New Mercedes GLC vs Lexus NX: practicality

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

Mercedes GLC rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Six-footers will fit easily in the front of either of these cars. There’s plenty of head and shoulder room, and while the Mercedes GLC’s seats go back a little farther, the margins are small. With large door pockets and deep bins beneath the central armrests, storage space is plentiful.

Adults sitting in the back will have plenty of head room and space for their feet underneath the front seats in both, but the GLC is more accommodating for those with particularly long legs. Mind you, there will still be few complaints in the Lexus NX, and its rear seatbacks recline to boost comfort, whereas the GLC’s are fixed.

The latter’s extra width means there’s more shoulder room if you need to carry three passengers in the back, although the middle occupant will have to straddle a sizeable floor hump in each car. In the GLC, it’s also quite easy to foul your knees on the air vents that protrude from the centre console.

Lexus NX rear seats

With the rear seatbacks up, the NX has the larger and more practical boot, having room for seven carry-on cases below its load cover, compared with six in the GLC. While you don’t have to lift heavier items as high to get them into the boot of the GLC, the floor slopes down towards the entrance (due to the battery underneath), which means loose items could tumble out as soon as you open the tailgate. The GLC also has nowhere to stash charging cables except in the main load bay (where they can  get in the way), whereas the NX has a handy storage area below its flat boot floor that’s suitable for cables.

The GLC makes life a little easier when you need to fold down the rear seatbacks, though. Not only can you do this remotely by pulling a switch inside the boot (whereas you have to reach in through the rear doors to release them in the NX), but the seatbacks are also split 40/20/40. This makes them more versatile than the NX’s 60/40 configuration, because you can fold down the middle seat to thread longer items through between two occupants in the outer rear seats.

Boot space

Mercedes GLC

Mercedes GLC boot

Boot capacity 400-1497 litres Suitcases 6

Lexus NX

Lexus NX boot

Boot capacity 545-1436 litres Suitcases 7

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