2019 Lexus GX460 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lexus GX460 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes GLE has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the GX460’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 GX460 and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GX460 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLE. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GLE ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The GX460’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLE’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the GX460’s reliability 43 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 48 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Brakes and Stopping

The GX460 stops shorter than the GLE:

 

GX460

GLE

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GX460 has larger tires than the GLE (265/60R18 vs. 255/50R19).

The Lexus GX460’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.

Suspension and Handling

The GX460 handles at .73 G’s, while the GLE pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GX460 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the GLE (28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the GX460 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.1 vs. 8 inches), allowing the GX460 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The design of the Lexus GX460 amounts to more than styling. The GX460 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .35 Cd. That is lower than the GLE (.37). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GX460 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the GX460 is quieter than the AMG GLE 43 (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The GX460 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the GLE can only carry 5.

The GX460 has 26.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLE (129.7 vs. 103).

The GX460 has 1.4 inches more front legroom and 1.9 inches more rear headroom than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

The GX460’s cargo area is larger than the GLE’s in almost every dimension:

 

GX460

GLE

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

9.8”/39”/75”

n.a./39.5”/68”

Max Width

54.6”

49”

Min Width

43.4”

40.5”

Height

35.5”

35.5”

The GX460’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the right swing out door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The GLE’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the GX460 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GX460 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The GLE doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the GX460 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the GX460 will cost $980 to $4040 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

The GX460 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GX460 will retain 50.63% to 53.31% of its original price after five years, while the GLE only retains 46.84% to 49.97%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GX460 is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $234 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GX460 than the GLE, including $116 less for a water pump, $112 less for a muffler, $171 less for front brake pads, $149 less for fuel injection, $345 less for front struts and $26 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus GX460 will be $2941 to $9034 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

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

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