2019 Toyota Land Cruiser vs. 2018 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The Land Cruiser has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The G-Class doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Land Cruiser’s standard CRAWL Control allows you to creep down safely. The G-Class doesn’t offer CRAWL Control.

The Land Cruiser’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The G-Class doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Land Cruiser has a standard Multi-Terrain Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The G-Class only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Land Cruiser’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 G-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Land Cruiser’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The G-Class doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Land Cruiser’s gas tank is mounted inside the frame rails in front of the rear axle to optimally protect the fuel tank in a collision. The Mercedes G-Class’ gas tank is mounted behind the rear axle, where it is more susceptible to rear collisions.

Both the Land Cruiser and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Land Cruiser 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 G-Class.

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 Land Cruiser’s warranty.

Reliability

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

On the EPA test cycle the Land Cruiser gets better fuel mileage than the G 550 (13 city/18 hwy vs. 13 city/14 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Land Cruiser uses regular unleaded gasoline. The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Land Cruiser, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Land Cruiser’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the G-Class:

 

Land Cruiser

G-Class

Front Rotors

14 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

10.7 inches

The Land Cruiser’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the G 550 are solid, not vented.

The Land Cruiser stops much shorter than the G-Class:

 

Land Cruiser

G-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

210 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Land Cruiser has larger tires than the G-Class (285/60R18 vs. 275/55R19).

Suspension and Handling

The Toyota Land Cruiser’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Mercedes G-Class’ solid front axle, which allows the Land Cruiser’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

The Land Cruiser has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Land Cruiser flat and controlled during cornering. The G-Class’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Land Cruiser has 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 G-Class doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Land Cruiser has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the G-Class.

The Land Cruiser 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 G-Class doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Land Cruiser is 5.5 inches wider in the front and 5.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

The Land Cruiser handles at .75 G’s, while the G 65 pulls only .58 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Land Cruiser executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the G 550 (27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Land Cruiser’s turning circle is 5.9 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (38.7 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Land Cruiser has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the G 63 (8.9 vs. 7.7 inches), allowing the Land Cruiser to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The design of the Toyota Land Cruiser amounts to more than styling. The Land Cruiser has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .35 Cd. That is significantly lower than the G-Class (.54). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Land Cruiser get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Land Cruiser has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The Land Cruiser has standard seating for 8 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Land Cruiser has 4.7 inches more front shoulder room and 4.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Land Cruiser’s middle and third row seats recline. The G-Class’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Land Cruiser’s cargo area provides more volume than the G-Class.

 

Land Cruiser

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

43 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

79.5 cubic feet

The Land Cruiser’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The G-Class’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Land Cruiser has a standard power tailgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Towing

The Land Cruiser’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the G-Class’ (8100 vs. 7700 pounds).

While the G-Class 4x4/G 65 can only tow 7000, any Land Cruiser can tow a minimum of 8100 pounds.

Ergonomics

The Land Cruiser’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The G-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Land Cruiser’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The G-Class’ power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

Smart Key System standard on the Land Cruiser allows you to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mercedes G-Class doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Land Cruiser detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Land Cruiser has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The G-Class doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Land Cruiser has standard extendable sun visors. The G-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Land Cruiser has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the G-Class.

The Land Cruiser has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The G-Class doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

The headlight lenses on the Land Cruiser are made of plastic to be lighter, more resistant to damage and less expensive to replace than the glass headlight lenses on the G-Class.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Land Cruiser, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its June 2016 issue and they ranked the Toyota Land Cruiser first. They ranked the Mercedes G 550 third.

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

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