2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

Both the Q7 and GLS 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 GLS’ 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 GLS 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 GLS doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

Both the Q7 and the GLS 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 night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q7 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLS has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLS’ (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the GLS 550 4.7 turbo V8:

 

Q7

GLS

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

97.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 55 TFSI V6 gets better fuel mileage than the GLS 450 V6 (19 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q7

GLS

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the GLS:

 

Q7

GLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 GLS doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the GLS 450 (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLS 63 (8.3 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Audi Q7 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 650 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.

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 GLS (.37 to .38) 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 GLS 450 (70 vs. 71 dB).

Passenger Space

The Q7 has 1.4 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLS.

Cargo Capacity

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 GLS 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 GLS is limited to 7500 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 GLS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

The Q7 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the GLS.

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 GLS 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 GLS 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 GLS is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Q7 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q7 will retain 4.96% to 83.4% of its original price after five years, while the GLS only retains 43.11% to 44.05%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the GLS because typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the GLS, including $422 less for a water pump, $37 less for front brake pads, $90 less for a fuel pump and $653 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 $21893 to $54109 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLS isn't recommended.

The Audi Q7 outsold the Mercedes GLS by 67% during the 2018 model year.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos