2020 Chevrolet Tahoe vs. 2019 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Tahoe are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes G-Class has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Tahoe are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The G-Class doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Tahoe has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The G-Class doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Tahoe and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Tahoe 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the G-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the G-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Tahoe’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the G-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tahoe’s warranty.

Reliability

The Tahoe has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The G-Class doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tahoe first among large SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The G-Class isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Tahoe’s optional 6.2 V8 produces 4 more horsepower (420 vs. 416) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Tahoe

RWD

5.3 V8

15 city/22 hwy

6.2 V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

5.3 V8

15 city/21 hwy

6.2 V8

14 city/22 hwy

G-Class

AWD

550 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/17 hwy

AMG 63 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/15 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Tahoe uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 6.2 V8 engine for maximum performance). The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Tahoe EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

The Tahoe stops much shorter than the G-Class:

Tahoe

G-Class

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Tahoe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the G-Class (285/45R22 vs. 275/55R19).

The Tahoe’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.

The Chevrolet Tahoe’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes G-Class only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Tahoe has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The G-Class doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Tahoe offers an optional automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Tahoe’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 Tahoe’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the G-Class (116 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Tahoe is 4.2 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the G-Class.

The Tahoe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.6% to 48.4%) than the G-Class’ (53% to 47%). This gives the Tahoe more stable handling and braking.

The Tahoe Premier 4x4 handles at .79 G’s, while the AMG G 63 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Tahoe LT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the G 550 (27.9 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Tahoe’s turning circle is 5.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (39 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Tahoe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 300 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Tahoe LS/LT 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 Tahoe 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

The Tahoe offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Tahoe has .9 inches more front headroom, 6.6 inches more front legroom, 7 inches more front shoulder room and 7.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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

Tahoe

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

68.5 cubic feet

The Tahoe’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.

The Tahoe’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate 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, especially for short adults, the Tahoe LT/Premier has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes G-Class is limited to 7700 pounds. The Tahoe offers up to a 8600 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Tahoe’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 G-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Tahoe outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over 26 to one during 2018.

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

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