2020 Mercedes GLS vs. 2020 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 GMC Acadia 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 Acadia.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLS and the Acadia 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.

The Mercedes GLS weighs 1311 to 1778 pounds more than the GMC Acadia. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The GLS comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Acadia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The GLS’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

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The GLS has more powerful engines than the Acadia:

Horsepower

Torque

GLS 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GLS 580 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid

483 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

193 HP

188 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

230 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GLS has 4.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLS has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 21.7 gallons).

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 GMC Acadia (5 to 6). This means the GLS produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Acadia every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLS

Acadia

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLS has larger tires than the Acadia (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18).

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 Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The GLS’ tires are lower profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia. The GLS’ optional 23-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Acadia.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Acadia, 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. GMC doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Acadia.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 10.9 inches longer than on the Acadia (123.4 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLS is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Acadia.

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 2.9 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (10.1 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 3.5 inches higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (11.3 vs. 7.8 inches).

Passenger Space

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For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLS’ middle and third row seats recline. The Acadia’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

GLS

Acadia

Behind Third Seat

17.4 cubic feet

12.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

42.7 cubic feet

41.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.7 cubic feet

79 cubic feet

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

Both the GLS and the Acadia have standard second row automatic folding seats. The GLS’ third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The Acadia doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLS. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The GLS’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (7700 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Acadia. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

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

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Acadia (except SL/SLE/AT4), 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’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Acadia, and is not available on all models.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLS’ 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 Acadia’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully. Only its driver’s window closes automatically.

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 Acadia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The GLS’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLS has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Acadia doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GLS also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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. GMC doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Acadia.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia.

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 one for the rear passengers. Only the Acadia Denali offers wireless charging.

The GLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Acadia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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