2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2019 Porsche Macan

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 Macan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Macan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Macan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Macan 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, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 403 to 892 pounds more than the Porsche Macan. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Porsche 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 Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 15th.

Engine

The GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) than the Macan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 14 more horsepower (362 vs. 348) and 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 352) than the Macan S’ standard 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Macan

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/23 hwy

S 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/23 hwy

The GLE has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Macan (22.5 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLE, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Macan.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 450

Macan

Macan S

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Macan (255/50R19 vs. 235/60R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Macan (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. F:265/40R21 & R:295/35R21).

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 Macan’s standard 60 series front and 55 series rear tires.

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

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. Porsche doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Macan.

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 Macan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Macan (117.9 inches vs. 110.5 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 Macan (.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 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Macan can only carry 5.

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

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Macan with its rear seat up (33 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Macan with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 52.9 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 Macan 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 Macan’s (7700 vs. 4409 pounds).

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 Macan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Macan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the GLE detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Macan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLE offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Macan doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Porsche Macan by almost two to one during 2018.

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

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