Comparison test Mercedes-Benz GLC vs Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60

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First comparison test Mercedes-Benz GLC versus its most important rivals – Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60 – in an Auto Bild comparison test. And the winner is…

Mercedes-GLC-comparison-test (40)Mercedes-Benz is on track with the new products. And the new Mercedes-Benz GLC is one of the best middle class SUVs ever made.

It is comfortable, luxurious, very well made, very safe and maintains very good off-road capabilities, even if the metropolitan design is totally different from the angular lines of the former GLK.

The new Mercedes-GLC benefits from the high-tech MRA platform from the C-Class, which includes the new four-link axle and the air suspension, which totally makes sense in a SUV. The GLC is the only middle class SUV with the option for an air suspension.

Auto Bild magazine is putting face to face the new Mercedes-Benz GLC 250 d 4Matic (204 HP) with the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI (190 HP) Quattro, the BMW X3 xDrive 20d (190 HP) and the Volvo XC60 D4 AWD (190 HP).

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Mercedes clearly won the test with 581 points

The dashboard is carried over unchanged from the C-Class saloon, but it is mounted a little higher, while the seating postion is lower for an SUV. In the past, the low seating position was a specialty of BMW. The 2.1-liter 204 HP revised engine starts a little noisier and becomes more silent when building up speed. The engine is very lively and perfectly functions with the new 9-speed automatic gearbox, while the steering is very precise and agile.

With the Airmatic suspension (2,261 euro), the GLC offers top class comfort, the interior space is very generous and the assistance-systems package is the best in class. The conclusion: the new Mercedes-Benz GLC is the reference of the segment.

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The BMW X3 xDrive 20d continues to be the king of dynamics in this class. No other rival, including the new GLC, runs with so much agility and dynamics. The firm suspension and the direct steering make a good combination with the 2-liter 190 HP diesel engine and the excellent 8 speed ZF automatic gearbox.

Despite very good dynamics, the BMW X3 only gets the second place, with 573 points. Why is that? Because the quality is not at the level of that offered by the GLC and the Q5 and the seating position in the back is too low. The rear passengers stay with their knees up in the air like in the X4, which is not quite comfortable for long trips.

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The Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Quattro is not a bad car and does not feature any obvious weak points, but simply the GLC and the X3 are a slightly better. The Audi scores with its excellent quality, generous space at the front and sliding rear bench. The 2.0-liter TDI 190 HP engine builds up revs very easy, while the 7- speed double clutch gearbox shifts softly.

But with the 20 inch wheels on, the comfort is affected and the steering is synthetic. The lack of modern assistance systems (park assist, head-up display, adaptive lights) is dowgrading it. The new generation is set to arrive in 2016.

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The Volvo XC60 D4 AWD features a nobile engine with 5 cylinders. It has a lot of power and a special sound, but the fuel consumption rated at 7.4 l/100 km is almost 1 l/100 km more than the 4-cylinder rival engines. The gearbox only comes with 6 gears and the gear shifts are not very quick. The steering is very indirect and artificial and the 20-inch wheels have a negative impact on the ride comfort.

But on the other hand, the Volvo offers plenty of space, it has a maximum load of 575 kg  and nice ergonomics in the pure Scandinavian style.

Source: Auto Bild