2020 Mercedes GLS vs. 2020 Cadillac Escalade

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 2020/07/03

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 Cadillac Escalade 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 Escalade.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Escalade 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 Escalade 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 Escalade uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the GLS and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, around view monitors, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.

Reliability

© 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 2020/07/03

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the GLS have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade.

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 GLS’ reliability 20 points higher than the Escalade.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 9 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

© 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 2020/07/03

The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 63 more horsepower (483 vs. 420) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 460) than the Escalade’s 6.2 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes GLS is faster than the Cadillac Escalade:

GLS 450

GLS 580

Escalade

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

5.4 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

14 sec

14.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/07/03

On the EPA test cycle the GLS gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade:

MPG

GLS

AWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/23 hwy

4.0 turbo V8 Hybrid

16 city/21 hwy

Escalade

RWD

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/21 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Escalade 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 Escalade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLS higher (6 out of 10) than the Cadillac Escalade (3). This means the GLS produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Escalade every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/07/03

For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Escalade:

GLS

Escalade

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13 inches

The GLS stops much shorter than the Escalade:

GLS

Escalade

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

202 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 Escalade’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS offers optional 23-inch wheels. The Escalade’s largest wheels are only 22-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes GLS has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Escalade, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

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

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 Escalade doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Escalade (123.4 inches vs. 116 inches).

The GLS 580 handles at .90 G’s, while the Escalade 4WD pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The GLS 450 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Escalade 4WD (26.4 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 2.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Escalade (10.1 vs. 8 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 3.3 inches higher than on the Escalade (11.3 vs. 8 inches).

Chassis

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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 Escalade uses body-on-frame design instead.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/07/03

The GLS has 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 9.8 inches more third row legroom than the Escalade.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/07/03

The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the Escalade.

GLS

Escalade

Behind Third Seat

17.4 cubic feet

15.2 cubic feet

The GLS’ cargo area is larger than the Escalade’s in almost every dimension:

GLS

Escalade

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

22.2”/48.1”/81.3”

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

Max Width

49”

n/a

Min Width

42.5”

49.3”

Height

34.7”

33.9”

The GLS has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Escalade doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed without the removable physical key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLS. The Escalade doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/07/03

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Escalade, 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’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Escalade’s parking brake has to released manually.

The GLS’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Escalade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the GLS 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 Escalade can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The GLS’ standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

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. Cadillac doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Escalade.

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 Escalade doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

Both the GLS and the Escalade offer available massaging front seats. The GLS also offers optional massaging second row seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging second row seats aren’t available in the Escalade.

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

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