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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 Nissan Murano 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 Murano doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLE. But it costs extra on the Murano.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLE’s standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Murano doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.
The GLE’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Murano doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
Both the GLE and the Murano 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
The Mercedes GLE weighs 687 to 1219 pounds more than the Nissan Murano. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
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 Murano was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.
The GLE comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Murano’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 69 more horsepower (329 vs. 260) and 114 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 125 more horsepower (385 vs. 260) and 144 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the GLE Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Murano 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 Murano doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The GLE has 5.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Murano (24.6 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the GLE’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Murano:
AMG GLE 43
For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Murano (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Murano (265/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).
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 Murano’s standard 65 series tires. The AMG GLE 43’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Murano’s optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Murano. The AMG GLE 43’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Murano.
The GLE has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Murano’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
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 Murano doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.
The GLE has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Murano’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The GLE has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Murano doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
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 Murano doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Murano (114.8 inches vs. 111.2 inches).
The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.6% to 47.4%) than the Murano’s (58.6% to 41.4%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.
For greater off-road capability the GLE has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Murano (8 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLE AIRMATIC’s minimum ground clearance is 3.1 inches higher than on the Murano (10 vs. 6.9 inches).
The GLE is 3.7 inches shorter than the Murano, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Murano with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 32.1 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Murano with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 67 cubic feet).
The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Murano’s (7200 vs. 1500 pounds).
The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Murano. 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 Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 44% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Murano SL/Platinum, 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 power windows standard on both the GLE and the Murano have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLE is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Murano prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The GLE’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Murano’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
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 Murano S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s 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 Murano 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 Murano’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the GLE detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Murano doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Murano doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GLE also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
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 Murano doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.
The GLE’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Murano and aren’t offered on the Murano S.
The GLE has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Murano offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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 Murano doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The GLE’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Murano doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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 Murano 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 Murano only retains 41.28% to 43.8%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Murano because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Murano, including $45 less for a fuel pump and $517 less for a timing belt/chain.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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