2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. 2020 Mercedes GLE

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Aviator has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLE 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 Aviator (except Base) offers an optional Reverse Brake Assist that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLE doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Aviator and the GLE have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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

There are over 2 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Aviator’s warranty.

Reliability

The Lincoln Aviator’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the GLE’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The Aviator 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 GLE 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’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Aviator’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 145 more horsepower (400 vs. 255) and 142 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 273) than the GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Aviator’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 38 more horsepower (400 vs. 362) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 369) than the GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid. The Aviator’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 88 more horsepower (450 vs. 362) and 231 lbs.-ft. more torque (600 vs. 369) than the GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln Aviator uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Aviator 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 GLE doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lincoln Aviator, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the GLE.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Aviator offers optional 22-inch wheels. The GLE’s largest wheels are only 21-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Aviator’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the GLE (119.1 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

Chassis

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

The Aviator Grand Touring/Black Label uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLE doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Aviator has 1 inch more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

The Aviator’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLE.

Aviator

GLE

Third Seat Folded

41.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

77.7 cubic feet

75 cubic feet

Both the Aviator and the GLE offer second row automatic folding seats. The Aviator’s third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The GLE doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The GLE doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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

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