2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

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

Both the Acadia and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Acadia the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLS has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Acadia 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.

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

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Acadia. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLS.

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 fuel mileage than the GLS 450 V6 (17 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLS 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 GLS doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia stops much shorter than the GLS:

 

Acadia

GLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

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 GLS 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 GLS doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the GLS 450 (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Acadia’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the GLS’ (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1350 to 1400 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.

The Acadia is 8.4 inches shorter than the GLS, making the Acadia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 GLS 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 GLS doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Acadia has .7 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear shoulder room and 3.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.

Cargo Capacity

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

The Acadia 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 Acadia is available in both front-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 Acadia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Acadia will cost $1875 to $8780 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the GLS because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the GLS, including $338 less for a water pump, $172 less for a muffler, $30 less for front brake pads, $304 less for a starter, $261 less for fuel injection, $47 less for a fuel pump, $305 less for front struts and $104 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 $37928 to $72041 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations

The GMC Acadia outsold the Mercedes GLS by over four to one during 2018.

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

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