2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 GMC Acadia doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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 Acadia has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The GLE comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Acadia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The GLE’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 1 place higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

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The GLE has more powerful engines than the Acadia:

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.

Acadia 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

193 HP

188 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

230 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLE has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 350

GLE 450

Acadia

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

12.4 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the Acadia:

GLE

Acadia

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Acadia (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Acadia (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 255/65R17).

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 Acadia’s 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 Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia. The GLE 580’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Acadia.

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. GMC doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Acadia.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 5.4 inches longer than on the Acadia (117.9 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Acadia.

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the Acadia’s (56.5% to 43.5%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

The GLE 450 handles at .83 G’s, while the Acadia SLT AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the GLE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (7.9 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLE Airmatic’s minimum ground clearance is 1.4 inches higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (9.2 vs. 7.8 inches).

Cargo Capacity

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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 Acadia’s liftover is 32 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLE. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (7700 vs. 1000 pounds). The Acadia’s maximum towing capacity is only 4000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Acadia. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than GMC. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, GMC is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Acadia (except SL/SLE/AT4), 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 standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Acadia, and is not available on all models.

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 Acadia does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The GLE offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLE’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Acadia’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully. Only its driver’s window closes automatically.

If the windows are left open on the GLE the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Acadia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Acadia 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 optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Acadia.

The GLE’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Acadia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the GLE owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the GLE with a number “8” insurance rate while the Acadia is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $154 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Acadia, including $803 less for a timing belt/chain.

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