2019 Audi e-tron vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the e-tron and GLE have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The GLE’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The GLE doesn’t offer a night vision system.

To help make backing safer, the e-tron’s 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 e-tron and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, 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 and available four-wheel drive.

Warranty

The e-tron’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLE’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The e-tron’s electric motor produces 73 more horsepower (402 vs. 329) and 136 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 354) than the GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The e-tron’s electric motor produces 17 more horsepower (402 vs. 385) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 384) than the AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-tron gets better fuel mileage than the GLE 400 (74 city/73 hwy MPGe vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the e-tron’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLE:

 

e-tron

GLE

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the GLE.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the e-tron uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the GLE, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

Chassis

The design of the Audi e-tron amounts to more than styling. The e-tron has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is significantly lower than the GLE (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the e-tron get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the e-tron uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLE doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The e-tron has .9 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear legroom than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the e-tron’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 e-tron’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.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

The e-tron Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed 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 quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLE doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLE doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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