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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 Toyota Sequoia 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Full-time four-wheel drive is standard on the GLS. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Sequoia. Four-wheel drive of any type costs extra on the Sequoia.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Sequoia doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.
The GLS has a standard Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sequoia only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
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 Sequoia uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
The GLS has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the GLS and the Sequoia 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 GLS comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Sequoia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 102 more horsepower (483 vs. 381) and 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 401) than the Sequoia’s 5.7 DOHC V8.
On the EPA test cycle the GLS 450 gets better fuel mileage than the Sequoia 4WD (19 city/23 hwy vs. 13 city/17 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Sequoia 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLS higher (6 out of 10) than the Toyota Sequoia (5). This means the GLS produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Sequoia every 15,000 miles.
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 Sequoia.
For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Sequoia:
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 Sequoia SR5’s standard 65 series tires. The GLS’ tires are lower profile than the Sequoia TRD Sport/Limited/Platinum/TRD Pro’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Sequoia SR5. The GLS’ optional 23-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Sequoia TRD Sport/Limited/Platinum/TRD Pro.
The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Sequoia, 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. Toyota doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Sequoia.
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 Sequoia doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Sequoia (123.4 inches vs. 122 inches).
For greater off-road capability the GLS has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sequoia Platinum (10.1 vs. 9.6 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 1.3 inches higher than on the Sequoia (11.3 vs. 10 inches).
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 Sequoia 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 significantly lower than the Sequoia (.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 4.6 inches more front headroom, 5.3 inches more rear headroom and 1 inch more rear legroom than the Sequoia.
The GLS has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Sequoia doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the GLS’ second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Sequoia doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLS’ cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The GLS’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sequoia’s (7700 vs. 7100 pounds).
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.
Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Sequoia (except SR5/TRD Sport/TRD Pro), 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The GLS’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sequoia’s parking brake has to released manually.
The power windows standard on both the GLS and the Sequoia have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLS is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Sequoia prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
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 Sequoia’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or 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 Sequoia can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
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 Sequoia’s 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 Sequoia 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’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sequoia’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. Toyota doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Sequoia.
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 Sequoia doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
On extremely cold winter days, the GLS’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
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 Sequoia.
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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes GLS outsold the Toyota Sequoia by over two to one during the 2019 model year.
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