2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Q7 and GLE have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 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 Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLE doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera 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 Q7’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 Q7 and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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 Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLE’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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 Q7’s reliability 14 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 Q7 55 TFSI V6 gets better fuel mileage than the AMG GLE 43 3.0 twin turbo V6 (385 HP) (19 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q7 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLE:

 

Q7

GLE

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

The Q7 stops shorter than the GLE:

 

Q7

GLE

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLE (285/45R20 vs. 265/45R20).

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The GLE doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the GLE (117.9 inches vs. 114.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q7 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLE.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the AMG GLE 43 pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.4 seconds quicker than the GLE (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The design of the Audi Q7 amounts to more than styling. The Q7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .333 Cd (optional .32 Cd with Air Suspension). That is significantly lower than the GLE (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q7 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the AMG GLE 43 (70 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The Q7 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the GLE can only carry 5.

The Q7 has 1.4 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLE.

The front step up height for the Q7 is 1.4 inches lower than the GLE (18.6” vs. 20”). The Q7’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the GLE’s (18.7” vs. 20”).

Cargo Capacity

The Q7’s cargo area is larger than the GLE’s in almost every dimension:

 

Q7

GLE

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

n.a./39.5”/68”

Max Width

52.5”

49”

Min Width

42.6”

40.5”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Q7’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, 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.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes GLE is limited to 7200 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

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 Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The GLE doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The GLE doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q7 offers an optional 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 Q7 offers an optional 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 Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the GLE is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the GLE because typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the GLE, including $206 less for a water pump, $54 less for front brake pads, $90 less for a fuel pump and $620 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q7 will be $1354 to $3213 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The GLE has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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