2020 Mercedes G-Class vs. 2020 Audi SQ5

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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G-Class and the SQ5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and rearview cameras.

The Mercedes G-Class weighs 1233 to 1524 pounds more than the Audi SQ5. 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 67 more horsepower (416 vs. 349) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 369) than the SQ5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 228 more horsepower (577 vs. 349) and 258 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 369) than the SQ5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the AMG G 63 is faster than the Audi SQ5:

G-Class

SQ5

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10 sec

13 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.1 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.5 sec

13.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

110 MPH

102 MPH

Top Speed

149 MPH

127 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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The G-Class has 7.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the SQ5 (26.4 vs. 18.5 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 SQ5.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the G-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the SQ5:

G 550

AMG G 63

SQ5

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the G-Class has larger standard tires than the SQ5 (275/55R19 vs. 255/45R20). The G-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SQ5 (295/40R22 vs. 255/45R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G-Class offers optional 22-inch wheels. The SQ5’s largest wheels are only 21-inches.

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 SQ5; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G-Class’ wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the SQ5 (113.8 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

The G-Class’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the SQ5’s (54.3% to 45.7%). This gives the G-Class more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the G-Class has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the SQ5 (9.5 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the G-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The G-Class has .2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the SQ5.

Cargo Capacity

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The G-Class has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the SQ5 with its rear seat up (38.1 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The G-Class has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the SQ5 with its rear seat folded (68.6 vs. 53.1 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 SQ5’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

Towing

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The G-Class’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the SQ5’s (7000 vs. 4400 pounds).

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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The G-Class has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The G-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the SQ5.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The G-Class has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The SQ5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 SQ5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The G-Class offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the SQ5.

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 SQ5.

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 SQ5 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 SQ5 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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 2020/04/02

The G-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The SQ5 has never been an “All Star.”

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