BMW X3 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 17, 2019

Compact luxury crossovers are some of the most popular vehicles on the market today, and both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have options that fit the bill for the majority of consumers. The BMW X3 has the edge in handling and a spacious cargo area. The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class mimics a true luxury option better and is slightly more affordable. Which option is better overall? That’s what we’ll aim to answer below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the X3 & GLC-Class »

What the GLC-Class Gets Right

The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is the more affordable option, but only by a little bit. Still, saving money in the luxury segment is always a good thing. Pricing for the GLC-Class starts at $41,695 including destination, while the BMW X3 costs $41,995.

Despite being cheaper, the GLC-Class still comes with a long list of features, which include a 7-inch display, a power liftgate, a 14-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control as standard.

For consumers looking to save money at the gas pump, Mercedes offers the GLC in a plug-in hybrid trim called the GLC 350e. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor.

Combined output is rated at 320 horsepower, but it’s the vehicle’s fuel economy that impresses. It gets an EPA-estimated 56 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent, or 25 mpg combined when running on fuel alone. The X3 isn’t offered in a hybrid version.

What the X3 Gets Right

From the base trim to the range-topping model, the X3 is the more performance-oriented crossover. The base X3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that makes 248 hp. The entry-level GLC has a similar engine, but it only makes 241 hp.

At the top of the range, the X3 M boasts a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that cranks out up to 503 hp. The best the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 in the AMG GLC 63 can muster is 469 hp.

Both the X3 and the GLC-Class may be compact options, but BMW’s crossover has a more spacious cargo area. Behind the second row, the X3 has 28.7 cubic feet of space and a total of 62.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The GLC-Class’ cargo area measures in at 19.4 cubic feet behind the second row and a total of 56.5 cubic feet of space.

Sporty or Luxurious?

If performance is what you’re after, the BMW X3 is the clear winner. It’s got more power, is more agile, and emphasizes sportiness. It also has more cargo space and good fuel economy. But the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is the compact crossover to beat in the segment, offering a more luxurious feel.

Our Verdict: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

With sporty and fuel-efficient options to explore, tons of features, and an upscale cabin, there’s a Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class out there for every consumer. Not only is the GLC-Class' price tag lower than the X3’s, but it’s on the lower end for the segment too. While sportiness may not appeal to everyone, the GLC-Class’ luxury-first approach should appeal to more consumers.

Take a closer look at the BMW X3 »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class »

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

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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