2019 Toyota Land Cruiser vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Land Cruiser 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 Mercedes GLS doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Land Cruiser has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The GLS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 GLS doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Land Cruiser and the GLS 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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

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.

Engine

The Land Cruiser’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 19 more horsepower (381 vs. 362) and 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 369) than the GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Land Cruiser

GLS

Front Rotors

14 inches

13.8 inches

The Land Cruiser stops much shorter than the GLS:

 

Land Cruiser

GLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

The Land Cruiser handles at .75 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Land Cruiser’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the GLS’ (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Land Cruiser has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLS 63 (8.9 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Land Cruiser to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Land Cruiser is 7.1 inches shorter than the GLS, making the Land Cruiser easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 lower than the GLS (.37 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Land Cruiser get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Land Cruiser has standard seating for 8 passengers; the GLS can only carry 7.

The Land Cruiser has 2.6 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room and 11.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Land Cruiser’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLS.

 

Land Cruiser

GLS

Behind Third Seat

16.1 cubic feet

16 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 GLS’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The Land Cruiser’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the GLS’ (8100 vs. 7500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Land Cruiser’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the GLS.

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 GLS does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 GLS only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 GLS.

The Land Cruiser has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the GLS.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Land Cruiser owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Land Cruiser will cost $140 to $5245 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

The Land Cruiser will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Land Cruiser will retain 53.28% of its original price after five years, while the GLS only retains 43.11% to 44.05%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Land Cruiser will be $1174 to $49811 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Land Cruiser, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLS isn't recommended.

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

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