2019 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2019 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 4Runner 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the 4Runner 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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLE.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4Runner’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 4Runner’s reliability 26 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Tires and Wheels

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes GLE only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road handles at .73 G’s, while the GLE pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLE (29 seconds @ .57 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the GLE’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (9.6 vs. 8 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Toyota 4Runner may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 4Runner TRD Off-Road is quieter than the AMG GLE 43 (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The 4Runner offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the GLE can only carry 5.

The 4Runner has 25 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLE (128 vs. 103).

The 4Runner has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLE.

 

4Runner

GLE

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

80.3 cubic feet

The 4Runner’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The GLE doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s cargo area is larger than the GLE’s in almost every dimension:

 

4Runner

GLE

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42”/66.3”

39.5”/68”

Max Width

57.7”

49”

Min Width

42.4”

40.5”

Height

39.5”

35.5”

The 4Runner’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The GLE’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Model Availability

The 4Runner is available in both rear-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 4Runner owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4Runner will cost $1415 to $4700 less than the GLE over a five-year period.

The 4Runner will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4Runner will retain 64.99% to 80.19% of its original price after five years, while the GLE only retains 46.84% to 49.97%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the GLE because it costs $495 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the GLE, including $313 less for a muffler, $171 less for front brake pads, $91 less for a starter, $203 less for fuel injection, $333 less for front struts and $869 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 4Runner will be $23745 to $29744 less than for the Mercedes GLE.

Recommendations

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The GLE has never been chosen.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the Mercedes GLE by over three to one during 2018.

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

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