2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

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 Acura RDX 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 RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the RDX 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 628 to 1208 pounds more than the Acura RDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

There are over 41 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Acura 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

Engine

The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 90 more horsepower (362 vs. 272) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the GLE 450 is faster than the Acura RDX:

GLE

RDX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.9 sec

18.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

113 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The GLE has 5.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (22.5 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 350

GLE 450

RDX

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

12.2 inches

The GLE 450’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops shorter than the RDX:

GLE

RDX

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the RDX (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R19). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 255/40R20).

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 RDX’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

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. Acura doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RDX.

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 RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 9.6 inches longer than on the RDX (117.9 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the RDX.

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the RDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

The GLE 450 handles at .84 G’s, while the RDX A-Spec AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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

The GLE has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

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

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo volume than the RDX with its rear seat up (33 vs. 31.1 cubic feet).

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RDX’s (7700 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 4% lower rating, Acura is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, 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 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 RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 RDX 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 RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos