2019 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

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 GLE doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RDX and the GLE 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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

 

 

 

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

 

AWD

400 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

 

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLE 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 GLE doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 GLE.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the GLE:

 

RDX

GLE

 

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

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 GLE doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The RDX A-Spec AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the AMG GLE 43 pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.6 seconds quicker than the GLE (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.2 vs. 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 950 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

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

Passenger Space

The RDX has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom and 1.2 inches more front shoulder room than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLE 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 GLE 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 GLE doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLE only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 GLE 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 GLE doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLE 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 $2615 to $5715 less than the GLE 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 GLE only retains 46.84% to 49.97%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $144 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the GLE, including $174 less for a water pump, $341 less for a muffler, $132 less for a starter, $310 less for fuel injection, $25 less for a fuel pump, $197 less for front struts and $38 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $17392 to $25671 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

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

The Acura RDX outsold the Mercedes GLE by 38% during 2018.

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

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