In September, the BMW X3 will receive another worthy opponent: the new 2015 Mercedes GLC. The midsize SUV builds atop the previous GLK model and not only gets a new name, but also new engineering and design philosophy. The GLC is 80kg lighter than the old GLK – thanks to an entirely new body and use of aluminum.
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Even at first glance, the significantly design changes stand out immediately. The exterior design is reminiscent of the C-Class, as the C at the end of the new name is derived from the C-class, while the GLC moniker hints to a midsize SUV between the GLA and a GLE. Gone are the sharp creases and angles inspired by the G-Class, replaced by more attractive curves and a sleek grille.
At 4.6m in length, 1.8m in width and 1.6m high (a fraction taller if you spec the ‘off-road’ pack), it’s basically a raised C-Class sedan.
All variants come with permanent ‘4MATIC’ four-wheel-drive (with a basic torque split of 45:55 front/rear), and a nine-speed gearbox.
On request, Mercedes GLC customers can equip their compact SUV with air suspension and Head-up Display.
170 hp and 204 hp versions of Mercedes’ four-cylinder 2.2-liter diesel (GLC 220d and GLC 250d), and a 211 hp 2.0-liter petrol in the GLC 250, good for a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds.
Then there’s the petrol-electric GLC 350e, which combines that same 2.0-litre petrol engine to an electric motor, for a combined 323bhp output and 413lb ft of torque. It has 60g/km of CO2 and sprints to 62mph in 5.9 seconds.
There is still no answer to the 313 hp six-cylinder diesels — X3 xDrive30d and X3 xDrive35d — offered by Stuttgart.
The second generation of the BMW X3 is already in late production days of its lifecycle, with the next generation G01 X3 being scheduled for 2017.
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