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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 GLS doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.
The GX460 has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The GLS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
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 GLS doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the GX460 and the GLS 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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.
Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GX460 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The GX460’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLS’ (6 vs. 5 years).
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 31 points higher than the GLS.
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.
The GX460 stops much shorter than the GLS:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
The Lexus GX460’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.
For greater off-road capability the GX460 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLS 63 (8.1 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the GX460 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Lexus GX460 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 550 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.
The GX460 is 9.9 inches shorter than the GLS, making the GX460 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
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 GLS (.37 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GX460 get better fuel mileage.
The GX460 has 1.4 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and 4 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GX460’s middle row seats recline, and the GX460 Luxury’s third row seats also recline. The GLS’ third row seats don’t recline.
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 GLS’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.
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.
The GX460’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the GLS.
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 GLS only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
Consumer Reports rated the GX460’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the GLS’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”
The GX460 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.
Insurance will cost less for the GX460 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the GX460 will cost $2910 to $8350 less than the GLS 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 GLS only retains 43.11% to 44.05%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GX460 is less expensive to operate than the GLS because it costs $243 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GX460 than the GLS, including $332 less for a water pump, $39 less for a muffler, $154 less for front brake pads, $142 less for fuel injection, $364 less for front struts and $59 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 $21621 to $61789 less than for the Mercedes GLS.
The Lexus GX460 outsold the Mercedes GLS by 22% during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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