2019 Dodge Durango SRT vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Durango SRT has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The GLS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the Durango SRT’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 Durango SRT and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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

There are over 6 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Durango SRT’s warranty.

Reliability

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

Engine

The Durango SRT’s 6.4 V8 produces 113 more horsepower (475 vs. 362) and 101 lbs.-ft. more torque (470 vs. 369) than the GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The Durango SRT’s 6.4 V8 produces 26 more horsepower (475 vs. 449) than the GLS 550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Dodge Durango SRT is faster than the GLS 450:

 

Durango

GLS

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.1 sec

14.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.1 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

13.3 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

98 MPH

Top Speed

160 MPH

133 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Dodge Durango SRT is faster than the AMG GLS 63:

 

Durango

GLS

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

4.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.1 sec

5.5 sec

Top Speed

160 MPH

156 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Durango SRT’s fuel efficiency. The GLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Transmission

The Durango SRT’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 GLS doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Durango

GLS

Front Rotors

15 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Durango SRT stops much shorter than the GLS:

 

Durango

GLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Durango SRT has larger tires than the GLS (295/45R20 vs. 275/55R19).

The Durango SRT’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLS’ standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Durango SRT has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the GLS.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Durango SRT 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 Durango SRT handles at .87 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The design of the Dodge Durango SRT amounts to more than styling. The Durango SRT has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .35 Cd. That is lower than the GLS (.37 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Durango SRT get better fuel mileage.

The Durango SRT uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLS doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

The Durango SRT’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLS.

 

Durango SRT

GLS

Behind Third Seat

17.2 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Towing

The Durango SRT’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the GLS’ (8700 vs. 7500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Durango SRT’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the GLS.

The Durango SRT’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 GLS does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

The Durango SRT has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the GLS.

The Durango SRT 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Durango SRT owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Durango SRT will cost $1800 to $6905 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

The Durango SRT will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Durango SRT will retain 50.35% of its original price after five years, while the GLS only retains 43.11% to 44.05%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Dodge Durango SRT will be $10752 to $59389 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations

The Dodge Durango outsold the Mercedes GLS by over three to one during 2018.

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

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