2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the CX-9’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 GLE doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the CX-9 and the GLE 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-9 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLE. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLE ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 52 percent more Mazda dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-9’s warranty.

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 CX-9’s reliability 19 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

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

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 gets better fuel mileage than the GLE:

 

 

 

MPG

CX-9

 

FWD

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

GLE

 

AWD

400 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

 

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-9 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-9 stops shorter than the GLE:

 

CX-9

GLE

 

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the AMG GLE 43 pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.1 seconds quicker than the GLE (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.8 vs. 8 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Mazda CX-9 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 600 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CX-9 Signature AWD is quieter than the AMG GLE 43:

 

CX-9

GLE

At idle

37 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

66 dB

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the GLE can only carry 5.

The CX-9 has 32.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLE (135.1 vs. 103).

The CX-9 has .4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more rear legroom than the GLE.

The front step up height for the CX-9 is 1.7 inches lower than the GLE (18.3” vs. 20”). The CX-9’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the GLE’s (18.8” vs. 20”).

Cargo Capacity

The CX-9’s cargo area is larger than the GLE’s in almost every dimension:

 

CX-9

GLE

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

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

n.a./39.5”/68”

Max Width

57.2”

49”

Min Width

40”

40.5”

Height

30.3”

35.5”

Ergonomics

The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature 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 GLE doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-9 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.

Model Availability

The CX-9 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLE doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-9 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-9 will cost $1260 to $4600 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $261 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the GLE, including $253 less for a muffler, $136 less for front brake pads, $358 less for a starter, $345 less for fuel injection, $152 less for front struts and $475 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-9 will be $16703 to $21483 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-9, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 4 of the last 12 years. The GLE has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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