Comparison: Mercedes-Benz GLC vs Audi Q5

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5

The Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5 are two big names in the luxury SUV space and remain in fierce competition all over the world. For their positions in their respective brands’ line-ups, these German SUVs offer the prestige of delivering the expected luxuries at considerably more affordable prices than those of their larger siblings. In India, this competition took an interesting turn a few months ago with the launch of the new second-generation Mercedes GLC. While it was already one of the best-selling luxury SUVs in India, entering the second generation the GLC has taken huge leaps in terms of modernity. While the price difference between the two SUVs is not much, it can give you second thoughts while considering either of them. Therefore, in this comparison of Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5, we itemise the key differences between the two SUVs and find out which one will meet your needs better.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: Dimensions

Mercedes GLC
Mercedes GLC

Mercedes GLC

Audi Q5

Length

4,716 mm

4,682 mm

Width

1,890 mm

1,893 mm

Height

1,640 mm

1,653 – 1,655 mm

Wheelbase

2,888 mm

2,819 mm

Boot Space

620 litres

550 litres

‘The bigger, the better’ is the philosophy for many Indians when it comes to luxury cars, especially SUVs, making a luxury SUV’s size an extremely important aspect of its attraction. As can be seen from the dimensions, the Mercedes GLC scores where it matters the most. It is slightly longer which accentuates its road presence and it has a 69 mm longer wheelbase, which practically offers better legroom. In addition to that, the 620-litre boot space is a far more attractive luggage-carrying capacity as compared to the 550-litre boot space of the Audi Q5. While the Audi Q5 is 3 mm wider and 13-15 mm taller, it is not enough to give it a big advantage in terms of overall spaciousness, unless you are looking to seat very tall passengers who cannot find themselves comfortable with the headroom GLC offers.

Audi Q5
Audi Q5

As far as looks go, both Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5 look attractive but in different ways. Following the traditional Mercedes design language, the GLC looks more sophisticated with smooth lines and neat panels, and its silhouette consists of more curvature than sharpness. On the other hand, the Audi Q5 is more on the aggressive side. The sharper silhouette and the front profile that features a relatively aggressive grille, sharp-edged headlamps, and prominent character lines on the bonnet make it look more muscular among the two.

Being larger of the two, the Mercedes GLC does have a sizable edge over the Audi Q5. It offers more space for passengers, more space for the luggage, and a larger road presence.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: Engine & Transmission

Mercedes GLC

Audi Q5

Engine

2-litre turbo petrol engine

2-litre turbo diesel engine

2-litre turbo petrol engine

Power

258 PS

197 PS

265 PS

Torque

400 Nm

440 Nm

370 Nm

Transmission

9-speed automatic transmission

7-speed DCT automatic

Mileage

14.72 km/l (petrol)

19.47 km/l (diesel)

13.74 km/l

Luxury cars are expected to be high on performance and the same holds true for both these SUVs. The comparison table shows that both GLC and Q5 pack engines of the same size and the Q5’s engine is slightly more powerful. However, both powertrains of the GLC are hybrids with a 48V mild hybrid system and get 23 PS and 200 Nm boost from the hybrid system’s integrated starter generator (ISG). Surprisingly, this does not make it quicker than the Q5 – the petrol-powered GLC can do a 0-100 km/hr dash in 6.2 seconds while the Q5 can do the same in 6.1 seconds. Moreover, both these SUVs come with paddle shifters, and all-wheel-drive as standard, facilitating maximum engagement.

As far as driving is concerned, the Audi Q5 feels punchier and quicker to respond due to the slick dual-clutch automatic transmission. Moreover, it delivers an exceptionally smooth ride as the suspension does not let any bumps filter through. On the other hand, the GLC offers well-weighted steering that is more engaging than that of the Q5, while the linear power delivery and excellent suspension keep the ride more on the pleasant side.

For those who fancy driving, the Audi Q5 is the better option, given the thrust it generates as you floor the accelerator and the sportier transmission. All the same, as far as a luxurious ride is concerned, the Mercedes GLC should be the clear choice.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: Features & Comfort

Mercedes GLC interior
Mercedes GLC interior

Mercedes GLC

Audi Q5

Infotainment system

11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system

10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system

Music system

15-speakers 3D Burmester sound system

19-speakers Band & Olufsen 3D sound system

Climate control

Dual-zone automatic

Three-zone automatic

Heated seats

Heated front seats

Not available

Adjustable steering

Tilt & telescopic adjust

Tilt and telescopic adjust

Drive modes

Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Eco, Individual

Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual

Instrument cluster

Digital instrument cluster

Digital instrument cluster

Sunroof

Panoramic sunroof

Panoramic sunroof

Adjustable seats (manual or electric)

12-way powered front seats with memory function.

8-way powered front seats with memory function for driver seat

Rear AC vents

Available

Available

60:40 rear seat split

Available

40-20-40 split

Cruise control

Available

Available

Being luxury cars, both these German SUVs are plush on the inside but are worlds apart from each other in terms of overall ambience. From interiors and their layout, the GLC feels like the elevated Mercedes C-Class. It carries the same dashboard design with the wood finish embellished by the pinstripes, circular AC vents, and the carbon-fibre finish on the centre console, while the centre of attraction – the 11.9-inch portrait touchscreen infotainment system that was first introduced with the S-Class. It is worth admitting that, with all these elements, the interior of the GLC feels far more modern than that of the Q5. One of the most interesting features of the GLC is the ‘Transparent Bonnet.’ This feature, using the 360-degree camera, the infotainment displays the live video feed of the ground under the bonnet on which the car is being driven and a view of the exact tyre position. All the same, what can be a bit of a problem is that most of the controls like the controls for AC, sunroof, and steering are digitised and are only accessible on the touchscreen, and this can result in a bit of complexity as you need to navigate through the menu on the touchscreen again and again to access the controls.

Audi Q5 interior
Audi Q5 interior

On the other hand, the Q5 is more traditionally designed on the inside. Like in the GLC, there is no dearth of soft-touch materials, but where the Q5 scores more than the GLC is the functionality. Due to the sharper layout of the dashboard, the driver’s seat gets a bit more space around it as compared to that in the GLC. Moreover, the physical buttons for operating features like AC and sunroof are easier to use while driving. Consequently, after using the buttons for a while the muscle memory takes over and you do not need to take your eyes off the road to operate buttons.

Both SUVs offer the comfort and feature-wealth expected of luxury cars, however, the GLC is more about the flamboyance, while the Q5 scores higher on functionality.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: Safety Features

Mercedes GLC

Audi Q5

G-NCAP Safety Rating

Not tested

Not tested

Airbags

7

8

ABS with EBD

Yes

Yes

ESC

Yes

Yes

Traction Control

Yes

Yes

Automatic headlamps

Yes

Yes

Rain-sensing Wipers

Yes

Yes

Hill hold assist

Yes

Yes

Hill descent control

Yes

Yes

Rear sensors

Yes

Yes

Rear parking camera

360-degree

Yes

ISOFIX Child seat anchor points

Yes

Yes

ADAS

Yes

No

As the products of carmakers that hold a reputation for manufacturing rock-solid cars, both GLC and Q5 need no testimony for their structural strength. Moreover, both SUVs feature all the essential safety features. All the same, the GLC has a technological upper hand over the Q5, given it offers a 360-degree camera which the Q5 does not and multiple ADAS features i.e., active brake assist, active lane-keep assist, blind spot assist, and optional active parking assistant.

In case of an unfortunate accident, both Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5 will safeguard you solidly. All the same, with the ADAS features onboard, the GLC can prevent the occurrence of accidents better than the Audi Q5.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: Price comparison

Mercedes GLC

Audi Q5

Upper mid variants (Ex-Showroom)

Rs. 73.50 lakh

Rs. 62.35 lakh

Top variant

Rs. 74.50 lakh

Rs. 68.22 lakh

While the comparison so far does render the GLC the more appealing proposition, the price comparison tells us why. Being more spacious, more feature-rich, and safer of the two, the GLC does ask a premium for it. But that is not to say it is not worth it. 

The fact to address here is that the Q5 offers better value, with almost as many features as the GLC at a considerably lower price. Even while considering the space, safety, and performance, price comparison favours the Audi Q5 for the price difference from the Mercedes GLC.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: Summary

Now the question is which is the better pick for you. If you do not need a state-of-the-art interior in your car to impress others and want a 5-seater luxury SUV that drives your family in premium comfort and is easy to operate, then the Audi Q5 is an excellent option. The SUV packs more than enough features to entertain the passengers and will not disappoint you on the grounds of comfort. At the same time, if you are comfortable paying more, the Mercedes GLC should be the unanimous choice. The premium it asks over the Q5 is not much but will buy you the safety of ADAS technology, more space, more features, and an interior that can leave a lasting impression.

Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5: FAQs

Q. Among the Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5, which one is bigger?

The Mercedes GLC is 4,716 mm long, 1,890 mm wide, 1,640 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 2,888 mm. The Audi Q5 is 4,682 mm long, 1,893 mm wide, 1,653 – 1655 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 2,819 mm. Therefore, the Mercedes GLC is 34 mm longer and has a 69 mm longer wheelbase, as compared to the Audi Q5. However, the Audi Q5 is 3 mm wider, and 13-15 mm taller than the Mercedes GLC.

Q. Among the Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5, which one is more powerful?

The 2-litre turbo petrol engine and 2-litre turbo diesel engine of the Mercedes GLC make 258 PS and 197 PS of power respectively while the 2-litre turbo petrol engine of the Audi Q5 generates 265 PS of power. However, both engines of GLC are hybridised with a 48V mild hybrid system and get 23 PS and 200 Nm boost from the hybrid system’s integrated starter generator (ISG), making it more powerful than the Audi Q5.

Q. What are the key features of the Audi Q5?

The key features of the Audi Q5 are a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster, connected car tech, 3-zone climate control AC, 30-colour ambient lighting, powered front seats with memory function for the driver side, cruise control, wireless phone charger, panoramic sunroof, and 19-speaker 755W Bang and Olufsen music system.

Q. Which variant of Mercedes GLC offers mild-hybrid tech?

Both variants of the Mercedes GLC named GLC 300 and GLC 220d come with a 48V mild hybrid system.

Q. Does the Audi Q5 have ADAS features?

No, the Audi Q5 does not offer ADAS features.

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