2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2018 BMW X6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLE have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X6 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLE 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 BMW X6 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLE. But it costs extra on the X6.

Both the GLE and the X6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the GLE the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X6 has not been tested, yet.


There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.


The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 29 more horsepower (329 vs. 300) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 300) than the X6 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The GLE has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the X6 (24.6 vs. 22.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLE, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X6.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the AMG GLE 43’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X6:




X6 s/xDrive35i

X6 xDrive50i

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

13.7 inches

14.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Suspension and Handling

The GLE offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The X6 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The GLE’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The X6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the X6’s (38.7 feet vs. 42 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLE AIRMATIC has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X6 (10 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.


The GLE is 4.7 inches shorter than the X6, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The GLE has .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the X6.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLE’s rear seats recline. The X6’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X6 with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 26.6 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X6 with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 59.7 cubic feet).


The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the X6’s (7200 vs. 6000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.


The GLE has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer fluid is optional on the GLE to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The X6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the GLE has a standard rear wiper. The X6 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the GLE has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The X6 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The GLE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the GLE owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the GLE will cost $2570 to $6360 less than the X6 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the X6 because it costs $54 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the X6, including $569 less for a water pump, $766 less for a muffler, $13 less for front brake pads, $225 less for a fuel pump, $26 less for front struts, $447 less for a timing belt/chain and $1088 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes GLE will be $12215 to $14599 less than for the BMW X6.


Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2016 issue and they ranked the Mercedes GLE higher than the BMW X6 xDrive35i.

The Mercedes GLE outsold the BMW X6 by almost seven to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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