Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW X3 VS 2015 Mercedes GLK-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 BMW X3

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2015 Mercedes GLK-Class

Safety Comparison

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X3 xDrive’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the X3 and the GLK-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

The X3’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the GLK-Class’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLK-Class.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X3’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

The X3 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 273) than the GLK-Class’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X3 xDrive28d gets better fuel mileage than the GLK250 (27 city/34 hwy vs. 24 city/33 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the X3 gets better fuel mileage than the GLK-Class:




4 cyl./Auto

21 city/28 hwy

19 city/26 hwy




19 city/25 hwy


4 cyl./Auto

21 city/28 hwy

18 city/25 hwy




18 city/24 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the X3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Mercedes only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the GLK-Class V6.

The X3 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLK-Class Diesel’s standard fuel tank (17.7 vs. 15.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The X3 stops shorter than the GLK-Class:



60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X3 has larger standard tires than the GLK-Class (245/50R18 vs. 235/50R19).

The X3’s optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLK-Class’ optional 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X3 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the GLK-Class.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X3’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the GLK-Class (110.6 inches vs. 108.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X3 is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than on the GLK-Class.

The X3 xDrive28i xDrive handles at .82 G’s, while the GLK350 4MATIC pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X3 xDrive28i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the GLK350 4MATIC (26.9 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The X3 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLK-Class.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X3 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the GLK-Class with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 16.5 cubic feet). The X3 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLK-Class with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 54.7 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X3’s available cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The X3 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Both the X3 and the GLK-Class offer optional heated front seats. The X3 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLK-Class.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the X3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X3 will cost $1455 to $2330 less than the GLK-Class over a five-year period.

The X3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the X3 will retain 49.61% to 51.23% of its original price after five years, while the GLK-Class only retains 45.85% to 49.5%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X3 will be $1770 to $4814 less than for the Mercedes GLK-Class.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X3 and the Mercedes GLK-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. The BMW X3 is ranked second in the Near-Luxury Utility category. The Mercedes GLK-Class is ranked below average.

The BMW X3 outsold the Mercedes GLK-Class by 261 units during the 2015 model year.

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