2018 BMW X3 Vs Mercedes-Benz GLC - The luxury crossover fight
The luxury midsize SUV segment has grown by leaps and bounds in this decade. The BMW X3 has been in the market for some time now while Mercedes has launched their fighter only recently. This means that the iconic German rivalry has now found a new battleground. So, how does the Mercedes GLC fair against the BMW X3? Let’s find out.
Coming from a design and styling point of view, they both have a few negative points. There’s not much you can do to make an SUV look good, but both give it a good shot. The Mercedes GLC picks more than a few design cues from the GLA. It is a fresher take on the SUV genre than the BMW. But it ends up looking more like a hatchback on stilts in this effort. The BMW X3 adopts more conventional X5 like approach but the later was never a pretty car to begin with. Compared to the Mercedes GLC, the BMW X3 definitely looks older. Still, BMW has the more recognizable and distinct front end thanks to the gorgeous LEDs and the sculpted grille and body. The Mercedes is a more sedate affair.
Moving inside, the interior of the X3 is typical for a BMW. It is a driver-centric design that looks sportier but also busier. The GLC interior is focused more towards being luxurious. The centre console is draped in wood finish. Swathes of leather and aluminum switch-gear make it look elegant. The BMW, however, seems more modern thanks to its i-Drive system. It is less distracting, more intuitive and looks fresher than the infotainment system in the Mercedes. The screen mount in the GLC takes some special criticism.
The BMW has a snug sports seats, a 10.25-inch central screen and a multitude of parking assist technologies. The Comfort package will get you reclining seats in the rear. The 550-litre of cargo space can be increased to 1600-litre with the seats folded. The GLC seats are bigger. It also gets elegant touches on the Burmester speakers, ample head and shoulder room thanks to its taller design and a similarly sized cargo space. However, a lot of things like the panoramic sunroof (and the Burmester sound system) that should be standard at this level are optional extras.
Under the bonnet of the BMW X3 is a 2-litre 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine that produces 248 hp and 350 Nm of torque. The X3 is capable of reaching 0-100 kmph in just 6.3 seconds and can reach a top speed of 240 kmph. The company also claims that this 1790 kg vehicle can achieve a combined fuel economy figure of 13.5 kmpl. Transmission is the standard xDrive AWD and eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission.
The Mercedes GLC is also powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. Using a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, it churns out 184 hp and 300 Nm of torque. This gives it a relatively relaxed 0-100 kmph time of 8.7 seconds with a top speed of 210 kmph. There is no AWD either and power is sent mero the rear wheels exclusively. For more power and 4WD you should be looking at the 250 4Matic. Both the cars perform as well dynamically as any SUV can. The beemer is decidedly sportier though and feels more planted. The Mercedes gets softer suspension that absorbs road imperfections very well. But the steering is less responsive and offers little feedback. There is some body roll as expected but not enough to cause anxiety.
The BMW X3 sells for RM 320,000 while the Mercedes GLC sells for RM 288,000. The beemer, however, does come with more as standard. At the same time, the higher spec GLC 250 4matic comes at nearly the same price as the Beemer and matches it much better on every front. The GLC 200 can be equipped with an insane number of options too, which will make it a much more competitive. These include the optional air suspension for an even more comfortable and dynamic ride and the design package to make the interior even more luxurious. Thankfully things like the Mercedes Benz Intelligent Drive with Attention Assist and several other driver aids aimed towards making the car safer are standard.
This article then paints a picture that does not defy our expectations too much. No matter what you choose, the German giants have something to fulfil all your luxury SUV needs.