2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Land Rover Discovery

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Discovery 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 Land Rover Discovery doesn’t offer height-adjustable 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 Discovery doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the GLE and the Discovery have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 Discovery has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

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 41 points higher than the Discovery.

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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 68 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 31st, 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 57 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 45 more horsepower (385 vs. 340) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

GLE

 

AWD

400 3.0 twin turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

 

450 3.0 twin turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

Discovery

 

AWD

3.0 supercharged V6

16 city/21 hwy

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

The GLE has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 22.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Gas’ standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 23.5 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mercedes GLE as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Land Rover Discovery 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 Discovery.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the AMG GLE 43’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Discovery:

 

AMG GLE 43

Discovery

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

14.2 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the Discovery:

 

GLE

Discovery

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Discovery (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R19).

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 Discovery’s standard 65 series tires.

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

The GLE handles at .71 G’s, while the Discovery HSE Luxury pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Discovery’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

The GLE is 6.6 inches shorter than the Discovery, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The GLE is 5.4 inches narrower than the Discovery, making the GLE easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

The GLE has 1.3 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more rear legroom than the Discovery.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Land Rover. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 56% lower rating, Land Rover is ranked 23rd.

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 Discovery doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Discovery doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its optional heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

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 Discovery doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GLE has standard extendable sun visors. The Discovery doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Discovery doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Land Rover Discovery by over five to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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