Power and Performance: Mercedes GLC vs Jaguar F-Pace

With Mercedes’ GLC and Jaguar’s F-Pace, there are no compromises when it comes to beauty over performance. Each car is a sight to behold and offers one or more editions equipped with abundant power. Here, we explore what separates these two highly desirable mid-size SUVs.

Works of art

The Mercedes GLC SUV is a thoroughly modern vehicle that embodies athleticism and appeal, with beautiful curves and crisp lines led by the marque’s iconic star on the grille. The elegant side profile flows to the car’s broad and muscular shoulders at the rear, where split LED lights give it a unique nocturnal signature. The GLC Coupé appears even sportier with larger air inlets at the front, revised tailpipes, a diffuser and more aggressive aura at the rear, plus a steeply raked roofline in profile, bestowing it with a truly Coupé-like and squat stance.

Jaguar’s F-Pace is currently the largest in the British brand’s range sitting somewhere between Mercedes’ GLC and larger GLE in terms of size. Taking significant visual inspiration from its exhilarating F-Type stablemate, Jaguar’s debut SUV instantly garnered worldwide admiration. The family grille and muscular bonnet look suitably imposing and its powerful rear haunches, distinctive F-Type derived taillight graphics and dynamic lines give it tremendous road presence.

Conclusion: For a muscular rather than subtly beautiful look, go with the F-Pace in R-Sport trim or Black Edition guise

First class interiors

Luxury, artistic expression and space define the Mercedes GLC’s cabin. The trio of circular chrome air vents at the top of the minimalist centre console set the scene elegantly. Curvaceous lines flow throughout the interior, and although the infotainment screen isn’t as seamlessly integrated as in other SUVs, its controller looks decidedly futuristic and wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art gallery. Everything from the electric seat controls to the door handles is tastefully designed and the compact Mercedes SUV’s cabin provides abundant space for five, while its sizeable 550-litre (including discrete underfloor storage) boot compares well with rivals. The GLC Coupé’s boot is slightly smaller as you might expect, but is considered by many to be a worthy trade in exchange for more exciting looks. Various options, packages and customisation programs are on hand to make the GLC experience even more special.

The Jaguar F-Pace’s cabin is larger thanks to the model’s increased dimensions, and its boot space is positively massive at 650 litres, which expands to 1,740 litres with the rear seats folded down. While its ultimate fit and finish may not match the Mercedes, the British SUV’s interior is nevertheless plush with leather seats complemented by eye-catching stitching. Customisable mood-lighting colours add a modern touch, the integrated touchscreen display looks more cohesive to the eye, and the rotary gear selector that rises out of the fascia never ceases to impress. It may appear somewhat squarer and less elegant in places, but the Jaguar narrowly edges the Mercedes in the technology and infotainment stakes, and the interior is confidently ergonomic. Everything’s where you’d expect it to be - while the Jaguar emblem on the steering wheel evokes that sense of adrenaline.

Conclusion: The Mercedes GLC is slightly classier and more sophisticated inside

Potent engines

With the 220 d and 250 d diesel units proving excellent all-rounders and the 350 d adding a splash of punch to the GLC’s more frugal offerings, our focus is on the Mercedes SUV’s more powerful engines.

The GLC 43 4MATIC with 367bhp at one’s disposal will be exhilarating enough for many drivers, but for brutal horizon-chasing thrills little beats the GLC 63 S 4MATIC+. its V8 engine serves up 510bhp and a theoretical top speed of 174mph, with the 0-62mph sprint dispatched in a mere 3.8 seconds.

Jaguar’s F-Pace SUV offers variations of the firm’s revered 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, all capable of moving this large car around gracefully.

The Midlands-based marque is historically synonymous with powerful sports cars, though, and the most powerful F-Pace is currently the 3.0-litre V6 380PS Supercharged ‘S’ model, with all-wheel drive for reassuring traction in all conditions. Mated to the remarkable 8-speed automatic transmission, the unit performs smoothly and strongly, hitting 60mph in an impressive 5.1 seconds and a top speed hitting 155mph. It may not be as powerful as the range-topping Mercedes GLC but the Jaguar’s brilliant chassis shines through.

Conclusion: The sheer power of the Mercedes GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ is absolutely amazing

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Both the Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC possess beautiful and sporty aesthetics, luxurious and spacious interiors, and have a wide range of engines. For the ultimate in power and performance, though, the range-topping GLC is an addictive experience. To give either a test drive, get in touch with Inchcape Jaguar and Inchcape Mercedes-Benz today.