2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Land Rover Discovery

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Discovery doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the GLE 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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 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 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

The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 22 more horsepower (362 vs. 340) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GLE 450 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery supercharged V6 (19 city/24 hwy vs. 16 city/21 hwy).

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

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mercedes GLE as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Land Rover Discovery 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 Discovery.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 450

Discovery

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

14.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Discovery (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R19).

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 Discovery’s standard 65 series tires.

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. Land Rover doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Discovery.

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 Discovery’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 Discovery 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 Discovery doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Discovery (117.9 inches vs. 115 inches).

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 Discovery (.36) 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 has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear headroom and 3.3 inches more rear legroom than the Discovery.

Servicing Ease

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

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 Discovery doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Land Rover Discovery by almost five to one during 2018.

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

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