2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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 Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The GLE’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The GLE offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Grand Cherokee only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Grand Cherokee 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

The GLE comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Grand Cherokee’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the GLE have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 5 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

The GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 260) than the Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Grand Cherokee

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

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

Regardless of its engine, the GLE’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Grand Cherokee V6.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mercedes GLE as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Jeep Grand Cherokee is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

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 Grand Cherokee.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 450

Grand Cherokee V6

Grand Cherokee V8/Diesel

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

GLE

Grand Cherokee

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Grand Cherokee (255/50R19 vs. 245/70R17). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Grand Cherokee (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 265/50R20).

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 Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires. The GLE’s optional 275/45R21 front and 315/40R21 rear tires have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile than the Grand Cherokee’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Grand Cherokee Laredo. The GLE’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Grand Cherokee.

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. Jeep doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Grand Cherokee.

The GLE offers an available 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 Grand Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Grand Cherokee (117.9 inches vs. 114.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Grand Cherokee.

The GLE 450 handles at .84 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

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 Grand Cherokee (.371) 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 Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4:

GLE

Grand Cherokee

At idle

38 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

70 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

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

The GLE has .6 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Grand Cherokee with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 68.3 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLE’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Grand Cherokee’s (7700 vs. 6200 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 67% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Grand Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland/Summit, the GLE offers an optional 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 GLE offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLE’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The Grand Cherokee

If the windows are left open on the GLE the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Grand Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The GLE’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Grand Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the GLE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The GLE’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Grand Cherokee (except Laredo)’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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

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