2020 GMC Yukon XL vs. 2020 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Yukon XL 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.

Both the Yukon XL and G-Class have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Yukon XL has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The G-Class’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the G-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 4 times as many GMC dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Yukon XL’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Yukon XL 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.

Engine

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The Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 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

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

MPG

Yukon XL

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/22 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

14 city/21 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/20 hwy

G-Class

AWD

550 4.0 turbo V8

14 city/20 hwy

63 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/19 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Yukon XL uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition/Denali for maximum performance). The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Yukon XL has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the G-Class (31 vs. 26.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Yukon XL 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.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition/Denali, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Yukon XL stops much shorter than the G-Class:

Yukon XL

G-Class

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The GMC Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL 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

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The Yukon XL offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Yukon XL’s wheelbase is 16.2 inches longer than on the G-Class (130 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon XL is 3.9 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

The Yukon XL Denali 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the G 550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Yukon XL Denali 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the G 550 (28.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 30.7 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Yukon XL’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (43 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

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For excellent aerodynamics, the Yukon XL SLE/SLT 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 Yukon XL 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.

The Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition//Denali uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The G-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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

The Yukon XL has .9 inches more front headroom, 6.6 inches more front legroom, 7 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and 7.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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

Yukon XL

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.7 cubic feet

68.6 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon XL SLT/Denali’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Yukon XL SLT/Denali, 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

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes G-Class is limited to 7000 pounds. The Yukon XL offers up to a 8300 lbs. towing capacity.

The Yukon XL 4x4 with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Yukon XL can be unhitched and driven around locally. The G-Class can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition/Denali 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 improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Yukon XL 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.

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

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Yukon XL owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yukon XL will cost $8455 to $8785 less than the G-Class over a five-year period.

The Yukon XL will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Yukon XL will retain 45.69% to 47.77% of its original price after five years, while the G-Class only retains 43.42%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the GMC Yukon XL will be $55003 to $68927 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 2020/10/27

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over 10 to one during 2019.

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