2019 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the GLE uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The GX460 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the GLE and the GX460 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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 GX460 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 59 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

Engine

The GLE 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 28 more horsepower (329 vs. 301) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8. The AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 84 more horsepower (385 vs. 301) and 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the AMG GLE 43 is faster than the Lexus GX460:

 

GLE

GX460

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

21.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

7.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.4 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GLE gets better fuel mileage than the GX460:

 

 

 

MPG

GLE

 

AWD

400 3.0 twin turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

 

450 3.0 twin turbo V6

17 city/23 hwy

GX460

 

AWD

4.6 V8

15 city/18 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GX460 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLE’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GX460 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The GLE has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the GX460 (24.6 vs. 23 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 a six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GLE’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GX460:

 

GLE

AMG GLE 43

GX460

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the GX460:

 

GLE

GX460

 

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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 GX460’s standard 60 series tires. The AMG GLE 43’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the GX460. The AMG GLE 43 offers optional 21-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes GLE has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Lexus GX460 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear 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 GX460 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the GX460 (114.8 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the GX460.

The AMG GLE 43 handles at .77 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the GX460’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLE AIRMATIC has a 1.9 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GX460 (10 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Mercedes GLE may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 400 pounds less than the Lexus GX460.

The GLE is 3 inches shorter than the GX460, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the GLE’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The GX460 uses body-on-frame design instead.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the AMG GLE 43 is quieter than the GX460 (38 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The GLE has .9 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, 4.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the GX460.

The front step up height for the GLE is 1.7 inches lower than the GX460 (20” vs. 21.7”). The GLE’s rear step up height is 2 inches lower than the GX460’s (20” vs. 22”).

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GX460 with all its rear seats folded (80.3 vs. 64.7 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 GX460’s liftover is 33.8 inches.

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 GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the GLE has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the GX460’s (7200 vs. 6500 pounds).

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the GX460, 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 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 GX460’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 GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The GLE’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

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 GX460 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 GX460 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 GX460 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the GX460, including $96 less for a starter, $35 less for a fuel pump and $861 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Lexus GX460 by 87% during the 2018 model year.

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

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