2019 Dodge Durango vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Durango GT/Citadel/R/T’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 Durango and the GLE 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and front and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

Engine

The Durango’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 384) than the AMG GLE 43’s optional 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Durango gets better fuel mileage than the GLE:

 

 

 

MPG

Durango

 

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

GLE

 

AWD

400 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

 

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Durango V8’s fuel efficiency. The GLE doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Dodge Durango uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The GLE requires premium, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The Durango stops shorter than the GLE:

 

Durango

GLE

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Durango has larger tires than the GLE (265/60R18 vs. 255/50R19).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Durango’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the GLE (119.8 inches vs. 114.8 inches).

The Durango R/T 4x4 handles at .80 G’s, while the GLE pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Durango R/T 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the GLE (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Durango has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.1 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Durango to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

The Durango offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the GLE can only carry 5.

The Durango has 37.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLE (140.3 vs. 103).

The Durango has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and .2 inches more rear legroom than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Durango

GLE

Third Seat Folded

43.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

85.1 cubic feet

80.3 cubic feet

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

 

Durango

GLE

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

20”/50”/83”

n.a./39.5”/68”

Max Width

49”

49”

Min Width

42.5”

40.5”

Height

36”

35.5”

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes GLE is limited to 7200 pounds. The Durango offers up to a 7400 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Durango’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 GLE does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Durango owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Durango will cost $140 to $4045 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Durango is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $135 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Durango than the GLE, including $282 less for a water pump, $323 less for a muffler, $98 less for front brake pads, $191 less for a starter, $339 less for fuel injection, $37 less for a fuel pump, $39 less for front struts and $505 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Dodge Durango will be $18838 to $19385 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Durango second among midsize SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GLE isn’t in the top three.

The Dodge Durango outsold the Mercedes GLE by 43% during 2018.

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

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