BMW X4 versus Mercedes GLC Coupe: Four-cylinder SUV coupes

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You have to get used to many things nowadays. Like the two SUV Coupes with four-cylinder engines here. Whether BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe are fine cars or not, we will find out from auto-motor-und-sport comparison test.

A decent premium car was always matted to a six-cylinder engine – that was not so long ago a law in the upper class. Today, in times of downsizing and turbocharging, this is no longer true, although the type names suggest it. Two-liter four-cylinder with 245 hp and a basic price of around 55,000 euros fit together well, right?

To find out, the Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe meets the BMW X4 28i, both with four-cylinder petrol engines, all-wheel drive as well as automatic – practically equally expensive. However, the Mercedes comes as AMG line, which heightens the price to at least 57.180 euro. The BMW, on the other hand, enters the fight in the Advantage version, which is the cheapest for this engine (from 54,300 euros).

Little space in the back

Now we do not want to discuss the meaning of high-legged SUV coupes with a grand size but a modest amount of space. Before we turn from the flavors to the exact measurable turn: classic car beauties are not these SUV-Coupés, the smaller BMW is thereby hardly more elegant than the larger, rounder Mercedes. The slightly larger body and the lighter wheelbase (around six centimeters) provide a head start in the space offer.

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Which, of course, can not conceal the fact that both do not perform very convincingly in this discipline. Front offers in each case neat space, the models differ hardly from the normal GLC or the X3, but in the rear it is so close that you are already wondering why you drive 4.7-meter-cars.

The luggage compartments can be expanded from 500 to 1,400 liters, whereby only the Mercedes has a backrest remote release. The narrow hatches and the high loading edges, however, limit the usability. Golf sets and stand-up paddling boards fit better here than refrigerators and Ikea cartons. The fact that both coupés are still remarkably confusing is mentioned here only for the sake of completeness. Luckily the parking assistants are standard for both, with the GLC even coming with a rear-view camera.

In both cars the access to the rear is cumbersome, the combination of high seat edge and low door section proves itself particularly in the BMW as unfavorable. It also has the tighter, cushioned bench, so it is even less inviting to sit in the back seat. But probably most GLC coupé and X4 buyers do not care. They would have chosen SUV variants with more space, if they put more value on value.

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Convincing BMW automatic

After all, they spend even more money on the tighter space, a corresponding X3 is about 3,200 euros cheaper, at the GLC the price difference to the disadvantage of the coupé is even more than 5,000 euros.

For this, SUV coupés come as X4 28i xDrive and GLC 300 Coupé 4Matic, standard with all-wheel drive and automatic transmission. In the case of the BMW with the well-known good eight-speed Steptronic, the Mercedes with the 9G-Tronic. The one extra driving gear, however, does not bring much to the GLC. Rather it seems as if the transmission does not always know which gear is the optimum, sometimes turns seemingly unnecessarily back and forth, thus providing for some unrest in the otherwise comfortable car.

The BMW transmission is more confident and switches faster. In addition, the centrally placed selector lever can be operated much better than the elegant steering wheel lever of the Mercedes, and the transmission reacts more spontaneously to manual commands with the shift paddles.

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Better drive in the GLC 300

Otherwise the GLC drives in this comparison better. Among other things because it runs more smoothly. The BMW makes little of his cylinder number, especially when the load is high, is more unpleasant and subjectively louder than the Mercedes engine.

This belongs to the engine family M 274 and is therefore equipped with a so-called Lanchester compensation, which counteracts the mass forces of the second order in the low speed range very noticeably. The module consists of two very compact balancing shafts which rotate with double crankshaft speed and thus have a vibration-inhibiting effect. In the slightly rough running BMW four-cylinder of the N20 family, the compensating shafts are, incidentally, combined with the oil pump to form an assembly.

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The GLC is more economical

The driving performance of the two are practically the same, they are almost within the scope of the measurement tolerance, though the BMW accelerates somewhat more firmly and feels more sparkling, but the Mercedes has the slightly higher final speed. Larger is the difference in consumption. The Mercedes engine is also an advantage, in the test equipment it needs 0.7 liters less than that of the BMW. The GLC 300 is also somewhat more satisfying on the eco-circuit and during a forced ride.

The fact that the Mercedes appears as the finer and more comfortable car is, however, not only the more balanced drive and the better front and rear seats, but also the more comfortable, more responsive chassis. Equipped with the Air Body Control (air suspension) for 2,261 euros, it behaves much better on small and coarse bumps. Moreover, the more flexible cushioning is not brought down by excessive car body movements. The BMW, on the other hand, seems rather stiff and tart. Since it also carries uncomfortable seating furniture, the comfort evaluation goes to the GLC.

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Harmonious Mercedes

You like to be a BMW driver, after all you are rewarded with more dynamic talents, right? In this case, however, not. Clearly, on the test track, in the 18-meter slalom and the double lane change, the X4 is more planted, but in everyday life on highway and motorway the GLC Coupé is the more enjoyable car.

This is on the one hand due to the balanced and harmonious steering, and on the other hand to the lower understeering angle and the apparently fast-paced all-wheel drive. In the X4, the steering is a little too nervous from the middle position, which leads to unnecessary hustle and bustle on winding country roads, and on fast motor coaches leads to a more discontinuous straight run.

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At the end of the test ride, incidentally, it is hardly noticeable that both are powered by four-cylinder petrol engines. Very pleasant companions are in any case, the better here is the Mercedes GLC 300.

Technical Data
BMW X4 xDrive 28i Mercedes GLC Coupé 300 4Matic
Base price 54.300 € 58.013 €
Lenght x Width x Height 4671 x 1881 x 1624 mm 4732 x 1890 x 1602 mm
Trunk volume 500 – 1400 L 500 – 1400 L
Motor 1997 cm³ / 4-Cylinder 1991 cm³ / 4-Cylinder
Power/Torque 245 PS / 350 Nm 245 PS / 370 Nm
Max. Speed 232 km/h 236 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 6,4 s 6,5 s
Mixed consumption 7,3 L/100 km 9,5 L/100 km