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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLS 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 Infiniti QX80 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLS. But it costs extra on the QX80.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The QX80 doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.
The GLS’ 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the GLS uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The QX80 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
Both the GLS and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, around view monitors and available lane departure warning systems.
There are over 79 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLS’ warranty.
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.
The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 83 more horsepower (483 vs. 400) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.
On the EPA test cycle the GLS 450 gets better fuel mileage than the QX80 AWD (19 city/23 hwy vs. 13 city/19 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX80 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLS’ 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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.
For better stopping power the GLS’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX80:
The GLS’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS offers optional 23-inch wheels. The QX80’s largest wheels are only 22-inches.
The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the QX80, which uses coil springs in front. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The GLS has a standard 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 QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The GLS’ 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 QX80 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the QX80 (123.4 inches vs. 121.1 inches).
For better maneuverability, the GLS’ turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the QX80’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.3 feet).
For greater off-road capability the GLS has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX80 (10.1 vs. 9.2 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 2.1 inches higher than on the QX80 (11.3 vs. 9.2 inches).
The GLS 450 is 5.2 inches shorter than the QX80, making the GLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Unibody construction lowers the GLS’ center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The QX80 uses body-on-frame design instead.
The design of the Mercedes GLS amounts to more than styling. The GLS has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the QX80 (.367) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLS get better fuel mileage.
The GLS has .7 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 5.8 inches more third row legroom than the QX80.
The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the QX80.
Behind Third Seat
17.4 cubic feet
16.6 cubic feet
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLS’ cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the QX80, the GLS has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, suspension setting, power steering assist, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The GLS offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The GLS’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The QX80’s parking brake has to released manually.
The power windows standard on both the GLS and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLS is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The GLS has standard heated front and optional heated second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Infiniti doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the QX80.
Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the GLS’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The QX80 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
The GLS offers optional massaging front and second row seats, which keep the driver and middle row passengers. Massaging seats aren’t available in the QX80.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLS has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and for the rear passengers. The QX80 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The GLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes GLS outsold the Infiniti QX80 by 6% during the 2019 model year.
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