Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz are reasonably new to the luxury compact crossover segment, but that hasn't stopped their respective models making a big impression. So, if you're looking to buy a luxury compact crossover and you're considering pulling the trigger on one of these two, here's a head-to-head comparison between the 2017 Lincoln MKC and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Class to help you decide.
If you're sick of safe, homogenous designs and you want something a little more individual, the 2017 Lincoln MKC is a good choice. From the side, the sheet metal is fairly standard fare for a crossover, but the front and rear fascias are uniquely Lincoln. The front is a slimmed-down version of the classic Lincoln split-wing look, and at the rear the full-width taillights and the two-piece tailgate design are a really interesting design.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC replaced the pretty boxy GLK, which is a good move as the GLK didn't feel a lot of love from buyers this side of the Atlantic. The GLC has a more rounded profile but a fairly striking front fascia, so it looks handsome, serious and sporty all at the same time. It has a very strong resemblance to the GLE so it's not hugely original, so this section has to go to the more unique look of the Lincoln MKC.
Don't let the cool cruiser looks fool you; the Lincoln MKC's steering, ride, and handling are all strong points. It's still as quiet and refined as you'd want a luxury vehicle to be, but you can order up a more responsive feel using the available continuous controlled damping suspension for more fun. And when you have that fun driving the MKC, your passengers won't suffer as a result.
It's difficult to make a balanced comparison between these two on performance because the GLC has performance focused AMG variants the Lincoln doesn't try to answer. The non-AMG models are not quite as exhilarating and fun to drive as the Lincoln though, so we'll have to give this round to the MKC.
The days of sparsely equipped entry level luxury vehicles appear to be over, and that's because models like the Lincoln MKC get more and more generously equipped every year. Standard features in the Lincoln MKC Premiere include power adjustable heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, remote start, active noise cancellation, MyKey, reverse sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels and more.
It's a similar story with the GLC, with standard features in entry trim including 18-inch alloy wheels, a glossy wood trim, an infotainment system with a seven-inch display, a power driver's seat with memory, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and lots more. This could be called a tie, but as the GLC costs considerably more we'll give this to the better value Lincoln MKC.
Although compact, the MKC is also a luxury vehicle and all that equipment and tech adds weight, so you can't expect stellar fuel economy. However, EcoBoost technology is employed and the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive is rated as good as 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined, which isn't bad at all.
All GLC models have an Eco drive feature that dials down the climate control and alters throttle response from the gas pedal to improve fuel economy. There's also stop/start technology at play, which helps the Mercedes to best fuel economy figures of 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 combined. It's therefore a narrow, hard-fought victory for the Mercedes-Benz GLC here then.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is a fine vehicle, but so is the 2017 Lincoln MKC. However, when things are so close is it really worth paying so much more money for a Mercedes badge? At the entry level you're being asked for close to $7,000 more for the GLC than the Lincoln. That's an awful lot of money for not much measurable difference--which is why we recommend the Lincoln MKC over the Mercedes-Benz GLC Class.