2020 BMW X7 vs. 2020 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 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 G-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, 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 X7 offers an optional 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 X7 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 X7 and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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 X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the G-Class’ (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 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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As tested in Motor Trend the X7 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8 is faster than the G 550:

X7

G-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.3 MPH

98.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X7 M50i 4.4 twin-turbo V8 (523 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the AMG G 63 4.0 twin-turbo V8 (577 HP) (15 city/21 hwy vs. 13 city/15 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X7’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 X7 M Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the G-Class:

X7 M Sport

G 550

AMG G 63

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

13.9 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the X7 has larger standard rear tires than the G-Class (315/35R22 vs. 275/55R19).

The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the G 550’s standard 55 series tires. The X7’s optional 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the G-Class’ optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the G 550.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The G-Class doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW X7 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 front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the G-Class, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X7’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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 8.4 inches longer than on the G-Class (122.2 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the X7 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

The X7 xDrive50i handles at .80 G’s, while the AMG G 63 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X7 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.7 seconds quicker than the G 550 (27 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the X7’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (42.8 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

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Unibody construction lowers the X7’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 X7 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 X7 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 X7 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The X7 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 X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the G-Class.

X7

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

48.6 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.4 cubic feet

68.6 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the X7’s second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The X7’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 X7’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.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes G-Class is limited to 7000 pounds. The X7 offers up to a 7500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The X7 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 shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X7 has standard extendable sun visors. The G-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the X7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The G-Class doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the X7 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X7 will cost $475 to $2160 less than the G-Class over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X7 will be $17358 to $38847 less than for the Mercedes G-Class.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/23

The BMW X7 outsold the Mercedes G-Class by almost three to one during 2019.

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