2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 BMW X6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLE 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 BMW X6 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the GLE’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X6 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the GLE and the X6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 60 more horsepower (362 vs. 302) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the X6 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GLE gets better fuel mileage than the X6:

MPG

GLE

RWD

350 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

350 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/26 hwy

450 3.0 turbo 6-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/24 hwy

X6

RWD

sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

18 city/24 hwy

AWD

xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

18 city/24 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

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 X6.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GLE 450’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X6:

GLE 450

X6 s/xDrive35i

X6 xDrive50i

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.7 inches

14.4 inches

Suspension and Handling

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 X6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the X6 (117.9 inches vs. 115.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.5 inches wider in the front than on the X6.

Chassis

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 X6 (.34 to .35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The GLE offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the X6 can only carry 5.

The GLE has .6 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X6.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLE’s middle row seats recline. The X6’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X6 with its rear seat up (33 vs. 26.6 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X6 with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 59.7 cubic feet).

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the X6’s (7700 vs. 6000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

The GLE 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 X6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the GLE has a standard rear wiper. The X6 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 X6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the BMW X6 by almost seven to one during 2018.

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

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