2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the GLE and the XC90 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, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 28 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Volvo dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

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 20 points higher than the XC90.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 70 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 12 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

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The GLE has more powerful engines than the XC90:

Horsepower

Torque

GLE 350 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GLE 580 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid

483 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid is faster than the XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.:

GLE

XC90

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.3 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

92.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLE has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 18.8 gallons).

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 XC90.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLE 450’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XC90:

GLE 450

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 T8

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

13.4 inches

The GLE stops much shorter than the XC90:

GLE

XC90

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the XC90 (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R19).

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 XC90’s standard 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLE has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the GLE uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The GLE 450 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Volvo doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XC90.

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 XC90 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLE 450 handles at .84 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

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 significantly lower than the XC90 (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD:

GLE

XC90

At idle

38 dB

48 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

65 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/11

The GLE has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC90.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC90 with its rear seat up (33 vs. 12.6 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC90 with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 65.5 cubic feet).

Towing

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The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC90’s (7700 vs. 4000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

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. Volvo doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the XC90.

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

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the XC90, 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 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 XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The GLE’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The XC90 R-Design/Inscription’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/11

The Mercedes GLE outsold the Volvo XC90 by 36% during the 2019 model year.

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

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