New Mercedes GLC vs Lexus NX: costs

These plug-in hybrid SUVs promise luxury and low running costs in equal measure. But which one is better?...

Mercedes GLC vs Lexus NX front action

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

You’re unlikely to get a discount on the Mercedes GLC, but you can on the Lexus NX if you buy through our online New Car Buying service. Either way, the NX is the cheaper option to buy outright by a significant margin. It’ll also be usefully cheaper for private buyers to run over three years, in part thanks to lower insurance and servicing costs, although the gap is reduced by
the GLC’s slightly stronger predicted resale values.

Those looking at PCP finance will find monthly payments cheaper in they opt for the NX, too. On a three-year deal with a £6000 deposit and a 10,000-mile annual limit, the NX will cost £1021 per month, compared with £1157 for the GLC.

Lexus NX charging cable

The GLC makes a great deal of sense for company car drivers, though, with its longer electric range placing it in a low, 5% benefit-in-kind tax band, compared with the NX’s 8%. The latter’s rating still means salary sacrifices will be much smaller than you’d face with a regular petrol or diesel SUV, but a 40% taxpayer will pay around £50 more per month than with the GLC.

Both cars come with two-zone climate control, leather upholstery (artificial in the GLC), keyless entry and heated front seats, but the NX adds cooling for those seats and adaptive cruise control rather than the GLC’s regular cruise control. The NX is also available with more options, including a panoramic glass roof, which you can have individually (for £1000) or as part of the £1500 Takumi Pack. You have to step up to range-topping AMG Line Premium Plus trim before a panoramic roof, head-up display and adaptive cruise are available on the GLC.

Even when it can’t run on electric power alone, the NX behaves like a conventional hybrid, retaining a small amount of charge to help return a respectable real-world fuel economy figure of 41.9mpg, against the GLC’s 33.5mpg. In order to get anywhere near the official economy figures, you’ll have to keep the batteries charged up as much as possible. The NX takes around two and a half hours to go from 0-100% using a typical 7kW home charger. Due to the GLC’s bigger battery, it’ll take around five hours to complete the same charge at home, although a slightly higher charging rate (11kW versus 6.6kW) means you can reduce this to less than three hours by using a suitable public charger.

Mercedes GLC vs Lexus NX costs

Neither car featured in the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey. However, Mercedes ranked 23rd (out of 32) in the overall league table, far below Lexus in the number one spot.

Both cars achieved the full five-star rating for safety when tested by Euro NCAP. The GLC protected the driver’s chest slightly better in a frontal impact but wasn’t as effective as the NX in a side impact with a pole. Each comes with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition and blindspot monitoring.

Also consider