2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 BMW X4

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 BMW X4 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 X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the GLE and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 428 to 840 pounds more than the BMW X4. 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 X4 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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.

Engine

The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 81 more horsepower (329 vs. 248) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 258) than the X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 30 more horsepower (385 vs. 355) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 365) than the X4 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The X4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The GLE has 7.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the X4 (24.6 vs. 17.2 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the X4.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GLE’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X4:

 

GLE

AMG GLE 43

X4 xDrive30i

X4 M40i

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

12.9 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the X4 (255/50R19 vs. 245/50R19). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X4 (265/45R20 vs. 245/40R20).

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 X4 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 X4 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 X4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the X4 (114.8 inches vs. 112.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.6 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the X4.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the X4’s (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLE AIRMATIC has a 2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X4 (10 vs. 8 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The GLE has 5.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X4 (103 vs. 97.8).

The GLE has 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X4.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLE’s rear seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X4 with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X4 with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

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.

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 X4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X4, 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.

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 X4 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 X4 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 $1065 less than the X4 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the BMW X4 by over 11 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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