2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle 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 GLE doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle 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 Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLE doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia 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 GLE doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

To help make backing safer, the Acadia (except SL)’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 Acadia and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Acadia 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.

The Acadia’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLE’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Acadia for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLE.

There are almost 5 times as many GMC dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Acadia AWD V6 gets better highway fuel mileage than the AMG GLE 43 3.0 twin turbo V6 (385 HP) (17 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia 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 GLE doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes GLE only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia 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 GLE doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the AMG GLE 43 pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.9 seconds quicker than the GLE (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 800 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLE doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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

Passenger Space

The Acadia has standard seating for 7 passengers; the GLE can only carry 5.

The Acadia has 40.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLE (143.8 vs. 103).

The Acadia has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLE.

The front step up height for the Acadia is 2 inches lower than the GLE (18” vs. 20”). The Acadia’s rear step up height is 1 inches lower than the GLE’s (19” vs. 20”).

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Acadia

GLE

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

18.5”/48”/83”

n.a./39.5”/68”

Max Width

50”

49”

Min Width

42.5”

40.5”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Acadia’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLE doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GLE doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Acadia 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 Acadia is available in both front-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 Acadia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Acadia will cost $1745 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the GLE because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the GLE, including $122 less for a water pump, $245 less for a muffler, $47 less for front brake pads, $284 less for a starter, $268 less for fuel injection, $47 less for a fuel pump, $286 less for front struts and $71 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the GMC Acadia will be $19248 to $19286 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

The GMC Acadia outsold the Mercedes GLE by almost two to one during 2018.

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

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