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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 Cadillac XT6 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 XT6.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The XT6 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 XT6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the GLS and the XT6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.
The Mercedes GLS weighs 1011 to 1260 pounds more than the Cadillac XT6. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 11 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.
The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 52 more horsepower (362 vs. 310) and 98 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 271) than the XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6. The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 173 more horsepower (483 vs. 310) and 245 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 271) than the XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the GLS 450 gets better fuel mileage than the XT6 AWD (19 city/23 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT6 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The GLS has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the XT6 FWD’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLS has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the XT6 AWD’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 22 gallons).
For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the XT6:
For better traction, the GLS has larger tires than the XT6 (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R20).
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 XT6’s standard 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS offers optional 23-inch wheels. The XT6’s largest wheels are only 21-inches.
The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the XT6, 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 XT6.
The GLS has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLS’ 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 XT6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
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 XT6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 10.7 inches longer than on the XT6 (123.4 inches vs. 112.7 inches).
For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 3.45 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the XT6 (10.1 vs. 6.65 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 4.65 inches higher than on the XT6 (11.3 vs. 6.65 inches).
The GLS has 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.8 inches more rear legroom, 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room and 5.1 inches more third row legroom than the XT6.
The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the XT6.
Behind Third Seat
17.4 cubic feet
12.6 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
84.7 cubic feet
78.7 cubic feet
The GLS’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the XT6’s (7700 vs. 1000 pounds).
The engine in the GLS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XT6. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the XT6, 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’ 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 XT6’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 XT6 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The XT6’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.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLS to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The XT6 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
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 XT6.
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 XT6 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 XT6.
The GLS has a 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 XT6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Mercedes GLS outsold the Cadillac XT6 by almost five to one during the 2019 model year.
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