Rs 70 lakh: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 Vs Mercedes-Benz GLC

The new car will share space with my Skoda Octavia, while my second car, the Tata Tiago will be sold off.

BHPian the pony recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Bhpians,

I need your help in finalizing and shortlisting the two or possibly THE one among the contenders.

I have been longing to get a German/European luxury brand for almost 5 years now. My last purchase was a European car but not entirely the marquee league. I bought a Skoda Octavia 1.8TSI L&K 2019, the last of its kind before BSVI kicked in at the expense of 3GT at that time since 3GT was less practical with no boot space at all & it would have made me buy two cars since 3GT was not suitable for long runs & airport drives.

My current garage is an Octavia 1.8TSI & a Tata Tiago XZA. The Octavia is the daily drive and has completed 40K km in 2 years whereas the Tiago does the minor tight space market runs and occasional city runs and only driven by my wife have completed 18K km in 5.5yrs

The new drive would have mixed-use and I would split the miles between the Octavia & the new purchase and would sell the Tiago off.

Key Criteria:

  • Must be an SUV
  • Must be a Petrol
  • Would wish to retain this for 8-10 years so a low cost of ownership is also desirable. Unlike lots of horror ownership stories of Octavia, in its 40K km it has not faced any major issue and I have not spent a single penny apart from the maintenance package I bought at the time of purchase (No tires, battery, wipers, brake pads etc. replaced till date)
  • Based out of Gurgaon, so any feedback on local dealership experience would also help
  • Looks & road presence matters a lot
  • Self-drive, a small family of 3, so not too concerned about back seat comfort
  • ICE-->Must be smashing & top of the league. I love the Canton in the Octavia and it is a non-negotiable item. So pretty much rules out the entry/base model of all contenders.
  • Ventilated seats-->Nice to have
  • Max budget is 70L on-road


New Audi Q5:

  • Practical, but I am afraid it would be too similar to drive like the Octavia considering the family lineage
  • Lacks road presence & oomph factor
  • Also I hope the service and reliability would be at par with Octavia

Mercedes GLC

  • Cheapest of all but also the most dated without any 4WD


  • Down on features, looks very good but it is nearing an update and don't want to be stuck with the older generation for the next 8-10 years

Volvo XC60

  • Absolutely ticks all the boxes, good looks, feature-loaded
  • Not sure about service experience & badge value?

Land Rover Discovery Sport

  • Range Rover pedigree, absolutely love the road presence & new update is feature-loaded too
  • Not sure about the reliability & if it can sustain 8-10 years of hassle-free ownership
  • Lack of service packages, warranty whereas peers do offer a good variety of service & warranty packages

Thanks in advance!!

Here's what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

Would pick the X3 from this lot. Why?

The Q5 may be a relatively new model but feels too much like a VW or Skoda to drive (spent 1000+ km with one in Australia a few years ago). Why pay that much extra for 4 rings?

The Discovery Sport is getting really old (IIRC, the current version was launched even before the GLC), and has too much body roll. It’s probably the most SUVish of the lot - which is a disadvantage for me.

The GLC was great when you had the GLC300 but Mercedes downgraded the Petrol to the GLC200 - which puts it at a 50 BHP disadvantage to the rest.

I think the Volvo is the best looking car in the segment - and would give the X3 a tough fight. But at least I am reluctant to give my money to the Chinese when I have similar alternatives available. If the Volvo were materially better than the X3, I would have picked it. When you can argue the X3 is better, why go for it?

Hence you are left with the X3. The best time to buy it would have been pre-facelift - because you get insane discounts. But guess in today’s chip shortage world, discounts would be hard to get - and picking the facelift which will be current at least for 4 more years makes a lot of sense. When you ask considering that BMW’s service packages are best in the segment, it makes it a real no brainer.

Here's what BHPian kartavya had to say on the matter:

I wouldn't worry about the service at Volvo. I own a BMW and Volvo and the service in Ahmedabad at the Volvo centre is leagues ahead of that of BMW.

Of course, you might end up having a bad experience at some point, but if it's similar to the Ahmedabad service centre, I would actually count it as a positive rather than a con. While Europe wouldn't put it in the same bracket as the BMW/Audi/Mercedes league, in India Volvo does have badge value similar to them. I would still say it's Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW which command the highest badge value.

Personally, I find the Land Rover/Range Rover products a bit overpriced (Discovery Sport definitely). I don't like the facelifted Q5 (seems a generation old in interiors and exteriors). I would definitely get one of the XC60/X3 depending on whichever you prefer.

Here's what BHPian bhushan08 had to say on the matter:

I took a long test drive of XC60. It was on the usual potholes and some straight lines. The car ticks all the right boxes. The rider was smooth, driving in peak traffic was easy and enough power to accelerate when needed. The suspension was good enough. It handled all of the potholes with ease.

The only gap I felt was the lag in power / pick up when the car slows down and one tries sudden acceleration e.g. at speed breakers.

Planning Q5 test drive soon.

X3 - no test cars available, nothing on the stock. BMW dealers are snooty enough to not answer questions on when it will happen When asked, they suggested that I book the X3 and they will get me the car sometime next year. That too without a test drive. I said how can you expect a customer to buy without even a test drive? To this, he had no answer but to make me feel like an idiot asking this to him. After all, they are BWM Which is in sharp contrast to the Volvo guys who are prompt and courteous.

I know this may be a one-off. So will have to wait for the new 'facelift'.

Here's what BHPian CosmicWizard had to say on the matter:

A little disclaimer first: Being an X3 owner, consider me a little biased Before my purchase, I did check out the 22 facelifts that got launched in US markets already and all it has is minor cosmetic changes so a true next-gen update is a minimum of a year away. You can check the facelift specs on

One word on features: IMHO, most touted ones are rarely or never get used. I have had my X3 for more than 2 months now. Rarely used: sunroof, seat memory, all those ambience colours, rain sensor, voice control. Never used: paddle shifters, cruise control, built-in navigation, that fancy auto parking assistant etc

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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