2020 Mercedes G-Class vs. 2020 Audi Q8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The G-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Q8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G-Class and the Q8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 and rearview cameras.

The Mercedes G-Class weighs 549 to 840 pounds more than the Audi Q8. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the G-Class’ warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 81 more horsepower (416 vs. 335) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 369) than the Q8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid. The AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 242 more horsepower (577 vs. 335) and 258 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 369) than the Q8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes G-Class is faster than the Audi Q8:

G 550

AMG G 63

Q8

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

4.1 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

12.6 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

108.9 MPH

97.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the G-Class’ fuel efficiency. The Q8 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The G-Class has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q8 (26.4 vs. 22.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes G-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q8.

Brakes and Stopping

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The G-Class stops much shorter than the Q8:

G-Class

Q8

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

141 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the G-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q8 (295/40R22 vs. 285/45R21).

The G-Class has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Q8; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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For greater off-road capability the G-Class has a 3.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Q8 (9.5 vs. 5.8 inches), allowing the G-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The G 550 is 6.9 inches shorter than the Q8, making the G-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The G-Class has 4.8 inches more front headroom and 2.4 inches more rear headroom than the Q8.

Cargo Capacity

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The G-Class has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q8 with its rear seat up (38.1 vs. 30.5 cubic feet). The G-Class has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q8 with its rear seat folded (68.6 vs. 60.7 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the G-Class easier. The G-Class’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.3 inches, while the Q8’s liftover is 33.7 inches.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the G-Class has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Q8 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes G-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the Q8.

The G-Class has a 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q8 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The G-Class’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Q8 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/09/30

The G-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Q8 has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes G-Class outsold the Audi Q8 by almost two to one during 2018.

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