2020 Mercedes G-Class vs. 2020 Chevrolet Suburban

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 2020/03/30

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 Chevrolet Suburban doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The G-Class’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Suburban doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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

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 Suburban doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G-Class and the Suburban 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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The G-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Suburban’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The G-Class’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Suburban’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 engines in the Suburban.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 4 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 61 more horsepower (416 vs. 355) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 383) than the Suburban’s standard 5.3 V8. 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 Suburban’s optional 6.2 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the G 550 is faster than the Chevrolet Suburban 5.3 V8:

G-Class

Suburban

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

88.6 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 Suburban 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 Suburban:

G 550

AMG G 63

Suburban

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

14.8 inches

13 inches

The G-Class stops shorter than the Suburban:

G-Class

Suburban

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the G-Class has larger standard tires than the Suburban (275/55R19 vs. 265/65R18). The G-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Suburban (295/40R22 vs. 285/45R22).

The G 550’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Suburban LS/LT’s standard 65 series tires. The G-Class’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Suburban’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G 550 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Suburban LS/LT.

Suspension and Handling

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The G-Class has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the G-Class flat and controlled during cornering. The Suburban’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For greater off-road capability the G-Class has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Suburban (9.5 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the G-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The G 550 is 2 feet, 10.7 inches shorter than the Suburban, making the G-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Suburban’s liftover is 34.1 inches.

Towing

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The G-Class’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Suburban’s (7000 vs. 6000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 25% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Suburban LT/Premier, 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 Suburban’s parking brake has to released manually.

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

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. Only the Suburban Premier offers wireless charging.

The G-Class’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Suburban 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 2020/03/30

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

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

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