2020 Mercedes G-Class vs. 2020 Cadillac Escalade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/09/25

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes G-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac Escalade doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the G-Class. But it costs extra on the Escalade.

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 Escalade doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G-Class and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the G-Class have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 9 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

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The AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 157 more horsepower (577 vs. 420) and 167 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 460) than the Escalade’s 6.2 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes G-Class is faster than the Cadillac Escalade:

G 550

AMG G 63

Escalade

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

4.1 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

12.6 sec

14.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

108.9 MPH

97 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the G-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Escalade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

G 550

AMG G 63

Escalade

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

14.8 inches

13 inches

The G-Class stops much shorter than the Escalade:

G-Class

Escalade

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

202 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

133 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 Escalade (295/40R22 vs. 285/45R22).

The G-Class’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escalade’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG G 63 handles at .75 G’s, while the Escalade 4WD pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the G-Class has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Escalade (9.5 vs. 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 1 foot, 2.2 inches shorter than the Escalade, making the G-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The G-Class has 1.8 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the Escalade.

Cargo Capacity

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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 Escalade’s liftover is 32.1 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the G-Class. The Escalade doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Escalade, the G-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The G-Class’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Escalade’s parking brake has to released manually.

The G-Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Escalade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the G-Class the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Escalade can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Escalade doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The G-Class’ standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The G-Class’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Escalade’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/09/25

The G-Class will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the G-Class will retain 43.42% of its original price after five years, while the Escalade only retains 37.47% to 39.58%.

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 2020/09/25

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

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