2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 GMC Terrain

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 Terrain 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 Terrain doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Terrain 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 Terrain 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 Terrain.

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 Terrain doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Terrain have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 936 to 1538 pounds more than the GMC Terrain. 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 Terrain 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 Terrain’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 Terrain’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 21 points higher than the Terrain.

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 159 more horsepower (329 vs. 170) and 151 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 203) than the Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The GLE 400’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 77 more horsepower (329 vs. 252) and 94 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 260) than the Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 133 more horsepower (385 vs. 252) and 124 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 260) than the Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 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 Terrain doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The GLE has 9.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE has 9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 15.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

GLE

AMG GLE 43

Terrain 1.5T/Diesel

Terrain 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The GLE’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Terrain are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops shorter than the Terrain:

 

GLE

Terrain

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Terrain (255/50R19 vs. 225/65R17). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Terrain (265/45R20 vs. 235/50R19).

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 Terrain’s standard 65 series tires. The AMG GLE 43’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Terrain’s optional 50 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The GLE has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the GLE flat and controlled during cornering. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Terrain 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 Terrain’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 Terrain 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 Terrain doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 7.5 inches longer than on the Terrain (114.8 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Terrain.

For greater off-road capability the GLE has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Terrain SLE (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 2.1 inches higher than on the Terrain SLT/Denali (10 vs. 7.9 inches).

Passenger Space

The GLE has 1.3 inches more front shoulder room and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Terrain.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Terrain with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 29.6 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Terrain with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 63.3 cubic feet).

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

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Terrain’s (7200 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The GLE uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Terrain uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Terrain. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because 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 Terrain (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 Terrain, and is not available on all models.

The GLE’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Terrain’s 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 Terrain can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Terrain’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Terrain 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 Terrain’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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

The GLE has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Terrain and isn’t available on the Terrain SL.

The GLE’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Terrain SL doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

The GLE’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Terrain’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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

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

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