2019 GMC Yukon vs. 2019 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Yukon are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear 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 G-Class has only front height-adjustable 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 Yukon are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The G-Class doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Yukon 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 G-Class doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Yukon and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Yukon 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.

The Yukon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the G-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

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 Yukon’s warranty.

Reliability

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

Engine

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 4 more horsepower (420 vs. 416) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Yukon

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/22 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/21 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 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 GMC Yukon uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali for maximum performance). The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Yukon 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.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

The Yukon stops much shorter than the G-Class:

Yukon

G-Class

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

The Yukon’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 GMC Yukon’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.

The Yukon 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 G-Class doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Yukon offers an optional automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Yukon’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Yukon’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the G-Class (116 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon is 4.2 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the G-Class.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the G 550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.2 seconds quicker than the G 550 (27.5 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Yukon’s turning circle is 5.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (39 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Yukon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

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

The front grille of the Yukon uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The G-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition//Denali uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The G-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Yukon offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Yukon has 13.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the G-Class (120.8 vs. 107).

The Yukon has .9 inches more front headroom, 6.6 inches more front legroom, 7 inches more front shoulder room and 7.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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

Yukon

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

68.5 cubic feet

The Yukon’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 Yukon’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, especially for short adults, the Yukon offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Yukon SLT/Denali, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes G-Class is limited to 7700 pounds. The Yukon offers up to an 8500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Yukon’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.

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Yukon has a standard rear fixed 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

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

Recommendations

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over 20 to one during 2018.

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

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