BMW X3 vs Volvo XC60 vs Mercedes-Benz GLC - Which is best?

Shaun · Aug 22, 2020 11:21 AM

If you’re looking for an SUV within the range of RM 350k, the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes-Benz GLC will likely appear in your radar. To help with your decision between these three mid-size luxury SUVs, here’s a quick specs comparison.

Performance

In terms of performance output, the Volvo XC60 T8 eclipses the rest with its hybrid powertrain. It makes 407 PS and a tarmac-ripping 640 Nm of torque. We’ve tested its 0-100 km/h time to be 5.6 seconds, which is ludicrous for a comfort-biased SUV.

In terms of handling, it leans quite a bit in corners and doesn't inspire confidence to push on. But upside is the comfortable suspension that just wafts along.

Next up is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 AMG Line. It makes 258 PS/370 Nm from the M264 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, channeling power to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. 0-100 km/h is claimed to be dusted in 6.2 seconds.

Steering is sharp, but doesn't feel cohesive in the overall package with the chassis and suspension. Ride comfort is smooth on highways, although it fidgets about slightly at lower speeds on poor surfaces.

Trailing right behind the GLC is the BMW X3 xDrive 30i M Sport. The B48 2.0-litre turbocharged engine makes 252 PS/350 Nm and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all corners. Claimed 0-100 km/h time is 6.3 seconds.

Handling wise, the BMW X3 takes the cake with its well-sorted chassis and excellent suspension tuning. Body roll is contained and steering is accurate, which provides assurance in corners. Suspension pliancy isn't sacrificed in pursuit of handling, so it still absorbs lumps and bumps well.

Dimensions

All 3 SUVs are fairly similar in terms of dimensions. The Volvo XC60 T8 is unsurprisingly the heaviest here at 2,151 kg, while the rest are around 1,700 kg.

Boot space in the XC60 is also the smallest here at 505 litres, whereas the other two have an identical 550-litre boot space.

Interior

Starting with the BMW X3, its design is typical BMW – safe with all the buttons logically laid out. But for those looking for more flair, it might be a little bland in terms of styling.

There’s a 10.25-inch infotainment display, controlled by the iDrive Touch and audio is fed through 12-speaker BMW Hi-Fi system.

The interior design of the Mercedes-Benz GLC is the oldest here, but it has aged gracefully. And the facelift exercise sees a larger infotainment screen (10.25-inch) and digital instrument cluster, keeping it up to date. Audio is handled by the Burmester sound system with 13 speakers.

Moving on to the Volvo XC60, the design is Swedish minimalism with very few buttons and switches. The crystal gear knob and knurled finishing on some switchgears lift up the cabin ambiance. Plus, the 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system sounds the best here by quite a margin.

Safety

The Volvo XC60 is the winner here, unsurprisingly. It has the full suite of Intellisafe, which bundles AEB, LKA, BSM, the whole lot. There’s also Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving assist feature.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 features AEB, Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe, and Active Lane Keeping Assist. No Adaptive Cruise Control here.

In the BMW X3, there is no ADAS at all unfortunately. For some, this is a deal breaker, and understandably so.

Conclusion

If you love driving, then the choice is obvious – the BMW X3. But only if you can accept the omission of ADAS. The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 looks the part inside and out despite its age, and wears a three-pointed star badge.

But as an overall SUV package, it’s difficult to argue with the Volvo XC60 T8’s proposition. It makes the most power, the interior feels the most special, and it’s the most well-equipped. If you’re open to the idea of hybrid vehicles, then the Volvo XC60 T8 is the most convincing choice.

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