2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 BMW X5

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 X5 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 X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the GLE and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal 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.

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 X5 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 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 330) than the X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The GLE has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (24.6 vs. 21.9 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 X5.

Suspension and Handling

The GLE has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X5 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 X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLE AIRMATIC has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (10 vs. 8.7 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The GLE is 5.2 inches shorter than the X5, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The GLE has .5 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X5 5-Passenger with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 33.9 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X5 with all its rear seats folded (80.3 vs. 72.3 cubic feet).

The GLE’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the X5’s (7200 vs. 6603 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.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5, 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 X5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 X5 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the BMW X5 by 5% during the 2018 model year.

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

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