Press review by auto motor und sport magazine: Mercedes GLC Coupe vs BMW X4

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The German magazine “auto motor und sport” has put the new Mercedes GLC Coupe against the BMW X4, with turbocharged 2-litre petrol and all-wheel drive. Here are their conclusions.

Photo: Auto motor und sport

Auto motor und sport highlights what we also noticed in the GLC Coupe test. Mercedes has managed to combine an elegant SUV-coupe shape with generous interior space. So, according to measurements from auto motor und sport magazine, the Mercedes GLC Coupe has 5 cm more interior headroom in the rear than the BMW X4 and 4 cm more knee room. The driving position is also sportier in the GLC, sitting 4 cm lower than in the BMW X4.
The Mercedes GLC Coupe also has better ergonomics thanks to less complex menus and more intuitive voice assistance.

The Mercedes GLC Coupe is more comfortable and more refined

The Mercedes GLC Coupe comes standard with the Avantgarde Interior and Exterior package, sports suspension (Comfort suspension can be ordered at no extra cost), larger brake discs, and variable-ratio steering. The test car also had the Technology package (3,320 euros, which includes air suspension and all-wheel steering), while it’s not available on BMW.

The BMW X4 test car had the M Sport package (4,200 euros), M Sport braking system, adaptive suspension option (700 euros), and 20-inch alloy wheels (from 1,550 euros). With air suspension, the Mercedes GLC Coupe cushions more elegantly over short bumps because, even in Comfort mode, the X4’s adaptive suspension is firmer and more consistent. In Sport mode, the X4’s suspension becomes very stiff. In Mercedes’ case, in Sport mode, the steering gets heavier, and the suspension stiffens up, but without getting rude.

In terms of dynamics, the first impression is that the BMW X4 is more dynamic thanks to the heavier and more responsive steering. But Mercedes has brilliant steering that responds more gently and loses none of its precision and feedback through nervousness. The linear steering guides the GLC precisely through corners and gives it luxury-class poise in fast turns. Although it’s heavier and the suspension is somewhat more soft, the Mercedes GLC passes dynamic tests at higher speeds.

In addition, all-wheel steering with a 4.5-degree rear-wheel steering angle reduces the turning circle to just 10.9 m and gives the GLC handling worthy of a compact car.

Both models feature 2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and 48V mild hybrid technology. Mercedes has a more powerful starter generator of 200 Nm/17 kW compared to 55 Nm/8 kW in the BMW X4 that masks the starting hesitation of the combustion engine well and smooths out the automatic gear changes. But it doesn’t deliver fuel economy, as the Mercedes averaged 9.2 l/100 km compared to 9.0 l/100 km in the BMW.

The Mercedes has a few other practical advantages

– The optional Trailer Manoeuvring Assist system helps make parking and maneuvering the trailer safer and more comfortable. The navigation system calculates routes based on the type of trailer. If a trailer or caravan has been hooked up and the electrical connection has been made, you are asked in the Trailer menu of the multimedia system what type of trailer you have attached: a small one, a caravan, a horse trailer, or a bike rack. And so, the system takes into account the maximum widths and heights allowed along the chosen route.

– 360-degree camera with a so-called ‘Transparent Hood’ that gives a virtual view ahead under the car, including the front wheels and their steering angle, allowing detection of deep potholes or large stones.

– off-road menu, which shows on both the multimedia system display and digital instrument cluster the lateral and longitudinal tilt, slope, altitude, compass, and steering angle of the front and rear wheels if all-wheel steering is selected.

Colleagues at auto motor und sport mention that both models have excellent brakes, high-performance headlights, and an interior with high-quality materials.

The Mercedes GLC 300 4Matic Coupe starts at 72,947 euros, and with the Technology package, the price goes up to over 76,000. The BMW X4 xDrive30i starts at 67,100 euros, but with the MSport package and adaptive suspension reaches 72,000 euros. Mercedes is a bit more expensive but wins in the end with 589 points, while BMW only scored 572 points. You can read the full comparative test with measurements here based on subscription at auto motor und sport exclusiv.