2021 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2020 Mercedes G-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The G-Class doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The G-Class doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Suburban (except LS) offers an optional 360 degree parking monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The G-Class 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.

Both the Suburban and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Suburban 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the G-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the G-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Suburban’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the G-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The Suburban High Country’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 4 more horsepower (420 vs. 416) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

The Suburban’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Suburban gets better fuel mileage than the G-Class:

MPG

Suburban

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

16 city/20 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

15 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/19 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/19 hwy

G-Class

AWD

550 4.0 turbo V8

13 city/17 hwy

AMG 63 4.0 turboV8

13 city/15 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Suburban uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Suburban High Country for maximum performance). The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the G-Class.

Tires and Wheels

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The Chevrolet Suburban’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes G-Class only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Suburban has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The G-Class doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Suburban 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 Mercedes G-Class has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Suburban has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Suburban’s 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 G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban’s wheelbase is 20.3 inches longer than on the G-Class (134.1 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Suburban is 3.7 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

For better maneuverability, the ’s turning circle is 44.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ ( feet vs. 44.6 feet).

Chassis

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For excellent aerodynamics, the Suburban has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The front grille of the Suburban uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The G-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The Suburban has 63.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the G-Class (170.8 vs. 107).

The Suburban has .4 inches more front headroom, 5.8 inches more front legroom and 2.5 inches more rear legroom than the G-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The Suburban’s cargo area provides more volume than the G-Class.

Suburban

G-Class

Third Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

38.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

144.7 cubic feet

68.6 cubic feet

The Suburban’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The G-Class’ swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Suburban LT/RST/Z71/Premier/High Country’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Towing

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The Suburban 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Suburban can be unhitched and driven around locally. The G-Class can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Suburban’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The G-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Suburban (except LS/LT/RST/Z71) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Suburban has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the G-Class only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Suburban has standard extendable sun visors. The G-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

© 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 2020/08/06

The Suburban is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The G-Class doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/08/06

The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over seven to one during 2019.

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