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The GLC has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Journey has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GLC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Journey, and are only available on the Journey Crossroad. The GLC also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Journey.

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 Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the GLC offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the GLC, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLC offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Journey doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Journey doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 Journey only retains 39.45% to 41.24%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the Journey, including $608 less for a muffler, $218 less for a fuel pump and $550 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2019/11/13

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

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