2020 Mercedes GLS vs. 2020 Lexus GX460

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 2020/07/09

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 GX460 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the GLS and the GX460 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 503 to 571 pounds more than the Lexus GX460. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 58 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLS’ warranty.

Engine

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The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 61 more horsepower (362 vs. 301) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8. The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 182 more horsepower (483 vs. 301) and 187 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes GLS is faster than the Lexus GX460:

GLS 450

GLS 580

GX460

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

5.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

14 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

101.7 MPH

89.7 MPH

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 2020/07/09

On the EPA test cycle the GLS gets better fuel mileage than the GX460:

MPG

GLS

3.0 turbo 6-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/23 hwy

4.0 turbo V8 Hybrid

16 city/21 hwy

GX460

4.6 DOHC V8

15 city/19 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 a six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the GX460:

GLS

GX460

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

The GLS stops much shorter than the GX460:

GLS

GX460

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GX460 (275/50R20 vs. 265/60R18).

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 GX460’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the GX460. The GLS offers optional 23-inch wheels.

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 Lexus GX460 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 GX460, 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. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the GX460.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 13.6 inches longer than on the GX460 (123.4 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLS is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The GLS 580 handles at .90 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The GLS 450 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the GX460 (26.4 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GLS’ turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the GX460’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GX460 (10.1 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 3.2 inches higher than on the GX460 (11.3 vs. 8.1 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 GX460 uses body-on-frame design instead.

The design of the Mercedes GLS amounts to more than styling. The GLS has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the GX460 (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLS get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The GLS has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 7.8 inches more rear legroom, 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room and 5.3 inches more third row legroom than the GX460.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the GX460.

GLS

GX460

Behind Third Seat

17.4 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.7 cubic feet

64.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the GLS easier. The GLS’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.8 inches, while the GX460’s liftover is 33.8 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the GLS’ second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The GX460 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The GLS’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLS’ power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Towing

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The GLS’ towing capacity is much higher than the GX460’s (7700 vs. 6500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the GX460, 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 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 GX460 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLS’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The GX460’s parking brake has to released manually.

The GLS’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GX460’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 GX460’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The GLS’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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. Lexus doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the GX460.

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 GX460 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 GX460.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The GLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The GX460 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLS is less expensive to operate than the GX460 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLS than the GX460, including $82 less for a starter, $37 less for a fuel pump and $877 less for a timing belt/chain.

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