New Mercedes GLC vs Lexus NX: verdict

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

Mercedes GLC vs Lexus NX rear static

Our verdict

While battery range has greatly improved in PHEVs to help you go farther, they still don’t make financial sense for everyone. Many private buyers will struggle to recoup the relatively high purchase prices through lower running costs over a typical ownership period. But if they do choose one, the NX is the better car for them, by a slim margin, being cheaper to buy, faster and more engaging to drive.

However, given that most PHEVs are run by company car users, the GLC pips the NX to the top spot in this contest. Not only do you get a quiet, spacious family SUV with a dazzling interior, but, crucially, it’ll also keep your monthly salary sacrifices as low as possible.

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1st – Mercedes GLC

Mercedes GLC front

For Long electric-only range; cheaper to run as a company car; more space in rear seats; quieter and comfier cruiser
Against Disappointing fuel economy when battery is depleted; Mercedes’ so-so reliability record; spongy brakes
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Mercedes GLC review >>

Mercedes GLC deals >>

2nd – Lexus NX

Lexus NX front

For Sharper handling; more economical petrol engine; superior build quality; bigger boot; cheaper to buy and run privately
Against Less versatile rear seats; slow charging speed; so-so refinement; higher BIK tax bracket
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Lexus NX review >>

Lexus NX deals >>

Specifications: Mercedes GLC 300e 4Matic AMG Line Premium

Mercedes GLC steering wheel badge

Engine 4cyl, 1999cc, turbo, petrol, plus two electric motors
Peak power 308bhp (combined)
Peak torque 406lb ft (combined)
Gearbox 9-spd automatic
0-60mph 6.4sec
30-70mph 5.9sec
Top speed 135mph
30-0mph 9.2m
70-0mph 46.3m
Noise at 30mph 59.8dB
Noise at 70mph 66.2dB
Kerb weight 2355kg
Tyres (std) 255/45 R20 (front), 285/40 R20 (rear)
Fuel tank 49 litres
Test fuel economy 33.5mpg (with battery depleted)
Official fuel economy 565.0mpg
Test electric range 57 miles
Official electric range 80 miles
CO2 emissions 12g/km
Battery capacity 31.2kWh (total)
Peak charging rate 11kW
Min charging time 2hr 45min (10-100%)

Specifications: Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport

Lexus NX steering wheel badge

Engine 4cyl, 2487cc, petrol, plus two electric motors
Peak power 305bhp (combined)
Peak torque 167lb ft (petrol), 199lb ft (front motor), 89lb ft (rear motor)
Gearbox CVT automatic
0-60mph 5.9sec
30-70mph 5.2sec
Top speed 124mph
30-0mph 8.7m
70-0mph 46.7m
Noise at 30mph 60.0dB
Noise at 70mph 66.4dB
Kerb weight 2050kg
Tyres (std) 235/50 R20 (front and rear)
Fuel tank 55 litres
Test fuel economy 41.9mpg (with battery depleted)
Official fuel economy 256.7mpg
Test electric range 30 miles
Official electric range 43 miles
CO2 emissions 25g/km
Battery capacity 18.1kWh (total)
Peak charging rate 6.6kW
Min charging time 2hr 30min (0-100%)

Weather conditions Dry, 18deg C

Cars pictured

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e 4Matic AMG Line Premium Plus with Spectral Blue metallic paint (£715)

Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport with F Sport White metallic paint (£770)

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