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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class vs Porsche Macan

It's not often that a Mercedes-Benz has a Porsche to compete with, but that's the case with the GLC and the Macan.

But which of these luxury manufacturers has the compact crossovers locked up? Take a look at this comparison to make your decision.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Class vs BMW x3

*European model shown 

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC on the bridge

Styling

If we were comparing the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC with something like an Audi, a Buick, or a Caddy, we'd probably only consider the regular GLC and put the GLC Coupe to one side. Against the Porsche Macan though, it only seems right to include the coupe. All versions of the GLC are attractive, but the Coupe is bordering on the spectacular and is as desirable as anything in its class. Porsche's first foray into the SUV realm was the Cayenne, which at the time was pretty ugly, and the Macan is something of a shrunken Cayenne. The Cayenne is now monumentally better-looking than the first-generation was though, and that means the Macan is also a bit of a looker. It's still a little bulbous in places though, so this round has to go to the GLC.

 

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC driving past the city

Interior

Apart from a slight lack of side bolstering for the front seats, the interior of the GLC is extremely comfortable and remarkably spacious for a compact. If you go for a GLC 43, even the bolstering deficiency is taken care of. The quality of the materials and the way everything is put together is outstanding, which leaves you in no doubt about the GLC's luxury credentials. Despite noticeably small exterior dimensions than the Cayenne, the Porsche Macan's interior appears to be just as spacious. Even though this is a Porsche, practicality and versatility is important and the quality of the trim and materials is impeccable.

 

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe driving over a bridge

Fuel Economy

A frugal diesel engine option for the GLC Class is on the way, but until then the best EPA figures for the Mercedes are delivered by the turbocharged 2.0-liter in the GLC 300. Those figures come in at a best of 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined with two-wheel drive, which isn't too bad for vehicle as well-equipped with weighty equipment and features as this. It might come as a surprise to the uninitiated that the Porsche Macan also has a turbo-four as its base engine. In this instance, the EPA rates the Macan at 20 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined. Obviously that gives this part of the comparison to the Mercedes.

2017 Porsche Macan driving downtown

Performance  

The standard 2.0-liter engine in the GLC is excellent and more than adequate for most buyers. But if performance is your thing then the 3.0-liter V-6 in the AMG® is the way to go as it puts a lively 362 horsepower at your disposal. The AMG®-tuned suspension and steering is firm and responsive, but still fine for everyday use. Even the Macan GTS with its 3.0-liter V-6 falls just short of the GLC 43 in terms of pure power, but there's more to performance than just horsepower and torque. Remember, this is a Porsche after all, and the ride and handling is a genuine reflection of the brand's heritage and principles. This round has to go to the Macan.

When a Porsche is part of the equation, performance is always going to be a key factor in the buying decision. A full-fat, top-spec Macan with the Performance Package is a tremendous luxury compact crossover with fantastic performance, but with a price starting from $86,445 it should be. Even if you think the Macan is better than a 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC in GLC 43 form, the differences don't warrant $27,000 more, so that's why we'd choose the Mercedes.

Learn More About the Mercedes-Benz Lineup:  

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class