Premium SUVs, the hottest commodities today. Similar outside dimensions and power outputs: BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC meet in the first comparison test with four-cylinder diesels via auto-motor-und-sport.de.
You have to bow before Jaguar and its will to transform itself from old to modern and to present one striking model after another. The most recent example is the powerful F-Pace. We do not talk here about cheap vehicles, which should not surprise anyone. As a 20d with four-cylinder diesel, the F-Pace can be yours from 43,500 euros. The BMW X3 xDrive 20d (42.800 Euro) costs virtually the same, the Mercedes GLC 250 d (46.827 Euro) is more expensive, but offers more power and torque.
Plastic and exposed cables
It should be due to the sound name that the expectation of a Jaguar is high, especially in the interior. So we put our curious noses full of anticipation – and we are struck: the materials used have little to do with British pomp. You do not have to look long to discover simple plastics, they are immediately at hand. Those who want to protect themselves from this impression must invest in expensive additional equipment.
Even the superficial quality impression does not satisfy. Whoever goes behind the scenes finds covers with sharp ridges, uncovered cables under the load floor and only partially clad wheel houses.
In the BMW, there are significantly more hand-flattering plastics, as well as aluminum and piano-like surfaces – but also the simplest cladding, for example on the B-pillar. On the other hand, there is little to complain about the accuracy of the finish.
Then you inspect the Mercedes and walk away impressed: inside, the GLC is more Jaguar than the F-Pace. The eye is astonished by the opulently leather-clad dashboard (optional). In the elegant interior, the kinship with the C-Class is unmistakable. In addition, the same ample safety equipment and the best seating comfort.
As a quality champion, the GLC does not have competition in this environment; In the case of variability, however, all three SUVs are at an average level. Differences exist in the pure charge volume. Here the Jaguar is up to 1,740 liters, ahead of the BMW and Mercedes (both with 1,600 liters).
A remarkable difference is shown by Mercedes: You start the GLC by inserting the key in the ignition lock. It is wonderful that Mercedes resisted the start button trend. What is a start button in a SUV? It is also interesting to ask why a heavily-built, heavy SUV has to drive around the corners particularly quickly. It is never really sporty.
Unpleasant? No, not the GLC: bumps are soaked up by its optional air suspension skillfully. The Mercedes rests with stoic straight-line stability as well as low wind and engine noise. This commitment to comfort has become rare and you are grateful for it – especially when you have just climbed out of the F-Pace, which provides too detailed information about bad road conditions.
Jaguar elevates the agility to its credo, taking for it a woody appealing suspension together with high rolling noise. For such a large car, it turns astonishingly willingly, and its high weight (1,895 kilograms) is scarcely noticeable. If you want to euphorically crank the steering wheel, though, your effort will be hampered in the staple grip of the ESP. As with the driving dynamics tests: during the slalom, the ESP brakes the F-Pace so rigidly that it does not reach the pace of its competitors.
The acceleration is similar: the 4.7-meter SUV is loose and its rough running engine shows the enormous efforts. Even if the automatic gearbox chooses the appropriate gears, one just feels like teetering on under-motorization. At low speeds, the X3 is much more light-footed, while the GLC pushes heavily through the middle range despite its 1.9-ton weight.
In any case, the Mercedes takes his agility rather casually out of his sleeve, to play effectively into the foreground. You are fast and stress-free in the GLC. This is the best way to get the most out of an SUV, even in the straight ahead on long-distance roads.
BMW seems to have embraced ambition in another direction; The test car comes with a tyred 275 tire (optional) and is supported over the widest tire surface. No wonder, therefore, that it is most skillful waving through the pylons, with delicate steering and a tightly tuned chassis (adaptive shock absorbers optional). But the engineers succeeded in an acceptable compromise: the Bavarian SUV springs short ground waves in a more distinguished manner than the British, but remains far behind the skillful Mercedes.
The GLC wins this test with a clear advantage over the BMW; this is mainly due to the X3’s less complete safety equipment and the poorer suspension comfort. The X3 remains however far ahead the Jaguar, which loses in the comfort chapter as well as the quality one and prouds itself only with the best braking performance and its brilliant design.