2019 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the RDX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RDX and the AMG GLE 43 Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the AMG GLE 43 Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the AMG GLE 43 Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the GLE Coupe:

 

 

 

MPG

RDX

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

GLE Coupe

 

AWD

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The AMG GLE 43 Coupe requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe (3). This means the RDX produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

Tires and Wheels

The RDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe (8.2 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1200 pounds less than the Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

The RDX is 5.8 inches shorter than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear headroom than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 23 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 60.7 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the RDX Advance’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX has a standard rear wiper. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RDX has standard extendable sun visors. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Acura RDX offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Acura RDX offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $5950 to $6325 less than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.89% to 53.05% of its original price after five years, while the AMG GLE 43 Coupe only retains 46.81%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $30100 to $36383 less than for the Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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