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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 RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
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 RX Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the GLE and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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.
There are over 59 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.
The GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 54 more horsepower (362 vs. 308) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.
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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RX Series Hybrid.
The GLE has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE has 3.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series’ standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.2 gallons).
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 RX Series.
For better stopping power the GLE 450’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:
For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the RX Series (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 235/65R18).
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 RX Series’ standard 65 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 RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the RX Series. The GLE’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the RX Series.
The GLE 450 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RX Series.
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 RX Series 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 RX Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the RX Series (117.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.
The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the RX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.
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 RX Series (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.
The GLE offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the RX Series can only carry 5.
The GLE has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.
The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the RX Series with its rear seat up (33 vs. 18.4 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the RX Series with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 56.3 cubic feet).
The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RX Series’ (7700 vs. 0 pounds).
The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the RX Series, 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’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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