2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 Lexus NX Series

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 Lexus NX Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the GLC and the NX Series 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, 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.

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 Lexus NX Series:

GLC

NX Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

120

209

Neck Injury Risk

23%

46%

Neck Stress

177 lbs.

509 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

378/445 lbs.

480/609 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

113

355

Neck Injury Risk

24%

42%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

295 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

29/68 lbs.

442/307 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 Lexus NX Series:

GLC

NX Series

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

192

Abdominal Force

117 G’s

148 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

317

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

49 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

HIC

206

542

Hip Force

787 lbs.

828 lbs.

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

Warranty

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There are over 59 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much 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 NX Series isn’t in the top three.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 61 more horsepower (255 vs. 194) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 199) than the NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (255 vs. 235) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mercedes GLC is faster than the Lexus NX Series:

GLC

NX 300h

NX 300

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.3 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.9 sec

7.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.8 sec

5.6 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

16.9 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

84.6 MPH

91.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLC 300 RWD gets better highway fuel mileage than the NX 300 FWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

The GLC has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLC has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series’ standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.9 gallons).

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 a six-speed automatic is available for the NX Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLC

NX Series

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.1 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 NX Series are solid, not vented.

The GLC stops much shorter than the NX Series:

GLC

NX Series

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 NX Series (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the NX Series (255/45R20 vs. 235/55R18).

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 NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The GLC’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’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 NX Series. The GLC’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 8.4 inches longer than on the NX Series (113.1 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the NX Series.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the NX 300 pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the NX 300h AWD (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .63 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 NX Series (.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 NX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLC has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the NX Series with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The GLC has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the NX Series with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 54.6 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 NX Series’ liftover is 31.2 inches.

Towing

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The GLC’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (3500 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the NX Series, 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 NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 NX Series’ power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 NX Series’ standard 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 NX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLC to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The NX Series doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

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

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 NX Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $372 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the NX Series, including $36 less for fuel injection and $940 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 2019/11/12

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

The Mercedes GLC outsold the Lexus NX Series by 22% during the 2019 model year.

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