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The GLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Discovery doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLS are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Land Rover Discovery doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the GLS and the Discovery have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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 801 to 966 pounds more than the Land Rover Discovery. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Land Rover 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd.
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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 87 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.
The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 22 more horsepower (362 vs. 340) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6. The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 143 more horsepower (483 vs. 340) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Discovery doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The GLS has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 22.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
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 Discovery.
For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Discovery:
For better traction, the GLS has larger tires than the Discovery (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R19).
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 Discovery’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS offers optional 23-inch wheels. The Discovery’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 Discovery, 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. Land Rover doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Discovery.
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 Discovery’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
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 Discovery 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 Discovery doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 8.4 inches longer than on the Discovery (123.4 inches vs. 115 inches).
For better maneuverability, the GLS’ turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Discovery’s (39.4 feet vs. 40.6 feet).
For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Discovery (10.1 vs. 8.7 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 inch higher than on the Discovery Air Suspension (11.3 vs. 11.1 inches).
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 Discovery (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLS get better fuel mileage.
The GLS has 1.2 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more third row legroom than the Discovery.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLS’ middle and third row seats recline. The Discovery’s third row seats don’t recline.
The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the Discovery.
Behind Third Seat
17.4 cubic feet
11.8 cubic feet
Third Seat Folded
42.7 cubic feet
40.2 cubic feet
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLS. The Discovery doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Land Rover. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With an 89% lower rating, Land Rover is ranked 30th.
The GLS has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Discovery doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GLS has standard extendable sun visors. The Discovery doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLS to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Discovery doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
Both the GLS and the Discovery 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 Discovery.
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 Discovery doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
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 Discovery doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The GLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Discovery’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.
The Mercedes GLS outsold the Land Rover Discovery by over two to one during the 2019 model year.
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