2020 BMW X5 M vs. 2020 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The X5 M has a standard PostCrash iBrake, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X5 M has standard Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The G-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 M helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The G-Class doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 M has a standard Surround View 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 X5 M 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 X5 M and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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The X5 M’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the G-Class’ (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 M for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the G-Class.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The X5 M’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 184 more horsepower (600 vs. 416) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8. The X5 M’s 4.4 turbo V8 produces 23 more horsepower (600 vs. 577) than the AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8. The X5 M Competition’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 40 more horsepower (617 vs. 577) than the AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 M gets better fuel mileage than the G-Class:

MPG

X5 M

4.4 turbo V8

13 city/18 hwy

4.4 turbo V8

13 city/18 hwy

G-Class

550 4.0 turbo 4-cyl.

13 city/17 hwy

AMG 63 4.0 turbo 4-cyl.

13 city/15 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X5 M’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The G-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X5 M’s brake rotors are larger than those on the G-Class:

X5 M

G 550

AMG G 63

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

13.9 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 M has larger tires than the G-Class (F:295/35R21 & R:315/30R21 vs. 275/55R19).

The X5 M’s 295/35R21 front and 315/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the G 550’s standard 55 series tires. The X5 M’s tires are lower profile than the G-Class’ optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 M has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the G 550.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW X5 M 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 X5 M 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.

The X5 M offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the G-Class.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 M’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the G-Class (117 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 M is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

The X5 M’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.6% to 49.4%) than the G-Class’ (53% to 47%). This gives the X5 M more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the X5 M’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (42 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

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The X5 M is 8.5 inches shorter in height than the G-Class, making the X5 M much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the X5 M’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 X5 M has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The front grille of the X5 M uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The G-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The X5 M has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 M has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the G-Class with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 68.6 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5 M’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The X5 M’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 when your hands are full, the X5 M’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics

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The X5 M has a standard 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 shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 M has standard extendable sun visors. The G-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the X5 M to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The G-Class doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The X5 M 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.

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