German magazine auto motor und sport conducted a comparative test Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 facelift against the Porsche Macan GTS facelift and the BMW X3 M40i. And the winner is …
Photos: auto motor und sport
Following last year’s facelift, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 received an additional 33 HP reaching 390 HP, the Porsche Macan GTS received an additional 20 HP reaching 380 HP and the BMW X3 M40i comes with 360 HP.
Let’s start with Porsche. Macan is very neutral even on the slippery circuit and in the sequence of alternating turns it does not deviate from the ideal route. Then, you can firmly depress the accelerator pedal in a straight line without the car slipping excessively. Macan also has a neutral road holding due to the electronically lockable rear differential (Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus) which cancels out the oversteer effect. For Porsche, however, this electronically lockable differential costs an extra 1,450 euros, while for rivals Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and BMW X3 M40i it is standard, but work differently.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 has a similar behavior with Macan with the mention that it understeers more, but it is also extremely fast and largely neutral when necessary.
X3 can’t keep up with the pace of the two Swabians, because on wet asphalt it pushes relatively hard on the front wheels at the same speed as its rivals. In fast corners it is pleasant to drive only from the dosage of acceleration and depending on the taste it can be cool but also agile.
The requirement for obtaining these sensations is to put the ESP in Sport mode.
Although the agile rear axle is a lot of fun for some, BMW does not achieve the high precision of its rivals even on dry surfaces. This is confirmed by the dynamic tests: Both in the double lane change and in the slalom event with milestones located 18 meters apart, BMW tilts more and has a much stronger tendency to understeer.
All three heavyweight athletes were then tested in open circulation and in good weather conditions. Under these conditions, BMW remains neutral longer and the more playful reaction of the rear axle is largely eliminated. On dry surfaces, Mercedes-AMG GLC43 come closer to Porsche without achieving its directional accuracy. With its meticulous reactions to steering movements, Porsche is still the king of driving dynamics in its segment. And while all three models get a good calificative for steering, Macan’s steering feedback is better than its rivals.
In addition, in Macan the driver feels most integrated inside. Porsche impresses with the lowest driving position, while in the GLC 43 it is slightly higher, and in the BMW the driving position is high, typical of SUVs. At Porsche, the center console is almost vertical and only at Macan the windshield side of the dashboard is higher than in front because the multimedia system screen is embedded in the dashboard and is not floating like rivals. The consulsion is: The multimedia system is installed correctly.
However, there are some disadvantages: the central armrest is in the optimal position only if it slides forward, closing the cup holders and there is little storage space. In addition, although Macan is not too small on the inside, in this comparison it is tailored the tightest.
Porsche is also losing a lot of points at assistance systems, which is partly explained by the fact that the core technology comes from the former generation Audi Q5 (8R), which was replaced in 2017.
The much younger AMG (facelift in 2019) offers not only the largest knee space in the rear but also a modern and complete package of asistance systems, at the level of the BMW X3 which is just as big inside. But the strong point of the GLC 43 is the superior driving comfort, this being the first choice for a calm, perfectly relaxed driving.
The seats of the GLC 43, which can be adjusted in many directions, as in the Porsche, are excellently configured and look very sporty. In fact, the GLC 43 also produces the best artistic impression, with a sound system of the engine with two flaps on the exhaust that offers the most exciting concert even if it is not as wild as that of the GLC 63 with V8 engine.
By comparison, the X3 M40i and Macan GTS sound like two sports SUVs but that’s it.
Although the engine of the BMW X3 M40i has a single turbo to increase the power of the six cylinders in line at 360 HP, it reacts even faster to some accelerations than the two V6 twin-turbo engines from Porsche (380 HP) and Mercedes (390 HP).
Also, all three accelerate rapidly to 100 km/h, in around 4.5 seconds, and have an enormous pulling force. Mercedes and BMW have an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h while Porsche flies up to 261 km/h. In terms of consumption, all three manage to fall below the 12 l/ 100 km barrier.
A special feature of the C 43 is the 9-speed automatic transmission that allows driving at up to 100 km/h in third gear. With Porsche’s 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and BMW’s 8-speed automatic, you can reach up to 130 km/h in third gear.
How does it work? In manual mode, in AMG you have to change the gears more often. But even if all three models change gears quickly, Porsche seems to change an idea faster but also a little tougher. In addition, its paddles feel really massive when changing gears. The paddles from GLC 43 are almost as good, while for the X3 the plastic coating on the back of the paddles tends to disappoint.
The X3’s adaptive suspension is fluffy in the city. But even at high speeds, the X3 M40i remains comfortable without reaching the overall comfort and precise control of the body of its rivals who were present in the test with the air suspension, non-existent at BMW. The GLC 43 has a standard three-chamber air suspension, while at Porsche the adaptive air suspension costs an extra 1,438.40 euros. At BMW, the only option for the standard sports suspension is the adaptive suspension with classic springs.
What about the ergonomics? Well, like always, the iDrive from BMW is the best: if you want to touch, touch, if you want to press, press. Excellent ergonomics is supported by direct and clear selection buttons and a series of very useful keys for accessing eight favorite memories.
If the minitouches on the AMG steering wheel, which don’t always respond perfectly, were four-arrow control buttons like the new E-Class and the generous-touch center touchpad, too sensitive, wouldn’t replace the rotary controller, GLC would have ergonomics as good as the X3. Instead, Mercedes receives an extra point for the instrument that offers different graphics, with the specifics of AMG – Classic, Sport or Supersport – in the last of them with the central tachometer.
BMW also has a digital display but it is of an older design and changes only the colors and not the graphics. At Porsche the information is available via analog tachometer and LCD display.
How does Macan’s ergonomics work? GTS was the first Porsche to receive the new touch screen multimedia system, online browsing and smartphone integration via Apple Car Play.But despite this modernization, ergonomics is old school with many physical buttons that seem complicated especially if you order many options. But sometimes it’s nice that you no longer have to search through the menus and be able to adjust the suspension or activate the engine’s sound system at the simple touch of a button.
Macan GTS also sets the tone in terms of quality. Not only does it have leather upholstery and under the torpedo line (leather inner package 1,496.40 euros) but it looks very good. In addition, the transition between the various materials is made with great attention to detail. All three offer a very good quality, but nevertheless the GLC 43 surpasses the X3 M40i in some respects (door panels, steering wheel buttons), which is why this time BMW has to be content with fewer points, which costs it in race for victory in the overall standings.
Instead, the Macan GTS is penalized for the lack of support systems due to the fact that it is based on an older Audi platform.
You can read the original article here.
The final ranking of auto motor und sport is:
Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 451 points
The luxury sports SUV offers top-of-the-line driving comfort and plenty of space. When needed, the GLC 43 sprints between corners without too much emotion and in everyday life delights you with the superb sound of the engine.
BMW X3 M40i 447 points
The best ergonomics come with a performant six inline engine. It is fast on the road and gives a high degree of pleasure with its agile rear axle especially on wet asphalt.
Porsche Macan GTS 433 points
Top dynamic with a sensational steering. It also impresses with the high speed accuracy of this heavy 2 ton SUV. Not as great: the absence of some assistance systems.
|Model||Macan GTS||X3 M40i||GLC 43|
|Motor/nr. cilindri||V6, bi-turbo||L6, turbo||V6, bi-turbo|
|Putere maximă/turație (CP/rpm)||380/5.200||360/5.200||390/6.100|
|Cuplu maxim/turație (Nm/rpm)||520/1.750||500/1.900||520/2.500|
|Cutie de viteze||PDK, 7 gears||automat, 8 gears||automat, 9 gears|
|Volum portbagaj (l)||488-1.503||550-1.600||550-1.600|
|Masă la gol (kg)||1.985||1.945||1.870|
|Accelerație 0-100 km/h (s)||4,3||4,5||4,8|
|Viteză maximă (km/h)||261||250||250|
|Consum mixt (l/100 km)||9,6||7,8||10,2|
|Emisii CO2 (g/km)||218||178||234|
|Preț (euro cu TVA)||77.223||69.210||66.868|