2019 Volvo XC60 vs. 2019 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The XC60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The G-Class doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The G-Class doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The XC60 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera 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 or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the XC60 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The G-Class uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the XC60 and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The G-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the G-Class’ (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the G-Class.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the G 550 (59 city/57 hwy MPGe vs. 13 city/17 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the G 550 (25 city/28 hwy vs. 13 city/17 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 gets better fuel mileage than the G-Class:

 

 

 

MPG

XC60

 

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

 

 

T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

G-Class

 

AWD

550 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/17 hwy

 

 

AMG 63 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/15 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 17 miles. The G-Class must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The G-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The G-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Mercedes G-Class (3). This means the XC60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the G-Class every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The XC60 stops much shorter than the G-Class:

 

XC60

G-Class

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The XC60’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the G-Class’ optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Volvo XC60 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mercedes G-Class has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the G 550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 4.1 seconds quicker than the G 550 (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 7.2 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (37.4 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

The Volvo XC60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1600 to 1750 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

The XC60 is 5.1 inches shorter than the G 550, making the XC60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The XC60 is 11.9 inches shorter in height than the G-Class, making the XC60 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the XC60’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The G-Class uses body-on-frame design instead.

For excellent aerodynamics, the XC60 has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The XC60 has 2.8 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

The XC60’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The G-Class’ swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the XC60 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just waving your foot, completely leaving your hands free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics

The XC60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC60 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.

Model Availability

The XC60 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The G-Class doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Volvo XC60 outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over 8 to one during 2018.

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

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