2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 Lexus RX Series

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

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 RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the GLC and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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 RX Series:

GLC

RX Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

120

265

Neck Injury Risk

23%

42%

Neck Stress

177 lbs.

546 lbs.

Neck Compression

87 lbs.

135 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

378/445 lbs.

499/536 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

113

176

Neck Injury Risk

24%

53%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

290 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

29/68 lbs.

403/259 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 RX Series:

GLC

RX Series

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

165

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

HIC

206

275

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

44 G’s

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 RX Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

© 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

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.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes GLC is faster than the Lexus RX Series:

GLC

RX 350

RX 450h

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.3 sec

n/a

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.8 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.1 sec

15.3 sec

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 2019/11/22

On the EPA test cycle the GLC gets better fuel mileage than the RX Series:

GLC

RX Series

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/29 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

21 city/28 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

Transmission

© 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

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 RX Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLC

RX Series

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

12.9 inches

The GLC stops much shorter than the RX Series:

GLC

RX Series

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 better traction, the GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).

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 RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The GLC’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

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 RX Series 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 2019/11/22

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 RX 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 RX Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the RX Series (113.1 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The GLC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the RX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the GLC more stable handling and braking.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the RX 450h 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 quicker than the RX 450h (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Mercedes GLC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 750 pounds less than the Lexus RX Series.

The GLC is 9.2 inches shorter than the RX Series, 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 lower than the RX Series (.33) 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 RX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLC has a larger cargo volume than the RX Series with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 18.4 cubic feet).

Towing

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The GLC’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RX 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 RX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the RX 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.

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 RX Series 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 RX Series’ headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

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

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 RX Series because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the RX Series, including $292 less for a water pump, $55 less for a starter, $1636 less for a timing belt/chain and $905 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 performed a comparison test in its August 2016 issue and they ranked the Mercedes GLC 300 4MATIC first. They ranked the Lexus RX 350 third.

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

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

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