2019 Lincoln Navigator L vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Navigator L’s 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 Navigator L and the GLS 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 and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Navigator L 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.

There are over 2 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Navigator L’s warranty.

Reliability

The Navigator L 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 reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The GLS 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’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 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 Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Navigator L’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 88 more horsepower (450 vs. 362) and 141 lbs.-ft. more torque (510 vs. 369) than the GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The Navigator L’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 1 more horsepower (450 vs. 449) than the GLS 550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Lincoln Navigator L is faster than the GLS 450:

 

Navigator

GLS

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.3 sec

9.4 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln Navigator L uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Navigator L has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLS (28.3 vs. 26.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Navigator L 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.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lincoln Navigator L, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the GLS.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Navigator L has standard 22-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the GLS.

The Lincoln Navigator L’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.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Navigator L’s wheelbase is 10.5 inches longer than on the GLS (131.6 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Navigator L is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLS.

The Navigator L Black Label 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Navigator L has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLS 63 (9.6 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Navigator L to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Navigator L 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 Navigator L 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.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Navigator L Black Label 4x4 is quieter than the GLS 450 (70 vs. 71 dB).

Passenger Space

The Navigator L has standard seating for 8 passengers; the GLS can only carry 7.

The Navigator L has 21.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLS (165.3 vs. 143.6).

The Navigator L has 3.6 inches more front legroom, 6.7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear legroom, 6.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.1 inches more third row legroom and 13.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Navigator L’s middle and third row seats recline. The GLS’ third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Navigator L’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLS.

 

Navigator L

GLS

Behind Third Seat

34.3 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

73.3 cubic feet

49.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.2 cubic feet

93.8 cubic feet

The Navigator L’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The GLS’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Navigator L’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.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes GLS is limited to 7500 pounds. The Navigator L offers up to a 7900 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Navigator L’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.

The Navigator L 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 GLS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Navigator L’s exterior PIN entry system. The GLS doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Navigator L has a standard rear variable 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 Navigator L has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the GLS.

The Navigator L 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lincoln Navigator L has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLS doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lincoln Navigator L has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLS doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

The Navigator L is available in both rear-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 Navigator L owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Navigator L will cost $620 to $6140 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

Recommendations

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Navigator as the 2018 North American Truck of the Year. The GLS has never been chosen.

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

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