2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2018 Lincoln MKX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The GLE’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The GLE has standard NECK-PRO front head restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO front head restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLE’s standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

Both the GLE and the Lincoln MKX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 Lincoln MKX was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

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 GLE’s reliability 32 points higher than the Lincoln MKX.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 26 more horsepower (329 vs. 303) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 278) than the Lincoln MKX’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 50 more horsepower (385 vs. 335) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 380) than the Lincoln MKX’s optional 2.7 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the AMG GLE 43 is faster than the Lincoln MKX twin turbo V6:

 

GLE

MKX

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

18.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLE’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The GLE has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Lincoln MKX (24.6 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLE, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Lincoln MKX.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GLE’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Lincoln MKX:

 

GLE

AMG GLE 43

MKX

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

11.6 inches

The GLE’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Lincoln MKX are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops much shorter than the Lincoln MKX:

 

GLE

Lincoln MKX

 

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Lincoln MKX (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18).

The GLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Lincoln MKX Premiere/Select’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Lincoln MKX Premiere/Select.

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 Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The GLE has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the Lincoln MKX (114.8 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.6% to 47.4%) than the Lincoln MKX’s (58.3% to 41.7%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the GLE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Lincoln MKX (8 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLE AIRMATIC’s minimum ground clearance is 2.2 inches higher than on the Lincoln MKX (10 vs. 7.8 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the AMG GLE 43 is quieter than the Lincoln MKX Reserve AWD (38 vs. 41 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Lincoln MKX with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 37.2 cubic feet). The GLE has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Lincoln MKX with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 68.8 cubic feet).

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Lincoln MKX’s (7200 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Lincoln MKX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 8% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Lincoln MKX, the GLE offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GLE has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The GLE’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Lincoln MKX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The GLE’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Lincoln MKX’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Lincoln MKX doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

When the GLE is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Lincoln MKX’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the GLE owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the GLE with a number “8” insurance rate while the Lincoln MKX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The GLE will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GLE will retain 46.84% to 49.97% of its original price after five years, while the Lincoln MKX only retains 41.53% to 42.39%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Lincoln MKX because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Lincoln MKX, including $620 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Lincoln MKX by 78% during the 2018 model year.

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

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