2019 Mercedes GLS vs. 2020 Hyundai Palisade

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 Hyundai Palisade doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The GLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Palisade doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Palisade doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

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 Palisade doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the GLS and the Palisade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, 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.

The Mercedes GLS weighs 948 to 1627 pounds more than the Hyundai Palisade. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.


The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 71 more horsepower (362 vs. 291) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The GLS 550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 158 more horsepower (449 vs. 291) and 254 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The AMG GLS 63’s standard 5.5 turbo V8 produces 286 more horsepower (577 vs. 291) and 299 lbs.-ft. more torque (561 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLS’ 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 Palisade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The GLS has 7.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Palisade (26.4 vs. 18.8 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 Palisade.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Palisade:

GLS 450



Front Rotors

13.8 inches

15.4 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

12 inches

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

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLS has larger standard tires than the Palisade (275/55R19 vs. 245/60R18). The GLS 550/63’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Palisade (295/40R21 vs. 245/60R18).

The GLS’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Palisade’s standard 60 series tires. The GLS 550/63’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Palisade’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Palisade. The AMG GLS 63’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Palisade.

Suspension and Handling

The GLS 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 Palisade doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Palisade, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The GLS 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 Palisade’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GLS has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Palisade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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 Palisade doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the Palisade (121.1 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 4.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Palisade (12.5 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The GLS has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more third row headroom and 3.6 inches more third row legroom than the Palisade.

Cargo Capacity

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



Third Seat Folded

49.4 cubic feet

45.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

86.4 cubic feet

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



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




The GLS’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Palisade’s (7500 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GLS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Palisade. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 52% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.


Unlike the driver-only memory seat optional at extra cost in the Palisade (except SE), the GLS 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 GLS’ 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 Palisade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The GLS’ 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 Palisade SE/SEL’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Palisade 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 Palisade doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLS offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Palisade doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GLS also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The GLS has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Palisade offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Palisade doesn’t offer an automated parking system.


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

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

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