2020 Volvo XC90 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Volvo XC90
2020 Volvo XC90
$48,350MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
$43,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Volvo XC90
$48,350MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
$43,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Volvo XC90 is 8.5 out of 10, while the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC scores 8.0 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Volvo XC90 is the recommended choice for its superior safety features, luxurious interior, and advanced semi-automated driving system.

Choose the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC if:

Shop Now
8of 10overall
  • You want a balanced performance with a responsive powertrain and precise handling.
  • You appreciate a high-tech infotainment system with multiple control options and advanced voice recognition.
  • You need a compact luxury SUV with ample storage options and a well-designed interior.

Choose the 2020 Volvo XC90 if:

Shop Now
8.5of 10overall
  • You prioritize a luxurious and well-crafted interior with unique features like an integrated booster cushion.
  • You value advanced safety features and a strong safety record.
  • You prefer a semi-automated driving system with excellent adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
Overview

MSRP

$48,350

MSRP

$43,200

Average price

$32,900

Average price

$34,572

Listings

191

Listings

1224
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.5 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great safety ratings
  • Premium interior materials
Cons
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Premium interior materials
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Uninspired styling
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard

2020 Volvo XC90 Reviews Summary

The XC90 has been one of our favorite family shuttles for 18 model years. This 3-row Volvo continues for 2020 as it was during its 2016 redesign, which brought dramatic new design language, chassis architecture, electrified powertrains, infotainment, and semi-automated driving capability. Among midsize SUVs, the XC90 is among the few I would recommend without any hesitation. Families who can afford to splurge will find a stylish and pampering truck that's built upon decades of safety research, which very few automakers can match.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC Reviews Summary

The modern compact luxury SUV market is an embarrassment of riches. Shoppers have more options than ever before, and all of them are terrific vehicles. There’s the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Acura RDX, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and even the newcomer Lincoln Corsair. Not to be left out of this dizzying list is one of the segment’s most popular options, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC.

While the X3 arguably kicked off the small luxury SUV craze, the bar was raised with the GLC’s predecessor, the GLK. But even the GLK felt like a stopgap compared to a fully realized vehicle like the GLC. It encapsulates everything that buyers are looking for in a compact luxury SUV—an upscale cabin, cutting-edge infotainment and safety technology, and driving dynamics that are equal parts athletic and comfortable. Many vehicles in the aforementioned list have some or all of these things, but few combine them all as elegantly as the GLC. Mercedes-Benz happily boasts the GLC is its best-seller, and with good reason. But should you count yourself among one of their customers? Read on to find out.

Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 250 hp I4

Engine

2.0L 255 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

7

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

250 hp @ 5500 rpm

Horsepower

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

MPG City

21

MPG City

22

MPG Highway

30

MPG Highway

29
2020 Volvo XC90
2020 Volvo XC90
$48,350MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
$43,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Volvo XC90
$48,350MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
$43,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Volvo XC90 is 8.5 out of 10, while the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC scores 8.0 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Volvo XC90 is the recommended choice for its superior safety features, luxurious interior, and advanced semi-automated driving system.

Choose the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC if:

Shop Now
8of 10overall
  • You want a balanced performance with a responsive powertrain and precise handling.
  • You appreciate a high-tech infotainment system with multiple control options and advanced voice recognition.
  • You need a compact luxury SUV with ample storage options and a well-designed interior.

Choose the 2020 Volvo XC90 if:

Shop Now
8.5of 10overall
  • You prioritize a luxurious and well-crafted interior with unique features like an integrated booster cushion.
  • You value advanced safety features and a strong safety record.
  • You prefer a semi-automated driving system with excellent adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
Overview
MSRP
$48,350
$43,200
Average price
$32,900
$34,572
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.6
4.6
Expert reviews

8.5 out of 10

Read full review

8.0 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great safety ratings
  • Premium interior materials
Cons
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Premium interior materials
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Uninspired styling
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Summary
The XC90 has been one of our favorite family shuttles for 18 model years. This 3-row Volvo continues for 2020 as it was during its 2016 redesign, which brought dramatic new design language, chassis architecture, electrified powertrains, infotainment, and semi-automated driving capability. Among midsize SUVs, the XC90 is among the few I would recommend without any hesitation. Families who can afford to splurge will find a stylish and pampering truck that's built upon decades of safety research, which very few automakers can match.

The modern compact luxury SUV market is an embarrassment of riches. Shoppers have more options than ever before, and all of them are terrific vehicles. There’s the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Acura RDX, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and even the newcomer Lincoln Corsair. Not to be left out of this dizzying list is one of the segment’s most popular options, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC.

While the X3 arguably kicked off the small luxury SUV craze, the bar was raised with the GLC’s predecessor, the GLK. But even the GLK felt like a stopgap compared to a fully realized vehicle like the GLC. It encapsulates everything that buyers are looking for in a compact luxury SUV—an upscale cabin, cutting-edge infotainment and safety technology, and driving dynamics that are equal parts athletic and comfortable. Many vehicles in the aforementioned list have some or all of these things, but few combine them all as elegantly as the GLC. Mercedes-Benz happily boasts the GLC is its best-seller, and with good reason. But should you count yourself among one of their customers? Read on to find out.

Video
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 250 hp I4
2.0L 255 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
7
5
Horsepower
250 hp @ 5500 rpm
255 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG City
21
22
MPG Highway
30
29
Look and feel
2020 Volvo XC90
10/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
10/10
The 2020 Volvo XC90 showcased a pinnacle of modern Volvo design, proving that a large SUV could be as aesthetically pleasing as a sleek sedan. The R-Design trim featured blacked-out, honeycomb grille treatments, black window surrounds, mirrors, and a more aggressive chin spoiler, all complemented by bright 22-inch rims. The "Thor's hammer" LED headlights and tall, thin, curving LED taillights were distinctive Volvo elements. The Thunder Grey Metallic paint with a blue hue contrasted beautifully with the beige-leather and aluminum interior, emphasizing Volvo's commitment to subtlety and craftsmanship. In contrast, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC embraced a timeless aesthetic with soft curves and rounded edges, maintaining a modern yet less aggressive look compared to its competitors. The long hood and wide grille gave the GLC a dramatic stance, reminiscent of a raised C-Class or E-Class sedan. Inside, the GLC's cabin was an automotive masterpiece, with flowing dash lines and a floating center touchscreen. Mercedes-Benz's move towards larger screens and a minimalist approach was evident, making the GLC's interior the benchmark for compact luxury SUV cabins.
Performance
2020 Volvo XC90
7/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
8/10
The 2020 Volvo XC90 offered three powertrains, all featuring a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The T5 model produced 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which felt insufficient for the vehicle's size. The T6 model, with a supercharger added to the turbocharger, delivered 316 hp and 295 lb-ft, providing better performance. The Polestar tune further boosted the T6 to 330 hp and 325 lb-ft. However, the XC90's mid-range acceleration was only adequate, and the engine noise was unrefined. Fuel economy was also a concern, with the T6 AWD rated at 18 mpg city, 26 highway, and 21 combined. The T8 plug-in hybrid offered 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque but had limited electric range and did not significantly improve fuel economy. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 came with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The GLC offered a balanced performance with its Dynamic Select drive modes, providing ample power even in Comfort mode. The steering was precise, and the vehicle handled high-speed turns with confidence. For those seeking more power, the AMG GLC 43 featured a twin-turbocharged V6 with 385 hp, while the AMG GLC 63 offered a twin-turbo V8 with up to 503 hp, delivering sports car-like performance.
Form and function
2020 Volvo XC90
8/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
7/10
The 2020 Volvo XC90's Sensus infotainment system was faster and more responsive than previous versions, though it placed all climate controls within the touchscreen. The cabin layout was stellar, with seven seats standard and an optional integrated booster cushion for young children. The XC90 offered generous legroom in the first and second rows, though the third row was tight. Cargo space was up to 85.7 cubic feet with the last two rows folded, and sightlines from the driver's seat were excellent. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC provided 56.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded and 19.4 cubic feet with them up. The GLC Coupe's cargo space was smaller, at 49.4 and 17.6 cubic feet, respectively. The GLC had a well-designed interior with ample storage options, including a decently sized center console and deep door pockets. Rear-seat space was adequate, with good legroom and headroom in the SUV, though the Coupe's low roofline reduced headroom.
Technology
2020 Volvo XC90
8/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
8/10
The 2020 Volvo XC90 came standard with Volvo Pilot Assist, a semi-automated driving system combining adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. The R-Design trim featured a Bowers & Wilkins stereo with 19 speakers and 1,400 watts of power. The portrait-oriented touchscreen was high-resolution and easy to navigate, though onboard apps were slow to load. The digital instrument panel was limited in customization compared to competitors. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC featured the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with a 10.25-inch center touchscreen, center console touch controller, and advanced voice-control system. The steering wheel had touch-sensitive pads for customizing the digital instrument panel and navigating the main infotainment screen. The system included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though switching between the GLC's radio and smartphone apps could be cumbersome.
Safety
2020 Volvo XC90
10/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC
8/10
The 2020 Volvo XC90 received top safety ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS, though its headlight test rating lowered it to a Top Safety Pick. Standard safety features included forward emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a driver-attention monitor, blind-spot monitoring, and traffic-sign recognition. Volvo's commitment to safety was evident in its use of high-strength steels and advanced airbag systems. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC came with standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. It also included front- and rear parking sensors, hands-free parking assist, and a driver drowsiness monitor. Optional features included a 360-degree parking camera, dynamic cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning.
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