2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Infiniti QX50

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 2020/07/15

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 QX50 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 QX50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the QX50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The Mercedes GLE weighs 598 to 1184 pounds more than the Infiniti QX50. 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 QX50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 87 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much 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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th.

Engine

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The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (362 vs. 268) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the QX50’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The GLE 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 215 more horsepower (483 vs. 268) and 236 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 280) than the QX50’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GLE 450 is faster than the Infiniti QX50:

GLE

QX50

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.3 sec

4.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the GLE 450’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX50 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLE’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The QX50 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The GLE has 6.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX50 (22.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLE 450’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX50:

GLE 450

QX50

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.1 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the QX50:

GLE

QX50

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 QX50 (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R19). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX50 (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 255/45R20).

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 QX50’s standard 55 series tires. The GLE’s optional 315/40R21 rear tires have a lower 40 series profile than the QX50 Sensory/Autograph’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE 580 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The QX50’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

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 QX50; 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.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLE has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The QX50’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. Infiniti doesn’t offer an active suspension on the QX50.

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 QX50’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 QX50 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 QX50 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the QX50 (117.9 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the QX50.

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the QX50’s (57.9% to 42.1%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the GLE Airmatic has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX50 (9.2 vs. 8.6 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes GLE amounts to more than styling. The GLE has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the QX50 (.32) 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 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the QX50 can only carry 5.

The GLE has .7 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX50.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the QX50 with its rear seat up (33 vs. 31.4 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX50 with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 65.1 cubic feet).

The GLE’s cargo area is larger than the QX50’s in every dimension:

GLE

QX50

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40”/76.5”

39”/71.7”

Min Width

43.7”

41.5”

Height

35.5”

31.2”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLE’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX50 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the QX50’s (7700 vs. 0 pounds). The QX50 AWD’s maximum towing capacity is only 3000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the QX50. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the QX50 (except Pure/Luxe), 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 QX50, 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 QX50 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the GLE and the QX50 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 QX50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 QX50 can only close 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 QX50’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” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the QX50’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

The GLE’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Infiniti only offers heated mirrors on the QX50 Essential/Sensory/Autograph.

The GLE’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The QX50 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GLE has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the QX50, and aren’t available on the QX50 Pure. The GLE also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX50.

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 QX50.

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 QX50 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 QX50 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 QX50 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 QX50 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 QX50 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the QX50, including $441 less for a timing belt/chain and $133 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/07/15

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Infiniti QX50 by almost three to one during 2019.

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

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