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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 Model X 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 Model X 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 Model X 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.
To help make backing safer, the GLE’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model X doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
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 Model X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The GLE has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model X doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the GLE and the Model X 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.
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 Model X has not been tested, yet.
The GLE’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model X’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).
There are almost 3 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.
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 15 points higher than the Model X.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 2 places higher in reliability than Tesla.
The GLE 350’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 607.5 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model X’s range is only 328 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.
For better stopping power the GLE 450’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Model X:
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The GLE has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model X doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
For better traction, the GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Model X (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. F:265/35R22 & R:285/35R22).
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 Model X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The GLE has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Model X’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. Tesla doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Model X.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Model X (117.9 inches vs. 116.7 inches).
For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Model X’s (39.4 feet vs. 40.8 feet).
For greater off-road capability the GLE Airmatic has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Model X (9.2 vs. 9 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Mercedes GLE may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 750 pounds less than the Tesla Model X.
The GLE is 4 inches shorter than the Model X, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the Model X:
70 MPH Cruising
The GLE has 2.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model X.
The GLE’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Model X 6-Passenger doesn’t offer folding rear seats.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLE’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Model X doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLE’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Model X doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The GLE’s towing capacity is much higher than the Model X’s (7700 vs. 4960 pounds).
While the Model X w/22” wheels can only tow 3480, any GLE can tow a minimum of 7700 pounds.
An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the GLE to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, tire rotation and brake pad replacement based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model X.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Model X, 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 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 Model X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 Model X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
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 Model X’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the GLE has a standard rear wiper. The Model X doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
The GLE’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model X doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GLE has standard extendable sun visors. The Model X doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLE to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Model X doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the GLE keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Model X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The GLE has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Model X doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.
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 Model X.
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 Model X doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The GLE is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Model X doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Model X because typical repairs cost less on the GLE than the Model X, including $169 less for a water pump and $51 less for a power steering pump.
The Mercedes GLE outsold the Tesla Model X by over two to one during 2019.
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