2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Honda Passport

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

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 Honda Passport 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 Passport doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLE’s standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Passport doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

The GLE offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Passport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 459 to 1032 pounds more than the Honda Passport. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 Passport last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the GLE’s reliability 12 points higher than the Passport.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 82 more horsepower (362 vs. 280) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The GLE 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 203 more horsepower (483 vs. 280) and 254 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the GLE 450 is faster than the Honda Passport:

GLE

Passport

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.4 MPH

89.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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

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

MPG

GLE

RWD

350 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

350 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/26 hwy

Passport

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.0 SOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

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

The GLE has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Passport (22.5 vs. 19.5 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 Honda Passport (3). This means the GLE produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Passport every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 350

GLE 450

Passport

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

13 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 Passport are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops much shorter than the Passport:

GLE

Passport

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Passport (255/50R19 vs. 245/50R20). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Passport (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 265/45R20).

The GLE’s optional 315/40R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Passport Touring/Elite’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE 580 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Passport’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLE has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Passport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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

The GLE offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Passport’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 Passport 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 Passport doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 7 inches longer than on the Passport (117.9 inches vs. 110.9 inches).

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the Passport’s (58% to 42%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

The GLE 450 handles at .84 G’s, while the Passport Elite AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The GLE 450 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Passport Elite AWD (27 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the GLE Airmatic has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Passport (9.2 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the Passport Elite AWD:

GLE

Passport

At idle

38 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

65 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Passport can only carry 5.

The GLE has .4 inches more front headroom and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Passport.

Towing

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The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Passport’s (7700 vs. 3500 pounds). The Passport’s maximum towing capacity is only 5000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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The GLE uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Passport uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Passport. 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 Honda. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 55% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite, 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 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 Passport 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 Passport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLE’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Passport’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the GLE and the Passport have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLE is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Passport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Passport’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The GLE’s headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Passport’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Passport 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’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The GLE’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 Passport.

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

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 Honda Passport by 39% during 2019.

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

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