2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

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 Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mercedes GLE is safer than the Q7:

GLE

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

28 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.42/.42

.57/.7

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the GLE its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q7 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The GLE has more powerful engines than the Q7:

Horsepower

Torque

GLE 350 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GLE 580 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid

483 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Q7 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

335 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLE gets better fuel mileage than the Q7:

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

580 4.0 turbo V8 Hybrid

17 city/21 hwy

Q7

AWD

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

55 TFSI 3.0 turbo V6 Hybrid

17 city/21 hwy

The GLE has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLE higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Audi Q7 (3). This means the GLE produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q7 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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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 Q7.

Brakes and Stopping

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The GLE stops shorter than the Q7:

GLE

Q7

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 Q7’s standard 55 series tires.

The GLE has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the Q7 don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLE 450 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Q7.

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 Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Q7’s (39.4 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The GLE is 5 inches shorter than the Q7, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Q7 (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The GLE has .6 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear legroom than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q7 with all its rear seats folded (75 vs. 71.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the GLE easier. The GLE’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.7 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

Towing

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The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (7700 vs. 4400 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The GLE’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Q7 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q7 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GLE also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The GLE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The GLE is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Q7, including $129 less for a muffler, $366 less for a starter, $190 less for fuel injection, $265 less for front struts and $1070 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Audi Q7 by 44% during 2019.

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