2020 Mercedes GLS vs. 2021 GMC Yukon

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 2020/08/13

The GLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Yukon 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 Yukon.

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 Yukon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

Both the GLS and the Yukon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

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 Yukon’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 Yukon’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/13

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the GLS have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Yukon.

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 1 place higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

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The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 7 more horsepower (362 vs. 355) than the Yukon’s standard 5.3 V8. The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 63 more horsepower (483 vs. 420) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 460) than the Yukon Denali’s standard 6.2 V8.

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 2020/08/13

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

MPG

GLS

AWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/23 hwy

4.0 turbo V8 Hybrid

16 city/21 hwy

Yukon

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

16 city/20 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

15 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

16 city/20 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/19 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Yukon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

GLS

Yukon

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.5 inches

Tires and Wheels

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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 Yukon’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Yukon. The GLS’ optional 23-inch wheels are larger than the 22-inch wheels optional on the Yukon.

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 Yukon, 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 Yukon.

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 Yukon doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the Yukon (123.4 inches vs. 120.9 inches).

Chassis

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The GLS 450 is 5 inches shorter than the Yukon, making the GLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Yukon uses body-on-frame design instead.

Servicing Ease

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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 system in the Yukon SLT/AT4/Denali, 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’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Yukon’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to 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 Yukon can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLS has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Yukon 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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the GLS to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Yukon doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

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 Yukon.

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 Yukon 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 Yukon.

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 Yukon SLT/AT4/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 Yukon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/08/13

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLS is less expensive to operate than the Yukon because it costs $218 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GLS than the Yukon, including $318 less for a muffler, $91 less for a fuel pump and $865 less for a timing belt/chain.

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