2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Murano are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLE doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano (except S/SV) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLE doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The GLE doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Murano and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLE. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLE ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’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 Murano’s reliability 14 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The GLE isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD gets better fuel mileage than the AMG GLE 43 3.0 twin turbo V6 (385 HP) (20 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Murano has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The GLE doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Murano stops much shorter than the GLE:

 

Murano

GLE

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Murano has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The GLE doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the GLE pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Murano Platinum AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the GLE (27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 950 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

The design of the Nissan Murano amounts to more than styling. The Murano has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is significantly lower than the GLE (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Murano get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Murano uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLE doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 5.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLE (108.1 vs. 103).

The Murano has 1 inch more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLE.

The front step up height for the Murano is 4.2 inches lower than the GLE (15.8” vs. 20”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 4.9 inches lower than the GLE’s (15.1” vs. 20”).

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Murano

GLE

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

39.5”/68”

Max Width

54”

49”

Min Width

43”

40.5”

Height

33.7”

35.5”

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The GLE doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Murano’s liftgate can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The GLE doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Murano has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLE only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Murano offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLE doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Murano offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLE doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

The Murano is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLE doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Murano owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Murano will cost $1370 to $4815 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $351 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the GLE, including $99 less for a water pump, $233 less for a muffler, $129 less for front brake pads, $175 less for a starter, $153 less for fuel injection, $161 less for front struts and $176 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $17296 to $22353 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Mercedes GLE by 74% during the 2018 model year.

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

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