2020 Mercedes G-Class vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Discovery doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes G-Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Land Rover Discovery doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the G-Class and the Discovery have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

The Mercedes G-Class weighs 654 to 1110 pounds more than the Land Rover Discovery. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd.

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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 87 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

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The G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 76 more horsepower (416 vs. 340) and 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6. The AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 237 more horsepower (577 vs. 340) and 295 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes G-Class is faster than the Land Rover Discovery:

G 550

AMG G 63

Discovery

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

4.1 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

12.6 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

108.9 MPH

94.7 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 Discovery doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The G-Class has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 22.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The G-Class has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Gas’ standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 23.8 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mercedes G-Class as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Land Rover Discovery is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

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 Discovery.

Brakes and Stopping

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

G 550

AMG G 63

Discovery Td6

Discovery P340

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

14.8 inches

13.7 inches

14.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

The G-Class stops much shorter than the Discovery:

G-Class

Discovery

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the G-Class has larger standard tires than the Discovery (275/55R19 vs. 235/65R19). The G-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Discovery (295/40R22 vs. 285/40R22).

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 Discovery’s standard 65 series tires.

The G-Class has a standard full size spare so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full-size spare costs extra on the Discovery. Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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The G-Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Discovery’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The AMG G 63 handles at .75 G’s, while the Discovery HSE Luxury pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The AMG G 63 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Discovery HSE (28.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the G-Class has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Discovery (9.5 vs. 8.7 inches), allowing the G-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The G 550 is 5.4 inches shorter than the Discovery, making the G-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The G-Class has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more rear headroom and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the Discovery.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Land Rover. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With an 89% lower rating, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

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 Discovery doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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. The Discovery doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Discovery 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 Discovery’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 2020/09/29

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its February 2019 issue and they ranked the Mercedes G 550 two places higher than the Land Rover Discovery HSE.

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

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

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