2020 Mercedes GLS vs. 2020 Kia Telluride

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/12/07

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 Kia Telluride doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The GLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Telluride doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLS. But it costs extra on the Telluride.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Telluride doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

Both the GLS and the Telluride 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, driver alert monitors and available lane departure warning systems.

The Mercedes GLS weighs 1261 to 1589 pounds more than the Kia Telluride. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

© 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 2019/12/07

The GLS’ 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Telluride runs out after 100,000 miles.

Engine

© 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 2019/12/07

The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 71 more horsepower (362 vs. 291) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 192 more horsepower (483 vs. 291) and 254 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The GLS has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Telluride (23.8 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Telluride.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLS

Telluride

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12 inches

The GLS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Telluride are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLS has larger tires than the Telluride (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18).

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 Telluride LX/EX’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Telluride LX/EX. The GLS’ optional 23-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Telluride S/SX.

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 Telluride, 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. Kia doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Telluride.

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 Telluride’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 Telluride doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the Telluride (123.4 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 2.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Telluride (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 Telluride (11.3 vs. 8 inches).

Cargo Capacity

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

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

Towing

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The GLS’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Telluride’s (7700 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GLS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Telluride. 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 Kia. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Telluride SX, 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.

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 Telluride 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 Telluride’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLS has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Telluride 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 automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Telluride offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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. Kia doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Telluride.

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 Telluride.

The GLS has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Telluride EX/SX.

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 Telluride EX/SX 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 Telluride doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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