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More and more vehicles are being introduced to the luxury SUV segment, but the three mid-weight models that stands out are the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and the Audi Q5. Unfortunately, the guys at Overdrive couldn’t get their hands on a Q5 so this comparison test was more of a head-to-head between the two German giants.

When it comes to design, the Mercedes GLC seems to evoke mixed feelings as it does look fresher with its simple lines compared to the X3, but reminiscent of the GLA and not very SUV-like. Of course, this is all down to personal preference and in their opinion the X3 looks a bit more dated. Similarly confusing are the two interior; the GLC’s elegant and simple styling compared to BMW’s sportier dash. At least both models are similar in cabin space aside a few extra centimetres in the GLC.

As for how they drive, the GLC’s 4-cylinder 2.1-litre turbo-diesel engine may make 20PS less and have the same amount of torque as its rival, but it gets better city and highway fuel economy ratings in Eco mode. Paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, in Sport+ it can sprint from 0-100kmph in 8.2 seconds, a bit faster than the X3’s 9.1seconds.

Of course acceleration times aren’t everything, how a vehicle rides and handles matter as well. The GLC doesn’t feel too sharp around the corners compared to the X3, but by itself the SUV still feels weighted and precise even with a bit more body roll. The softer suspension can’t be adjusted, but it still feels controlled around turns and in exchange the ride quality is better, making it ideal for long road trips.

For a more affordable price, the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a well-rounded package with just as many features as the X3, better ride quality, performance, cabin space and efficiency.
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