2020 Mercedes G-Class vs. 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Toyota Land Cruiser doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the G-Class and the Land Cruiser have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

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 Land Cruiser’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Engine

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The G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 35 more horsepower (416 vs. 381) and 49 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 401) than the Land Cruiser’s 5.7 DOHC V8. The AMG G 63’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 196 more horsepower (577 vs. 381) and 226 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 401) than the Land Cruiser’s 5.7 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes G-Class is faster than the Toyota Land Cruiser:

G 550

AMG G 63

Land Cruiser

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

4.1 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

12.6 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

108.9 MPH

91.2 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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The G-Class has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Land Cruiser (26.4 vs. 24.6 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 Land Cruiser.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG G 63’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Land Cruiser:

AMG G 63

Land Cruiser

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

14 inches

The G-Class stops much shorter than the Land Cruiser:

G-Class

Land Cruiser

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 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 Land Cruiser (295/40R22 vs. 285/60R18).

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 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition’s standard 65 series tires. The G-Class’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Land Cruiser’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G 550 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Land Cruiser. The G-Class offers optional 22-inch wheels.

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 Land Cruiser’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G-Class’ wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Land Cruiser (113.8 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

The AMG G 63 handles at .75 G’s, while the Land Cruiser pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The AMG G 63 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Land Cruiser (28.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the G-Class has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Land Cruiser (9.5 vs. 8.9 inches), allowing the G-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The G 550 is 5.2 inches shorter than the Land Cruiser, making the G-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the G-Class AMG has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Land Cruiser uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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 Land Cruiser’s liftover is 31.6 inches.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Land Cruiser, 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 Land Cruiser has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the G-Class and the Land Cruiser have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the G-Class is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Land Cruiser prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The G-Class’ power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Land Cruiser’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 Land Cruiser.

The G-Class’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Land Cruiser 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 2020/02/18

The G-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Land Cruiser hasn’t been picked since 2002.

The Mercedes G-Class outsold the Toyota Land Cruiser by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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