2019 Land Rover Discovery vs. 2019 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Discovery offers an optional Surround Camera System 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.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Discovery uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The G-Class uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Discovery and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Discovery Td6 gets better fuel mileage than the G 550 (21 city/26 hwy vs. 13 city/17 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Discovery 3.0 Supercharged gets better fuel mileage than the G 550 (16 city/21 hwy vs. 13 city/17 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Discovery’s brake rotors are larger than those on the G-Class:

 

Discovery

G-Class

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Discovery stops much shorter than the G-Class:

 

Discovery

G-Class

 

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Discovery’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the G-Class (285/40R22 vs. 275/55R19).

The Discovery’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the G-Class’ optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Land Rover Discovery 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Discovery’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the G-Class (115 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Discovery is 2 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the G-Class.

The Discovery HSE Luxury handles at .72 G’s, while the G 550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Discovery HSE Luxury executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the G 550 (28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Discovery’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (40.4 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Discovery Air Suspension has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the G-Class (11.1 vs. 9.5 inches), allowing the Discovery to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Land Rover Discovery may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 900 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

Unibody construction lowers the Discovery’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The G-Class uses body-on-frame design instead.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Discovery 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 Discovery 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.

Passenger Space

The Discovery offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Discovery has .3 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Discovery

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

40.2 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

43.5 cubic feet

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

88.3 cubic feet

68.5 cubic feet

The Discovery’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.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Discovery’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

The Discovery’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the G-Class’ (8201 vs. 7700 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Discovery to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The G-Class doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Discovery 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.

Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Discovery’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The G-Class doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

Recommendations

The Land Rover Discovery outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over two to one during 2018.

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

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