2019 Ford Expedition vs. 2019 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Expedition (except XLT) offers an optional 360-Degree Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The G-Class only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Expedition and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Expedition 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.

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

Reliability

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The Expedition 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 rated the Expedition first among large SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The G-Class isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The Expedition’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (470 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Expedition

RWD

3.5 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

17 city/22 hwy

G-Class

AWD

550 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/17 hwy

AMG 63 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/15 hwy

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

The Expedition has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The G-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Ford Expedition higher (5 out of 10) than the Mercedes G-Class (3). This means the Expedition produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the G-Class every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Expedition, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Expedition stops shorter than the G-Class:

Expedition

G-Class

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

The Expedition’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 Ford Expedition’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.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Ford Expedition has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mercedes G-Class has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Expedition 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.

The Expedition’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The G-Class doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Expedition’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the G-Class (122.5 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Expedition is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the G-Class.

The Expedition XLT 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the G 550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Expedition XLT 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.1 seconds quicker than the G 550 (27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Expedition’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (41 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Expedition has a greater minimum ground clearance than the G-Class (9.8 vs. 9.5 inches), allowing the Expedition to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Ford Expedition may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

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

Passenger Space

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The Expedition has standard seating for 8 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Expedition has 64.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the G-Class (171.9 vs. 107).

The Expedition has .1 inches more front headroom, 5.2 inches more front legroom, 7.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear legroom and 7.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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

Expedition

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

57.5 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

104.6 cubic feet

68.5 cubic feet

The Expedition’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 Expedition’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 when your hands are full, the Expedition’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes G-Class is limited to 7700 pounds. The Expedition offers up to a 9300 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Expedition’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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Expedition has a standard rear variable 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

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford Expedition, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Ford Expedition/Expedition Max outsold the Mercedes G-Class by almost 14 to one during 2018.

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