2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC Comparison

Erin Riches-Wong | Aug 18, 2021

There are few closer rivals in the compact premium SUV class than the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. With their German heritage (although the X3 is built in South Carolina) and understated styling, the X3 and GLC take aim at a cross-section of consumers who want a practical vehicle but are willing to pay more for one that caters to their personal tastes.

BMW and Mercedes match each other powertrain for powertrain in this segment. There's a turbocharged 4-cylinder for buyers who just want to get to work, while high-performance 6- and even 8-cylinder engines offer more capability than you could ever use on a public road. Not surprisingly, buyers of both the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC rate driving dynamics among their favorite aspects of their vehicles.

Likewise, the infotainment systems and advanced safety aids in these compact luxury SUVs provide similar functionality. If you're trying to decide which one to buy, you'll find that the differences are in the details. This 2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC comparison will help you spot the ones that matter.

Price and Value

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S SUV White Front Quarter View in Motion

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Consumers will find that the 2022 BMW X3 pricing starts at $43,700 and tops out at $69,900, not including a $995 destination charge. BMW's compact premium SUV comes in three basic models. The volume-selling X3 30i has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and comes in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sDrive30i and all-wheel-drive (AWD) xDrive30i versions. Selecting AWD adds $2,000 to the bottom line.

For something with more verve, go with the BMW X3 M40i, which has a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and standard AWD. And for those craving a high-performance compact SUV, BMW offers the X3 M, which has an even more potent 6-cylinder and a tuned suspension to match. The automaker has discontinued the X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid model for 2022.

As is typical of small luxury SUVs, the 2022 X3 offers various connected services, including remote locking and engine start, live emergency assistance, concierge services, digital key access, and even a drive recorder. There's a Wi-Fi hotspot, too. You may need to purchase additional options to unlock desired features, and then, you'll need to manage them in the My BMW app.

BMW provides complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles that you own an X3.

If you're shopping for a 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC, you'll find that it ranges in price from $43,850 to $85,600, not including a $1,005 destination charge. Mercedes offers its compact premium SUV in both regular and "coupe" body styles. Both are 4-door utility vehicles with seating for five, but the GLC Coupe has a sleek, curvy roofline and costs a bit more. (BMW offers much the same thing in the X4, but it's sold as a separate model.)

There are three main versions of the 2022 Mercedes GLC. First up is the GLC 300, which has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard, or, for $2,000 extra, you can have the 4Matic AWD system (AWD is standard on the GLC 300 Coupe). Buyers wanting more excitement should look to the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, which has a turbo V6 engine and standard 4Matic AWD.

At the top of the lineup is the high-performance 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, the main rival to the BMW X3 M. It has a turbocharged V8 engine stuffed under its hood and comes in regular and slightly hotter S states of tune. For 2022, the GLC 63 is available in both the traditional GLC SUV and GLC Coupe body styles; previously, it was Coupe only.

Every 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC comes with a complimentary 3-year subscription to connected services known as Mercedes me connect. Features are similar to what you'll find on the BMW and include remote access, emergency assistance, rapid access to roadside services, and Wi-Fi. A parking damage detection feature will send a notification if another vehicle hits your GLC while it is parked.

Mercedes does not provide free scheduled maintenance. Instead, the company offers prepaid plans for purchase.

Advantage: BMW X3

Reliability and Quality

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Front Quarter View

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Neither the BMW X3 nor the Mercedes-Benz GLC rank among the top three Compact Premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study or the 2020 Initial Quality Study. At the brand level, BMW ranks higher in both studies.

The 2022 BMW X3 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Advantage: BMW X3

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S SUV White Interior Dashboard

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Most 2022 BMW X3s have a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine under their hoods. This engine makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For 2022, the 4-cylinder X3 gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that powers its electrical system, provides a mild power boost when needed, and smooths out the operation of the X3's start-stop system. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on both the RWD X3 sDrive30i and AWD xDrive30i.

J.D. Power's independent vehicle testing experts have found a lot to like in the mid-range BMW X3 M40i. The X3 M40i has a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine rated at 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. It's also equipped with a mild-hybrid system for 2022. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives all four wheels through the standard AWD system.

If you like to drive on twisty back roads, you might wish to equip your X3 30i or M40i with a dynamic handling package that includes adaptive suspension damping and upgraded steering and brakes.

For consumers wanting a compact premium SUV that can keep up with sport sedans, BMW offers the X3 M. This high-performance 2022 BMW X3 uses a high-performance, turbocharged inline-6 engine developed by the automaker's M division.

The base X3 M makes a heady 473 hp and 457 pound-feet of torque, while the pricier X3 M Competition satisfies with 503 hp and 479 pound-feet. A performance-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, and the AWD system biases engine torque to the rear wheels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the rear-drive 2022 BMW X3 sDrive30i at 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving, while the AWD X3 xDrive30i rates 24 mpg. The 2022 X3 M40i rates 23 mpg combined. The 2022 BMW X3 M and X3 M Competition rate 17 mpg combined; this is a 1-mpg improvement over the 2021 model year.

Consumers researching the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC will find its entry-level engine is also a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Standard on every GLC 300, this engine is rated at 255 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting.

The mid-range 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine, making 385 hp and 384 pound-feet of torque. The AWD GLC 43 uses a performance-tuned 9-speed automatic transmission.

The top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and GLC 63 S models have a turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine. In base trim, the V8 makes 469 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque. In the GLC 63 S, it pumps out 503 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed transmission drives all four wheels through the standard 4Matic AWD system. Although this 9-speed is technically an automatic, it uses a wet start-off clutch to provide quicker, more responsive performance—similar to what you'd get with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

The EPA has not yet released fuel-economy ratings for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC, but they should be similar to the 2021 model year. The GLC 300 models are rated 23-25 mpg, depending on the version. The 6-cylinder Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 rated 20 mpg, and the 8-cylinder Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 models had a 17-mpg combined rating.

Advantage: Neither

The 4-cylinder engines are equally capable. BMW makes excellent 6-cylinder engines, but the V8 in the Mercedes is tempting if you have the means.

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Interior Dashboard

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

You will get the most important advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) as standard on every 2022 BMW X3. All X3 models come with Active Driving Assistant, which includes a forward-collision warning (FCW) system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking (AEB). The X3 also provides lane-departure warning (LDW) and blind-spot warning (BSW) with rear cross-traffic warning.

If you're looking for Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance, you'll need to add the Driving Assistance Professional package. It includes lane-keeping assistance (LKA), upgraded side-collision avoidance functionality for the BSW system, and front cross-traffic warnings. This package also provides a traffic jam assist (TJA) system that integrates adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, lane centering, and evasive-steering assistance.

The 2022 BMW X3 has earned a 5-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not rated the 2022 X3. The 2021 X3 also earned Good ratings in all the crash tests conducted by the IIHS but wasn't a Top Safety Pick due to Marginal ratings for headlight performance and child-seat anchor location.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC comes with a standard package of ADAS that includes Mercedes Pre-Safe, FCW with AEB, BSW with rear cross-traffic warnings, attention assist, and safe exit assist (which sounds a chime to discourage occupants from opening the doors if vehicles are approaching from behind).

Most buyers will want to pay extra for the optional Driver Assistance package, which adds upgraded AEB that intervenes if it detects you're turning into the path of pedestrians or other vehicles. It also includes lane-keeping assistance, side-collision avoidance assistance for the BSW system, automatic emergency stop assistance, and a TJA system with adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go capability) and lane-centering assistance.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC earned a 5-star NHTSA rating for overall crash safety. The IIHS has not rated the 2022 GLC, but the Institute named the 2021 model a Top Safety Pick.

BMW and Mercedes-Benz rank second and fourth at the brand level, respectively, in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study.

Advantage: Neither

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S SUV White Rear Quarter View

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Every 2022 BMW X3 is equipped with a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface backed by the iDrive 7 infotainment platform. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are standard, and the system uses over-the-air updates. A Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system is optional.

This version of iDrive is much easier to use than previous versions, but if this is your first time encountering a 21st-century BMW, don't be surprised if it takes a few days to get up to speed.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen interface backed by the MBUX infotainment platform. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are standard, but it's not wireless, so bring your USB cable. A Burmester surround-sound system is optional.

For all its capability, the MBUX interface is amazingly intuitive to use, and its voice-recognition technology works as well as the best voice assistants.

Advantage: Mercedes-Benz GLC

Comfort and Utility

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Rear Quarter View

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Inside, the 2022 BMW X3 looks like other BMW SUVs. There's not a strong sense of identity. Still, it offers rich, high-quality furnishings and simple controls (except for iDrive). The seats provide excellent comfort, and the steering wheel is nice to grip. The X3 M has a smidge more style, thanks to its standard digital instrument panel (optional on other X3s), carbon-fiber trim, and sport seats with quilted inserts.

The X3 offers a good amount of cargo capacity for this class. The cargo bay measures 28.7 cubic feet. Folding the rear seats down provides 62.7 cubic feet.

If interior design ranks high on your list of must-haves, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC will likely appeal to you. Everything in this cabin is beautifully coordinated, from the round air vents to the graceful design of the steering wheel. As in the BMW, materials quality is high. Even if you select a GLC 300 with the standard MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, it will still have an elegant look and feel. Numerous options for leather and wood make it easy to furnish the GLC to liking.

The Mercedes offers less cargo capacity than the BMW. With the rear seats in use, the GLC provides 19.4 cubic feet of space. With the seats folded, you'll have 56.5 cubic feet of capacity. If you're considering the GLC Coupe, you'll have less vertical clearance for large items and less overall capacity. It offers 17.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 49.4 cubic feet when folded.

Advantage: Neither

If you want style, get the Mercedes. If utility is more important, the BMW will serve you better.

Learn More About the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC

If you'd like to learn more about these compact premium SUVs, be sure to read our reviews of the 2022 BMW X3 and 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLC. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on August 18, 2021, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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