2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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 Jeep Grand Cherokee 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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLE. But it costs extra on the Grand Cherokee.

The GLE offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Grand Cherokee only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Grand Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mercedes GLE is safer than the Grand Cherokee:

 

GLE

Grand Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

4 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.5/1.4 kN

4.9/2.3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

3%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.89/.71

1.06/.54

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 Grand Cherokee was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

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

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the GLE have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

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 23 points higher than the Grand Cherokee.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, 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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 6 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 34 more horsepower (329 vs. 295) and 94 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 260) than the Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 25 more horsepower (385 vs. 360) than the Grand Cherokee’s optional 5.7 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GLE gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee:

 

 

 

MPG

GLE

 

AWD

400 3.0 twin turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

 

450 3.0 twin turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

Grand Cherokee

 

AWD

V8

14 city/22 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Grand Cherokee 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.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Grand Cherokee V6.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mercedes GLE as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Jeep Grand Cherokee is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

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 Grand Cherokee.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

GLE

AMG GLE 43

Grand Cherokee V6

Grand Cherokee V8/Diesel

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 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 standard on the Grand Cherokee V6 are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

 

GLE

Grand Cherokee

 

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Grand Cherokee (255/50R19 vs. 245/70R17).

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 Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires. The AMG GLE 43’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Grand Cherokee’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 Grand Cherokee Laredo. The AMG GLE 43’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Grand Cherokee.

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 Grand Cherokee 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 Grand Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Grand Cherokee.

The AMG GLE 43 handles at .77 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the AMG GLE 43 is quieter than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (38 vs. 45 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Grand Cherokee with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 36.3 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Grand Cherokee with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 68.3 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 Grand Cherokee’s liftover is 32.4 inches.

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

 

GLE

Grand Cherokee

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

39.5”/68”

38.5”/74.2”

Max Width

49”

47.6”

Min Width

40.5”

41.7”

Height

35.5”

33.5”

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Grand Cherokee’s (7200 vs. 6200 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 84% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Grand Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland/Summit, 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 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 Grand Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Grand Cherokee can only operate 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 Grand Cherokee’s standard 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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Grand Cherokee, including $561 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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