2019 Dodge Durango vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Both the Durango 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, 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 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’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Durango

 

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

 

 

5.7 Hemi V8

14 city/22 hwy

 

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

 

 

5.7 Hemi V8

14 city/22 hwy

GLS

 

AWD

450 3.0 turboV6

16 city/22 hwy

 

 

4.7 turbo V8

14 city/19 hwy

 

 

5.5 turbo V8

13 city/18 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Durango V8’s fuel efficiency. The GLS 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 GLS requires premium, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The Durango stops much shorter than the GLS:

 

Durango

GLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Durango GT 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Durango R/T 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLS 450 (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Durango has a greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLS 63 (8.1 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Durango to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Dodge Durango may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 650 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.

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 GLS (.37 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Durango get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Durango

GLS

Behind Third Seat

17.2 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

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 GLS 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 GLS only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Durango 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.

Model Availability

The Durango is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLS 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 $2070 to $8355 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

The Durango will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Durango will retain 44.54% to 51.14% 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 Durango is less expensive to operate than the GLS because it costs $144 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Durango than the GLS, including $498 less for a water pump, $250 less for a muffler, $81 less for front brake pads, $211 less for a starter, $332 less for fuel injection, $37 less for a fuel pump, $58 less for front struts and $538 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 $38065 to $71593 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

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 GLS was rated third in its category.

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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