2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2018 Porsche Macan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The GLE’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Macan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The GLE has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Macan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the GLE and the Macan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 507 to 1085 pounds more than the Porsche Macan. 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 Macan has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Engine

The GLE has more powerful engines than the Macan:

 

Horsepower

Torque

GLE 400 3.0 turbo V6

329 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

AMG GLE 43 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

Macan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

252 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Macan S 3.0 turbo V6

340 HP

339 lbs.-ft.

Macan GTS 3.0 turbo V6

360 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

The GLE has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Macan (24.6 vs. 19.8 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 seven-speed automatic is available for the Macan.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

GLE

Macan

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the Macan:

 

GLE

Macan

 

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 Macan (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R19).

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 Macan’s standard 60 series front and 55 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Macan.

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 Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the Macan (114.8 inches vs. 110.5 inches).

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.6% to 47.4%) than the Macan’s (54.7% to 45.3%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the GLE AIRMATIC has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Macan Air Suspension (10 vs. 9.1 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the AMG GLE 43 is quieter than the Macan Turbo:

 

GLE

Macan

At idle

38 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The GLE has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Macan (103 vs. 96).

The GLE has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Macan.

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

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Macan with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Macan with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 53 cubic feet).

The GLE’s cargo area is larger than the Macan’s in almost every dimension:

 

GLE

Macan

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

39.5”/68”

39”/68.5”

Max Width

49”

46.7”

Min Width

40.5”

41”

Height

35.5”

29”

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Macan’s (7200 vs. 4409 pounds).

Ergonomics

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 Macan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The GLE’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Macan.

If the windows are left open on the GLE the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Macan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Macan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

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 Macan doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GLE has standard extendable sun visors. The Macan doesn’t offer extendable 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 Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the GLE owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the GLE will cost $335 less than the Macan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Macan because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Macan, including $349 less for a muffler, $58 less for front brake pads, $111 less for front struts and $770 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Porsche Macan by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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