2019 Mercedes GLS vs. 2019 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLS 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 BMW X7 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLS 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 BMW X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the GLS helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The X7 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the GLS and the X7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.


There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLS’ warranty.


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 GLS’ reliability 14 points higher than the X7.


The GLS has more powerful engines than the X7:



GLS 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GLS 550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG GLS 63 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

561 lbs.-ft.

X7 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

X7 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

456 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GLS gets better fuel mileage than the X7




3.0 Turbo V6

16 city/22 hwy



4.4 Turbo V8

15 city/21 hwy

The GLS has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the X7 (26.4 vs. 21.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes GLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X7.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLS 550/63’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X7 (295/40R21 vs. 285/45R21).

Suspension and Handling

The GLS’ 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 X7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLS’ turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the X7’s (40.7 feet vs. 42.8 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 3.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X7 (12.5 vs. 8.7 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The GLS has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom, .2 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 1.7 inches more third row legroom and 2.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the X7.

Cargo Capacity

The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the X7.



Third Seat Folded

49.4 cubic feet

48.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

90.4 cubic feet

The GLS’ cargo area is larger than the X7’s in every dimension:



Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



The GLS’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.


The GLS has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X7 (1587 vs. 1202 lbs.).

The GLS has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X7 (1798 vs. 1202 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.


Heated windshield washer fluid is optional on the GLS to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The X7 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GLS offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The X7 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The GLS has a 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 X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.


The GLS was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 3 years. The X7 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the GLS as their 2013 Sport Utility of the Year. The X7 has never been chosen.

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

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