2019 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2019 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Suburban are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes G-Class has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The G-Class doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The G-Class doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Suburban and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Suburban 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the G-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the G-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Suburban’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the G-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Suburban. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the G-Class.

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’s warranty.

Reliability

The Suburban has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The G-Class doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Suburban’s optional 6.2 V8 produces 4 more horsepower (420 vs. 416) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Suburban gets better fuel mileage than the G-Class:

 

 

 

MPG

Suburban

 

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/22 hwy

 

 

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/23 hwy

 

4WD

5.3 OHV V8

14 city/21 hwy

 

 

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/20 hwy

G-Class

 

4WD

550 4.0 twin turbo V8

13 city/17 hwy

 

 

AMG 63 4.0 twin turbo V8

13 city/15 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Suburban uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 6.2 V8 engine for maximum performance). The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Suburban has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the G-Class (31 vs. 26.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

The Suburban stops much shorter than the G-Class:

 

Suburban

G-Class

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Suburban’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the G-Class (285/45R22 vs. 275/55R19).

The Suburban’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the G-Class’ optional 50 series tires.

The Chevrolet Suburban’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes G-Class only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Suburban 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 G-Class doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Suburban offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban’s wheelbase is 16.2 inches longer than on the G-Class (130 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Suburban is 4.2 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the G-Class.

The Suburban Premier handles at .77 G’s, while the G 550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Suburban Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.9 seconds quicker than the G 550 (27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Suburban’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (43 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

For excellent aerodynamics, the Suburban LS/LT has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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

Passenger Space

The Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Suburban has .9 inches more front headroom, 6.6 inches more front legroom, 7 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and 7.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

The Suburban’s cargo area provides more volume than the G-Class.

 

Suburban

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.1 cubic feet

68.5 cubic feet

The Suburban’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The G-Class’ swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

The Suburban’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The G-Class’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Suburban LT/Premier has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes G-Class is limited to 7700 pounds. The Suburban offers up to a 8300 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Suburban’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The G-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Suburban Premier offers an optional 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 G-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

Model Availability

The Suburban is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The G-Class doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chevrolet Suburban, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over 15 to one during 2018.

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

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