2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Q5 and GLE have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q5 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.

The Q5 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLE doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To help make backing safer, the Q5’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 Q5 and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLE’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the GLE’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q5’s reliability 20 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the AMG GLE 43 3.0 twin turbo V6 (385 HP) (22 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Q5 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The GLE doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Q5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The GLE doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The Q5 stops much shorter than the GLE:

 

Q5

GLE

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The Q5 Premium Plus 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 Q5 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.6 seconds quicker than the GLE (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Audi Q5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 950 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

The Q5 is 5.5 inches shorter than the GLE, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi Q5 amounts to more than styling. The Q5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 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 Q5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 2.8 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Q5’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 Q5’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 Q5 Prestige 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 quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige 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 Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLE doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Q5 will cost $380 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

The Q5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q5 will retain 52.7% to 53.4% 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 Q5 is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $81 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the GLE, including $64 less for front brake pads, $113 less for fuel injection, $34 less for front struts and $711 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q5 will be $10286 to $18186 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Audi Q5 outsold the Mercedes GLE by 36% during the 2018 model year.

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

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