Cadillac SRX vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC300

By

Contributing Editor

A veteran auto journalist and editor of Tirekicking Today, Jim has contributed countless reviews and articles to such publications as autoMedia, New Car Test Drive, and Kelley Blue Book, as well as J.D. Power, cars.com, Consumer Guide, and the Chicago Tribune. He began by writing about antique/classic cars and how-to tasks, before turning to new and used vehicles. Most of his 30 published books have dealt with auto history, along with six children’s titles. His most recent book is the Tirekicking Used Car Buyer’s Guide.


, Contributing Editor - March 15, 2016

When people think of a Cadillac SUV, it’s the monstrous Escalade that typically leaps to mind. With its carlike unibody construction, though, the midsize five-passenger SRX is a far different breed. Now the oldest model in Cadillac’s lineup, it will soon be replaced by a new XT5. High points include lavish, classy fittings and top-notch fit/finish in a spacious, distinctively luxurious interior, even if the exterior leans toward the mundane.

After six years in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the squared-off, angular GLK-Class model is history. Launched for 2016, its replacement—the GLC300—is considerably rounder, with softer and sleeker edges and a more sophisticated interior. Fitting into the larger-size end of the popular compact luxury-crossover category, the GLC300 is structurally related to C-Class sedans. Standard features include fatigue alert and frontal-collision warning systems.

See a side-by-side comparison of the SRX & GLC300 »

What the Cadillac SRX Gets Right

A sense of luxury also extends to unruffled ride comfort, though handling is more ordinary than nimble. The SRX has a rather heavy overall feel, partly because it is indeed heavy, weighing in near 4,500 pounds. Brakes can feel squishy, too. Though the SRX fails to lead in performance, it doesn’t feel sluggish, and can reach 60 mph in about 7 seconds. Cadillac’s smooth, strong 3.6-liter V6 develops 308 horsepower, driving a six-speed automatic transmission and either front-drive or all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy trails the pack, estimated at 17/24 mpg city/highway (16/23 mpg with all-wheel drive). More than many competitors, the SRX could be dubbed a technology showcase on wheels, including the use of touchscreen controls and availability of modern safety systems. Cadillac’s SRX ranks high in crash-test scores, having earned a five-star rating from the federal government, and named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

What the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Gets Right

Differences between the departed GLK and the new GLC300 reach beyond the visual and the loss of the former’s chiseled appearance. Lighter weight, for one, plus new airbags. Adding nearly 5 inches to the wheelbase has increased back-seat legroom, as well as enlarged the cargo floor. Up front is a clean-looking dashboard, within an attractive and quiet cabin.

In the GLC300, a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine makes 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. To help save gasoline, Eco mode allows extended coasting. Fuel economy ranks about average, EPA-estimated at 22 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway. Available with either rear-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive, the GLC300 gets a nine-speed automatic transmission. An air suspension is available.

How does Cadillac luxury crossover compare to German contender?

Cadillac’s SRX ranks among the nicer crossover SUVs of its size and price, but the Mercedes-Benz GLK’s replacement has a lot to offer, too.

Our Verdict: Mercedes-Benz GLC300

Domestic-brand crossovers have been improving substantially, but the SRX doesn’t quite stand apart—and fuel-economy figures fall well short.

Take a closer look at the Cadillac SRX »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Contributing Editor

A veteran auto journalist and editor of Tirekicking Today, Jim has contributed countless reviews and articles to such publications as autoMedia, New Car Test Drive, and Kelley Blue Book, as well as J.D. Power, cars.com, Consumer Guide, and the Chicago Tribune. He began by writing about antique/classic cars and how-to tasks, before turning to new and used vehicles. Most of his 30 published books have dealt with auto history, along with six children’s titles. His most recent book is the Tirekicking Used Car Buyer’s Guide.