Top Gear Test: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI vs Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d

Small, luxury crossovers are some of the most popular cars on the road, especially in America. The first-gen Audi Q5 was the best selling modern Audi and this new second-gen car will sell like crazy. However, it has some tough competition from another popular crossover, the Mercedes-Benz GLC Class. So Top Gear put the most popular UK-based spec Q5 and GLC against each other to see which is best.

In the UK, the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC-Class are available with sensible diesel engines that offer low cost of entry into the model, as well as great fuel economy. So the cars in this test are the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI and the Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d. The former makes 189 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel. The latter makes 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from its 2.1 liter turbo-four diesel. The Audi uses a familiar eight-speed ZF eight-speed auto while the Mercedes uses its own nine-speed unit.

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When it comes to practicality, something that’s very important in this segment, the results are a bit of a mixed bag for both cars. The Audi Q5 has great rear headroom and legroom but lacks the space for three adults and has a bit of a load lip in the trunk. The Benz, on the other hand, has easier rear seats to get into and a flat load floor in the trunk. Both have the same 550 liter trunk capacity. Though the Audi has better visibility with less blind spots.

In terms of driving dynamics, again, it’s a mixed bag. The Q5 is significantly quieter on the inside and far sportier. However, its ride quality suffers from its sportier suspension. The Mercedes is also quiet but far more comfortable, thanks to its optional air suspension, but it doesn’t handle as well as the Audi.

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According to Top Gear, it’s a narrow victory but the Mercedes-GLC 220d takes it. While a great car, we think we’d choose the Audi Q5 over the Mercedes. It’s the sportier car to drive and has the better cabin. So it would be our choice.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.