For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the GLC and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the GLC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been tested, yet.
There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLC’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC third among compact premium suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The X5 isn’t in the top three in its category.
The AMG GLC 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 27 more horsepower (362 vs. 335) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 330) than the X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the GLC 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 X5.
The GLC has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLC’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The X5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
The GLC’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For better maneuverability, the GLC’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet). The AMG GLC 43’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet).
The Mercedes GLC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1050 pounds less than the BMW X5.
The GLC 300 is 11 inches shorter than the X5, making the GLC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Mercedes GLC amounts to more than styling. The GLC has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is significantly lower than the X5 (.36 to .38) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLC get better fuel mileage.
The GLC’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5, the GLC offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the GLC to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
Consumer Reports rated the GLC’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”
Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The X5 has never been chosen.
The Mercedes GLC outsold the BMW X5 by 55% during 2018.