2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 GMC Terrain

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 2019/11/21

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 GMC Terrain 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 Terrain 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 GMC Terrain doesn’t offer height-adjustable front 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 Terrain 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 Terrain doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the Terrain have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 GMC Terrain:

GLC

Terrain

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

120

159

Neck Stress

177 lbs.

190 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

113

376

Neck Injury Risk

24%

26%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

153 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

29/68 lbs.

264/236 lbs.

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

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 GMC Terrain:

GLC

Terrain

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

109

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

117 G’s

195 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

288

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

55 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

13 inches

HIC

206

377

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 Terrain was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 Terrain’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The GLC’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Terrain’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 Terrain 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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 85 more horsepower (255 vs. 170) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 203) than the Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (255 vs. 252) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 260) than the Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes GLC is faster than the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

GLC

Terrain

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.7 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/11/21

The GLC has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLC has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.6 gallons).

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 GMC Terrain (3 to 5). This means the GLC produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Terrain every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLC

Terrain 1.5T

Terrain 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 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 Terrain are solid, not vented.

The GLC stops much shorter than the Terrain:

GLC

Terrain

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC has larger standard tires than the Terrain (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Terrain (255/45R20 vs. 235/50R19).

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 Terrain’s standard 65 series tires. The GLC’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Terrain’s optional 50 series tires.

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

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 Terrain doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2019/11/21

The GLC has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the GLC flat and controlled during cornering. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Terrain’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 Terrain 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 Terrain doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 5.8 inches longer than on the Terrain (113.1 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Terrain.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the Terrain Denali AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Terrain Denali AWD (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .1 inches more front shoulder room and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Terrain.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLC. The Terrain doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The GLC’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Terrain’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The GLC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Terrain 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 Terrain. 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 GMC. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, GMC is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Terrain (except SL/SLE), 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. An easy entry system costs extra on the Terrain, and is not available on all models.

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 Terrain doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLC’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Terrain’s passenger windows don’t close 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 Terrain can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Terrain’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 Terrain 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 Terrain’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Terrain doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The GLC has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning costs extra on the Terrain and isn’t available on the Terrain SL.

The GLC’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Terrain SL doesn’t offer automatic air-conditioning.

The GLC’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Terrain’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Terrain Denali’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 Terrain only retains 36.82% to 45.76%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the Terrain because it costs $218 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the Terrain, including $196 less for a muffler, $216 less for a fuel pump and $436 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 2019/11/21

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

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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