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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 GMC Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL.
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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the G-Class and the Yukon XL 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.
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 Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
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 Yukon XL.
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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 1 place higher in reliability than GMC.
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 Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 6.2 V8.
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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
For better stopping power the G-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Yukon XL:
AMG G 63
The G-Class stops much shorter than the Yukon XL:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the G-Class has larger standard tires than the Yukon XL (275/55R19 vs. 265/65R18). The G-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Yukon XL (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 Yukon XL SLE/SLT Standard Edition/SLT’s standard 65 series tires. The G-Class’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL SLE/SLT Standard Edition/SLT.
The G-Class has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the G-Class flat and controlled during cornering. The Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL (9.5 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the G-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The G 550 is 2 feet, 10.7 inches shorter than the Yukon XL, making the G-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
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 Yukon XL’s liftover is 34.1 inches.
The G-Class’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Yukon XL’s (7000 vs. 6000 pounds).
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than GMC. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, GMC is ranked 14th.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Yukon XL SLT Standard/SLT/Denali, 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 Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL.
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 Yukon XL Denali 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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The G-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Yukon XL has never been an “All Star.”
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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