2019 Toyota Sequoia vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sequoia 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.

To help make backing safer, the Sequoia’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 Sequoia 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available four-wheel drive.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Sequoia 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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

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 Sequoia’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 Sequoia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The Sequoia stops shorter than the GLS:

 

Sequoia

GLS

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sequoia is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLS.

The Sequoia TRD Sport 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLS 450 (27.3 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sequoia’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the GLS’ (38.1 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sequoia Platinum has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLS 63 (9.6 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Sequoia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The design of the Toyota Sequoia amounts to more than styling. The Sequoia has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .36 Cd. That is lower than the GLS (.37 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Sequoia get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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

The Sequoia has 2.2 inches more front legroom, 7.9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.4 inches more rear legroom, 7.3 inches more rear shoulder room, .3 inches more third row legroom and 15.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Sequoia

GLS

Behind Third Seat

18.9 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

66.6 cubic feet

49.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.1 cubic feet

93.8 cubic feet

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

 

Sequoia

GLS

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

18.5”/52.5”/90.5”

19.7”/52.4”/84.1”

Max Width

54.5”

n/a

Min Width

50”

n/a

Height

36”

n/a

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

Ergonomics

The Sequoia’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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia 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.

Model Availability

The Sequoia is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLS doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sequoia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sequoia will cost $3415 to $8900 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

The Sequoia will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sequoia will retain 49.44% to 53.71% of its original price after five years, while the GLS only retains 43.11% to 44.05%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sequoia is less expensive to operate than the GLS because it costs $243 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sequoia than the GLS, including $349 less for a water pump, $439 less for a muffler, $116 less for front brake pads, $259 less for fuel injection, $105 less for front struts and $1014 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Sequoia will be $25593 to $55973 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Sequoia, 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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