2021 BMW X3 or 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class: Pros and Cons

BMW X3 Full Overview

It is a high-stakes matchup. The rivalry between BMW and Mercedes-Benz is a contentious one, and the 2021 X3 and 2021 GLC-Class compete in some of the fashionable automobile segments. Amongst luxury compact crossovers, these are two of probably the most distinguished entries, and every SUV tries to outdo the opposite’s options and specs. What benefits does the 2021 BMW X3 have over the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and vice versa? This is what it is advisable to know.

2021 BMW X3: Professionals Over the GLC-Class

Prime-selling X3 fashions get higher gasoline financial system than comparable GLCs. The RWD X3 sDrive30i will get 25/29 mpg metropolis/freeway, whereas the GLC300 will get 22/29 mpg. Their AWD equivalents, the X3 xDrive30i and GLC300 4Matic, get 23/29 and 21/28 mpg, respectively.

Within the sporty realm, the X3 M40i achieves 21/27 mpg, whereas the GLC43 AMG solely manages 18/24 mpg. In a twist, nevertheless, the I-6-powered X3 M fashions worsen gasoline financial system than the V-8-equipped GLC63 AMG: 14/19 mpg in opposition to 15/22 mpg.

Moreover, the X3 xDrive30e trails the GLC350e in plug-in hybrid efficiency. In 2020, the BMW was EPA-rated at 60 mpg-e (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) in mixed metropolis and freeway driving and 18 miles of all-electric vary; the Mercedes earned 68 mpg-e with 22 miles of electrical vary.

Cargo Area

Relating to the “U” a part of SUV, the X3 bests the GLC. The BMW presents 28.7 cubic ft of house behind its 40/20/40 split-folding second row, and as much as 62.7 cubic ft when these seats are folded. The Mercedes counters with 19.4 and 56.5 cubic feet in these measures.

The X3 and GLC commerce benefits in passenger house. Entrance-row headroom measures 41.1 inches within the X3, rather more than the 37.Eight inches within the GLC. Second-row headroom is an identical at 38.5 inches. The X3 trails the GLC barely in front-row legroom, with 40.Three inches in opposition to 40.Eight inches. The BMW can also be behind in second-row legroom, providing 36.Four inches to the Mercedes’ 37.Three inches.

Dealing with

Though some efficiency figures favor the GLC, the X3’s enjoyable really feel is more durable to place a quantity on. Like other modern BMWs, there’s not loads of really feel from the steering wheel, however steering is correct with the motive force’s inputs. The X3 feels balanced for an SUV and is keen to be tossed by way of corners like a lifted scorching hatch. That is most evident within the X3 M Competition, which stands out with sharp steering and torque-vectoring AWD that permits for some drifty enjoyable. Commerce-offs to which are its brutally stiff ride and needlessly fats steering wheel. However, any X3 is respectable enjoyable. GLC fashions beneath the hardest-core AMGs additionally deal with properly, albeit with a considerably more relaxed demeanor.


The GLC and X3 each include a four-year, 50,000-mile guarantee. Nonetheless, the BMW consists of scheduled upkeep for the primary three years or 36,000 miles. Routine upkeep reminiscent of oil modifications, filter swaps, and downside inspections are all coated beneath BMW’s Final Care program. Within the case of our long-term X3 M40i, that resulted in a grand total of $0 spent on upkeep over the course of our 12 months with the automobile. In the meantime, the 2 common scheduled dealership visits in our long-term GLC300 totaled $1,000.43.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class: Professionals Over the X3


IntelliChoice is a MotorTrend subsidiary centered on figuring out new-car values. By estimating possession prices over 5 years, IntelliChoice assigns worth rankings to most new cars available on the market. For 2020, the X3 lineup earned a Good worth score, the second-best on IntelliChoice’s scale. The GLC? It obtained the highest Glorious score, aided by its many commonplace options and relatively low depreciation.


We’re of the opinion that the GLC is best wanting than the X3. It could not have the presence of the X3, however the GLC’s clear, cohesive strains come collectively for an elegant aesthetic. Fashionable LED head- and taillights present a high-tech impression. With wheels pushed out towards the corners, the GLC has muscular presence, extra evident on the hunkered-down AMG models. Compared, the X3’s design seems to be busy.

We a lot favor the GLC’s inside. It places ahead high-quality supplies, and the accessible dual-display infotainment setup seems to be completely fashionable. That stated, Mercedes’ MBUX interface is not fairly as user-friendly as BMW’s iDrive. However, the X3’s inside lacks the upscale really feel of the GLC.

Acceleration and Braking

In MotorTrend testing, the GLC has edged out the X3 in two necessary measures: acceleration and braking. We recorded the X3 xDrive30i accelerating from Zero to 60 mph in 6.Three seconds. The long-term 2017 GLC300 we drove for a 12 months did the identical in 6.9 seconds, however a 2020 mannequin needed only 5.4 seconds. Our long-term X3 M40i hit 60 in 4.8 seconds, a blink behind the GLC43’s 4.7-second run. Launching the X3 M Competitors leads to a 4.0-second 0-60 mph time. Though we have solely examined the GLC63 S AMG in Coupe body style, it did the dash in simply 3.2 seconds. We would not be shocked if the traditional SUV model carried out equally.

Stopping distances from 60 to Zero mph are shut however favor the GLC. Our testing recorded a 123-foot greatest cease from the X3 xDrive30i, whereas the GLC300 wanted solely 110 ft. The X3 M40i used to be simply behind the GLC43, at 112 ft in opposition to 109 ft. The sportiest variations cease greatest, with the X3 M Competitors halting in 110 ft and the GLC63 S Coupe in 105 ft.

High quality

Our pattern dimension is small, however between the X3 M40i and GLC300 4Matic we saved in our long-term evaluate fleet, there was a winner in construct high quality. After its suspension began creaking and the roof let water drip on us, we will not say it was the X3. Nor can we are saying our long-term GLC300 was problem-freeā€”the cargo cowl stopped retracting, the automated windshield wipers glitched, and the sunroof shade wouldn’t fully close. Nonetheless, these had been minor inconveniences in comparison with the X3’s extra important high quality points.

The Verdict

What’s higher: the X3 or GLC? We have lived with each, so we all know their execs and cons fairly effectively. We all know which one we might favor to stay with once more in 2021: the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. It seems to be higher, feels extra luxurious, and delivers spectacular efficiency. Cargo capability and gasoline financial system aren’t fairly nearly as good because the X3, however these deficits are sufficiently small that our 2017 SUV of the Year winner stays our desire between these luxurious compact crossovers. Consider its high worth score, and it looks as if the higher purchase.

Looks good! More details?

2021 BMW X3: Professionals Over the GLC-Class

  • Higher gasoline financial system (principally)
  • Extra cargo house
  • Enjoyable dealing with
  • Scheduled upkeep included

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class: Professionals Over the X3

  • Glorious worth
  • Extra enticing styling
  • Faster acceleration
  • Larger high quality

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