Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 Mercedes Benz GLC VS 2021 Audi Q5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2021 Mercedes Benz GLC

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VS

2021 Audi Q5

Safety Comparison

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The GLC has standard NECK-PRO front head restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO front head restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The GLC’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLC and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mercedes GLC is safer than the Audi Q5:

GLC

Q5

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

120

284

Neck Stress

177 lbs.

215 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

113

187

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

24%

34%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

134 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

29/68 lbs.

90/55 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mercedes GLC is safer than the Audi Q5:

GLC

Q5

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

185

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

784 lbs.

817 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

HIC

206

219

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 83 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q5 was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLC’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the GLC has a 150-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 30th in initial quality. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 32nd.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The GLC has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the GLC’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

GLC

Q5

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13.3 inches

The GLC stops much shorter than the Q5:

GLC

Q5

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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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. The Q5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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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 Q5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLC’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the Q5 (113.1 inches vs. 111 inches).

The GLC 300 4MATIC handles at .85 G’s, while the Q5 45 TFSI Prestige pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLC 300 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Q5 45 TFSI Prestige (26.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The front grille of the GLC uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The GLC has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

The GLC’s cargo area is larger than the Q5’s in almost every dimension:

GLC

Q5

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36.6”/61.3”

36”/69”

Max Width

49.4”

48.5”

Min Width

43.3”

41”

Height

31.1”

29.7”

Ergonomics Comparison

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The GLC has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Q5, 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.

The GLC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Q5.

Consumer Reports rated the GLC’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The GLC’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Q5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The GLC has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The GLC’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The Q5 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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The GLC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GLC will retain 46.8% to 48.42% of its original price after five years, while the Q5 only retains 44.88% to 46.43%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC than the Q5, including $67 less for a muffler, $62 less for a starter, $76 less for a fuel pump and $409 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes GLC will be $1486 to $2545 less than for the Audi Q5.

Recommendations Comparison

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes GLC and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend selected the GLC as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The Q5 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLC outsold the Audi Q5/SQ5 by 15% during the 2020 model year.

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