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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 Land Rover Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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 Land Rover Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The GLC offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Discovery Sport 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.
Both the GLC and the Discovery Sport 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 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 Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.
There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLC’s warranty.
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 24 points higher than the Discovery Sport.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Discovery Sport 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd.
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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 87 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.
The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (255 vs. 246) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 269) than the Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the GLC 300 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport turbo 4 cyl. (21 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/24 hwy).
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 Discovery Sport are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Discovery Sport (255/45R20 vs. 235/60R18).
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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The GLC has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Discovery Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer rear gas-charged shocks.
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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 5.2 inches longer than on the Discovery Sport (113.1 inches vs. 107.9 inches).
The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the Discovery Sport S pulls only .82 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 Discovery Sport S (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s).
The GLC is 7.1 inches narrower than the Discovery Sport, making the GLC easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.
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 Discovery Sport (.34) 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The GLC has 1.7 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.
The GLC has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 4.1 cubic feet). The GLC has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 55.6 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLC. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Discovery Sport. 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 Land Rover. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With an 89% lower rating, Land Rover is ranked 30th.
The GLC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLC to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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 Discovery Sport only retains 42.13% to 42.27%.
Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The Discovery Sport has never been chosen.
The Mercedes GLC outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by almost six to one during the 2019 model year.
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