2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

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 Volkswagen Tiguan 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 Tiguan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Mercedes GLC has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan’s traction control is for low speeds only. Low traction conditions at higher speeds are more dangerous, making the need for full range traction control important.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Tiguan was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 Tiguan 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 71 more horsepower (255 vs. 184) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mercedes GLC is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

GLC

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.8 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLC 300 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan 4Motion® (21 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

The GLC has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLC has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan AWD’s 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the Tiguan.

Brakes and Stopping

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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 Tiguan are solid, not vented.

The GLC stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

GLC

Tiguan

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC has larger standard tires than the Tiguan (235/60R18 vs. 215/65R17).

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 Tiguan S/SE’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLC has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLC has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Tiguan’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 Tiguan’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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan (113.1 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Tiguan.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 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 significantly lower than the Tiguan (.35) 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 Tiguan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .6 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLC has a much larger cargo volume than the Tiguan with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 12 cubic feet).

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

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Tiguan. 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 Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 39% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line, 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. The Tiguan 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 Tiguan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Tiguan can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Tiguan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Tiguan’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Tiguan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GLC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Tiguan SE/SE R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium R-Line. 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 Tiguan.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 is only available on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium R-Line.

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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan only retains 28.65% to 38.41%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the Tiguan, including $3 less for a starter, $24 less for a fuel pump and $231 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 Tiguan has never been chosen.

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