2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RX Series offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the RX Series’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RX Series and the AMG GLE 43 Coupe 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, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the AMG GLE 43 Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the AMG GLE 43 Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The RX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe 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 Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe (31 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the RX 350 AWD gets better fuel mileage than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe (19 city/26 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the RX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The RX 450h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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For greater off-road capability the RX Series has a greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe (8.2 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the RX Series to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Lexus RX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 750 pounds less than the Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

The design of the Lexus RX Series amounts to more than styling. The RX Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the RX Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has .2 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the RX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the RX Series’ available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 11% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked fifth.

Ergonomics

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The RX Series 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 AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RX Series has a standard rear wiper. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RX Series has standard extendable sun visors. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

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The RX Series is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The AMG GLE 43 Coupe doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RX Series will cost $2570 to $5400 less than the AMG GLE 43 Coupe over a five-year period.

The RX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RX Series will retain 46.6% to 51.56% of its original price after five years, while the AMG GLE 43 Coupe only retains 42.17%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RX Series will be $26999 to $32451 less than for the Mercedes AMG GLE 43 Coupe.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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