The compact luxury SUV segment is incredibly competitive, especially when you consider cars like the Mercedes GLC, the BMW X3, and the Audi Q5. However, the X3 and the GLC are the ones that seem to gather the most interest in this segment, including the superior, yet more expensive Porsche Macan.
The Mercedes Benz GLC is the style pick of the bunch because it offers a more desirable-looking exterior design. The X3 looks more restrained even though it does look more promising on the inside. The X3 was recently revised which means that it does offer an upper hand when it comes to technology.
This does not mean that it outright beats the GLC, but overall, it does seem like a better car. People who buy compact SUVs also care about performance and driving dynamics and this is where the X3 beats the GLC, even though the GLC offers a more pleasing engine.
All in all, the X3 does seem to edge out the GLC as far space, technology and performance are concerned. However, the GLC is still a more desirable car thanks to its badge, design, and overall user experience.
2022 Mercedes GLC – A more stylish and desirable car
The Mercedes Benz GLC starts at $43,850, but the average price paid for the GLC is a few grand more. For this price tag, you are getting a stylish compact SUV that looks desirable and offers a fairly comfortable and dynamic driving experience.
Most people would prefer Mercedes MB UX compared to BMW’s iDrive system because it seems a little bit better integrated, even though the iDrive system feels a bit more intuitive. The GLC is a step above the X3 when it comes to desirability and design according to most people out there.
Space-wise, the GLC is not as accommodating as the X3 is both in regards to cargo space and overall passengers space. The GLC is nearing its end and that’s obvious in certain areas such as interior design. That’s not to say that it looks bad, but the X3 does feel noticeably higher quality.
The top-of-the-line GLC 63 offers a V8 engine which feels a lot more pleasing than the one found in the BMW X3 M. The GLC is due for a complete update in a year or two which is definitely worth the wait as it’s likely going to inherit the current C-Class interior design.
2022 BMW X3 – A more dynamic and higher quality SUV
The BMW X3 starts at around $43,000 and the average price paid is also a few grand more. The X3 was recently revised which means that it offers higher-end headlight technology, a more responsive and higher definition infotainment screen, and an overall boost in quality.
The X3 simply feels better built than the GLC and it bests the GLC in utility as well. The X3 is also a more efficient car because it uses comparably newer engines. As far as reliability is concerned, the X3 does feel a bit more durable and the overall reliability results are in favor of the X3.
The X3 does feel more dynamic and more fun to drive, especially in the range-topping BMW X3 M trim. The X3 also offers more space for both the rear passengers and for your luggage because of a more squared-off design.
Both the interior and exterior design are not on the level of the GLC at first glance, but after you spend some time in the X3 you will appreciate an overall increase in material quality even though it does not look as futuristic.
Conclusion – The BMW X3 is the better pick
The BMW X3 is simply a newer car and that’s obvious if you put the two cars side by side. Even though the Mercedes GLC is still a lovely compact SUV, it does fall short of the X3 in most segments. The X3 is more fuel-efficient, offers newer technology, is more comfortable, and offers higher quality build materials.
If you are a Mercedes fan, chances are that you will still prefer the GLC over the X3 which is not really a surprise. A Mercedes badge does gather more interest which means that the GLC is a more desirable car overall.
However, the best thing you can do is wait until the new GLC arrives in a year or two as it’s likely going to turn the tables in favor of the GLC.
Is the Mercedes GLC a safer car than the BMW X3?
Both the Mercedes GLC and the BMW X3 offer class-leading safety credentials and the differences here are marginal. According to IIHS testing, both the X3 and the GLC manage to earn top trumps in most crash testing categories which means that both offer more than satisfactory levels of safety.
Active software safety features are in favor of the X3 simply because the X3 was updated not all that long ago. All in all, safety should not be a relevant factor when it comes to choosing which one of these two to buy as both of them are more than adequately safe.
Is the Mercedes GLC a better family car than the BMW X3?
The BMW X3 is a better family car because it offers both more seating space and more cargo space than the GLC. The X3 is also a more economical car which means that you will spend less time and money on fuel stops.
Fitting a child seat in both the X3 and the GLC is almost identical and the safety ratings are also almost identical. All in all, the GLC is a great family car, but the X3 is even better.
Is the Mercedes GLC more fun to drive than the BMW X3?
As far as driving dynamics are concerned, the X3 takes the cake because it offers a more driver-oriented approach. Even though the V8 engine found in the range-topping GLC 63 is a lot more pleasing, the transmission and the chassis the X3 offers are a step above those found in the GLC.
Both of these cars are similar when it comes to comfort, but when it comes to agility, handling and responsiveness, the X3 is the one to get.