2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Lincoln Nautilus

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 2020/07/06

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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Nautilus 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, 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.

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 Nautilus last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 11 points higher than the Nautilus.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

Engine

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The GLE has more powerful engines than the Nautilus:

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.

Nautilus 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Nautilus 2.7 turbo V6

335 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the GLE 450 is faster than the Lincoln Nautilus turbo V6:

GLE

Nautilus

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.4 MPH

95.8 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The GLE has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Nautilus (22.5 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Nautilus.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLE 450

Nautilus

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.6 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 standard on the Nautilus are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops shorter than the Nautilus:

GLE

Nautilus

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Nautilus (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Nautilus (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 265/40R21).

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 Nautilus’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Nautilus. The GLE 580’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Nautilus.

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. Lincoln doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Nautilus.

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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Nautilus (117.9 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Nautilus.

The GLE 450 handles at .83 G’s, while the Nautilus Reserve AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLE 450 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Nautilus Reserve AWD (27 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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

The GLE has .6 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Nautilus.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLE has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Nautilus with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 68.8 cubic feet).

Towing

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The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Nautilus’ (7700 vs. 2000 pounds). The Nautilus’ maximum towing capacity is only 3500 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Nautilus. 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 Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 5% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Nautilus, 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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

The GLE’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Nautilus’ cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 Nautilus’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Nautilus’ headlights are rated “Poor.”

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLE to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Nautilus doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

When the GLE is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Nautilus’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The GLE’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Nautilus (except Standard)’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Nautilus, including $638 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 2020/07/06

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Lincoln MKX/Nautilus by 58% during 2019.

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