It’s most likely that the very first time you saw the Lexus NX or the Mercedes-Benz GLC, you took note. And that’s saying something, as the market is flooded along with compact crossover offerings nowadays.
Leave it to two of the top luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, not merely to make good along with a ubiquitous format and make two of the much better entries in this class. The two of these models attempt to step out along with their styling and end up offering a lot more compared to exactly what they hint at face value.
They’re The two exactly what would certainly be considered generously sized compact crossovers in the U.S., and they’re The two models that look up to larger, well-established luxury models—the GLC to the larger GLE (nee M-Class) and the NX to the benchmark RX). They fill a market segment that didn’t exist in the exact same method merely a few years ago; the NX arrived for 2015, while the GLC arrives for 2016, replacing the far boxier and a lot more utilitarian-looking yet somewhat smaller sized GLK.
For now the Lexus NX is offered in two models: the NX 200t, along with a 235-horsepower turbocharged inline-4, or the NX 300h, which gets a 194-hp hybrid powertrain. As for the GLC300—the only engine variant for this model collection so far—it’s powered by a 241-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-4. Looking ahead to 2017, a GLC300 Coupe, along with a sportier, steeper rear roofline, and a high-performance 362-hp GLC43 AMG will certainly join the lineup.
These two models have actually rather various underpinnings and engineering starting points. The NX is built on a front-wheel-drive platform—the exact same as the RAV4, however improved throughout in means that assistance it go down the road along with the poise of a luxury vehicle. The GLC, on the others hand, was essentially conceived as a variant of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans—produced at the exact same time, despite the fact that as a tall-riding, tall-roof wagon along with a little a lot more built-in ruggedness.
The NX 200t gets a six-speed automatic transmission, while the GLC has actually a nine-speed. All-wheel-drive units are fairly various as well. The GLC has actually a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that divides torque between the front and rear wheels 45/55-percent, respectively, throughout normal driving, through a planetary differential, along with the capability to send up to 100 percent to the rear wheels. And the NX 200t offers a system that lets the NX function as a front-wheel-drive car throughout normal driving, sending up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels as needed.
Both of these NX versions are offered along with a choice of front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive, however the AWD version of the NX 300h substitutes a 50-kilowatt (67-hp) electric motor exclusively for powering the rear axle. Diesel and plug-in-hybrid versions of the GLC are on the method in the next year or two.
Even though the Lexus NX could impress as the sportier of both from the outside, or even at a glance from the driver’s seat, those true sport-sedan-based underpinnings of the Mercedes GLC shine through after a lot more compared to a cursory drive, and it’s surely the superior of both in ride and handling. The GLC’s available Air Physique Regulate suspension and Dynamic Choose settings assistance enable much better ride comfort while providing stuff Regulate for quick maneuvers; however even the base steel-spring suspension and variable damping give a fantastic compromise. The NX doesn’t offer such active-suspension wizardry, and we’ll caution that the F-Sport setup and the a lot more aggressive tire-and-wheel combinations bring a lot more road noise and a little a lot more harshness in to the cabin (we’d go along with the base 17-inch setup).
The C-Class derivation is much easier to see inside the GLC, where this crossover wagon is graceful, flowing, and flamboyant. The dash follows a horizontal orientation, bisected by a wide focus console and a focus stack containing a cluster of round vents, while an infotainment screen stands atop it. along with soft-touch components throughout, plus inlaid metallic bezels, the cabin feels warm, plush, and generally speaking well above the GLC’s sticker price. The Lexus NX, on the others hand, is a lot more restrained inside compared to you could guess based on its exterior. The long, angled dash top and protruding console form an unusual Z-shape from the side. Trims feel sharper and a lot more technical, while the surfaces and components themselves as conservative, even drab in some combinations.
Given its brash, edgy exterior, the interior of the Lexus NX is far a lot more beneficial compared to you could expect; it’s fairly comfortable, seating-wise and relatively spacious. The front seating placement is a little a lot more reasonable and carlike compared to some crossovers in this size class, which helps along with headroom, and seats have actually fantastic edge bolstering and spine support. The rear seats in the NX are decent however flat, and the roof pillar and thin glass can easily be a bit claustrophobic. however the front-wheel-drive layout and smart packaging bring a reasonable load floor and plenty of cargo space. The GLC additionally has actually superb front seats and a quieter, softer ride, at face value, compared to the Lexus; its spine seat is a little a lot more cramped, however, and there’s practical reasonable cargo floor, along with simple loading—despite the fact that the rear seatbacks don’t fold forward permanently flat.
In safety, the Lexus NX is a sturdy notch ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLC at this point. The IIHS has actually awarded Top Safety Pick+ status to this model, along with its optional front crash prevention system earning the “Advanced” nod and capable of bringing this model to a full prevent from speeds up to 37 mph. It’s additionally gained a five-star overall score in federal testing. As for the GLC, it hasn’t yet been tested by either agency, but along with the combination of Mercedes’ fantastic reputation for occupant protection plus some really noteworthy active-safety systems—adore the brand-new Collision Prevention Help Plus (CPA+) system, which will certainly automatically brake the car in a range of conditions, and Distronic Plus along with steering assist, which will certainly (within reason, for short lapses) automatically steer you to maintain you in your lane.
The NX 200t and GLC300 are rather close in fuel economy ratings, too as real-globe fuel-efficiency as we’ve noted it so far, however the NX 300h gets far much better ratings, especially i0n city driving—of 33 mpg city, 30 highway.
We think about the Mercedes-Benz GLC to be ahead in features, however; and adore several of the brand’s a lot more recent models it makes much a lot more sense from a value standpoint. however the Mercedes-Benz isn’t permanently free of demerits; that’s as a result of the method the German luxury brand continues to nickle-and-dime you on some items that you could believe would certainly be included on a luxury car ($460 for satellite radio, $580 for heated front seats, $430 for a energy passenger seat). Whether you go a la carte or along with a few of the packages, expect to include nearly $10k to grab a really well-equipped GLC that has actually a few of the most desirable features—adore advanced parking assist, a energy tailgate, or a head-up display (a la carte).
The NX does have actually some innovative features; it’s the very first Lexus to offer inductive wireless (Qi) charging, and it marked the debut of a brand-new generation of the Remote Touch interface. While we still believe this system, which relies on a trackpad/touchpad controller is one of the a lot more distracting ones, as it relies on you adhering to a pointer and illuminated buttons on a screen, it now lets you trace letters adore COMAND. however we do tend to adore the actual sound quality of the Lexus units a bit better; the base one involves HD Radio, free traffic and weather data, and a caching feature that lets you temporarily “pause” a broadcast and store away up to 15 minutes.
The summary? You’ll hope to read The two of these reviews in their entirety. The Mercedes-Benz GLC delivers much a lot more compared to it teases along with its soft, organic exterior, while the Lexus NX is a lot more beneficial compared to you’d suspect. In this case, the GLC’s sport-sedan pedigree, refined ride, and stunning interior are exactly what make it the clear winner here.