2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

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 GMC Acadia 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 GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, 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.

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 Acadia was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

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 Acadia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The GLE’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 36 points higher than the Acadia.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 18th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 12 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 136 more horsepower (329 vs. 193) and 166 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 188) than the Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The GLE 400’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 19 more horsepower (329 vs. 310) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 75 more horsepower (385 vs. 310) and 113 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the AMG GLE 43 is faster than the GMC Acadia V6:

 

GLE

Acadia

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

17.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.4 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15 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 Acadia doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the GLE’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) GMC only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Acadia 4 cyl.

The GLE has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 21.7 gallons).

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 Acadia.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

GLE

AMG GLE 43

Acadia

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

12.4 inches

The GLE stops shorter than the Acadia:

 

GLE

Acadia

 

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Acadia (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Acadia (265/45R20 vs. 255/65R17).

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 Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The AMG GLE 43’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia. The AMG GLE 43’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Acadia.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the Acadia (114.8 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.6% to 47.4%) than the Acadia’s (56.5% to 43.5%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the GLE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8 vs. 7.2 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 Acadia All Terrain (10 vs. 7.8 inches).

Chassis

The GLE is 4.5 inches shorter than the Acadia, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the AMG GLE 43 is quieter than the Acadia Denali AWD:

 

GLE

Acadia

At idle

38 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

68 dB

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Acadia with all its rear seats folded (80.3 vs. 79 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the GLE easier. The GLE’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the Acadia’s liftover is 32 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLE. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (7200 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Acadia. 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 GMC. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, GMC is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Acadia (except SL/SLE), 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’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 Acadia, and is not available on all models.

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 Acadia’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically. The Acadia’s optional windows’ passenger windows don’t close automatically.

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 Acadia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia’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 Acadia 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 Acadia’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 Acadia is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $153 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Acadia, including $780 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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