2020 Mercedes GLC vs. 2020 Volvo XC40

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the GLC and the XC40 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.

Warranty

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There are over 28 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Volvo dealers, which makes it 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 XC40 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 70 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 12 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

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The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (255 vs. 187) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The GLC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes GLC is faster than the XC40 T5:

GLC

XC40

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

8.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.2 sec

14.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.6 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.7 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLC has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (17.4 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 XC40.

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 XC40 are solid, not vented.

The GLC stops much shorter than the XC40:

GLC

XC40

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLC’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC40 (255/45R20 vs. 245/45R20).

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 XC40 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 XC40’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the XC40 (113.1 inches vs. 106.4 inches).

The GLC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the XC40’s (57.9% to 42.1%). This gives the GLC more stable handling and braking.

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .83 G’s, while the XC40 T5 R-Design 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 1.5 seconds quicker than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .61 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 XC40 (.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 XC40 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLC has .6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC40.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLC’s rear seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC40. 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 Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the XC40, 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 XC40 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 XC40 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 XC40 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 XC40 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

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 XC40 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 costs extra on the XC40.

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 XC40 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 XC40 R-Design/Inscription’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the XC40 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the XC40, including $107 less for a fuel pump and $258 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 2019/11/20

Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The XC40 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the Volvo XC40 by over four to one during the 2019 model year.

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