2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The GLE’s 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

The GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 33 more horsepower (362 vs. 329) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 325) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the GLE 450 is faster than the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6:

GLE

Q7

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.9 sec

14.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

6.5 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GLE 350 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 45 TFSI (19 city/26 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE 450’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q7 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLE, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q7.

Tires and Wheels

The GLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q7 2.0T’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q7 2.0T.

Suspension and Handling

The GLE 450 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Q7.

The GLE has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLE’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Q7 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The GLE’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the Q7’s (55.2% to 44.8%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The GLE is 5.3 inches shorter than the Q7, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes GLE amounts to more than styling. The GLE has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Q7 (.333) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the Q7 Prestige:

GLE

Q7

At idle

38 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

70 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

65 dB

Passenger Space

The GLE has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear legroom than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with all its rear seats folded than the Q7 with all its rear seats folded (75 vs. 71.6 cubic feet).

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (7700 vs. 4400 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The GLE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The GLE’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The GLE is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Audi Q7 by 23% during 2018.

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

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