Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 BMW X5 VS 2013 Mercedes G-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2013 BMW X5

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VS

2013 Mercedes G-Class

Safety Comparison

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The X5 has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The G-Class doesn’t offer child safety locks.

The X5 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The G-Class doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X5’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The G-Class doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The X5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The G-Class doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X5 offers an optional Top View 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. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the X5 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 G-Class uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

The X5’s gas tank is mounted inside the frame rails in front of the rear axle to optimally protect the fuel tank in a collision. The Mercedes G-Class’ gas tank is mounted behind the rear axle, where it is more susceptible to rear collisions.

Both the X5 and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the G-Class’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the G-Class.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X5 has a standard 210 amp alternator (220 amp - X5 xDrive50i). The G-Class’ 150 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

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The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 12 more horsepower (400 vs. 388) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 391) than the G550’s standard 5.5 DOHC V8.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (425 vs. 391) than the G550’s standard 5.5 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the G550 (19 city/26 hwy vs. 12 city/15 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35i gets better fuel mileage than the G550 (16 city/23 hwy vs. 12 city/15 hwy). The X5 xDrive50i gets better fuel mileage than the G550 (14 city/20 hwy vs. 12 city/15 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The G-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the G-Class:

X5 xDrive35i

X5 xDrive50i

G550

G63

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.2 inches

12.3 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

10.7 inches

13 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the G550 are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the G-Class:

X5

G-Class

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

210 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the G550’s standard 60 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the G63’s 50 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The G-Class doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The BMW X5’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Mercedes G-Class’ solid front axle, which allows the X5’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For superior ride and handling, the BMW X5 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 X5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X5 flat and controlled during cornering. The G-Class’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The X5 offers an optional 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 G-Class’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X5 offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the X5 has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the G-Class.

The X5 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the G-Class (115.5 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 5.1 inches wider in the front and 5.4 inches wider in the rear than on the G-Class.

The X5 xDrive35i handles at .89 G’s, while the G550 pulls only .61 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the X5’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (42 feet vs. 43.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the G-Class (8.7 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 600 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

Unibody construction makes the X5’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The G-Class doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

For excellent aerodynamics, the X5 has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X5 xDrive35d is quieter than the G550:

X5

G-Class

At idle

43 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

The X5 has 6.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s middle row seats recline. The G-Class’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The G-Class’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the X5 offers an optional power rear tailgate, which opens and closes completely automatically by pressing a button on the key fob. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power left swing out.

Ergonomics Comparison

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the X5 has a power telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The G-Class doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X5’s 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 G-Class’ power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

Comfort Access optional on the X5 allows the driver to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mercedes G-Class doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear variable 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The G-Class’ cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The X5’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The X5’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The G-Class’ power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The X5 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The G-Class has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The X5 has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The G-Class doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the X5 offers optional rear seat controls for the radio which can play a separate audio source. The G-Class doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X5 will cost $6510 to $9765 less than the G-Class over a five-year period.

The X5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the X5 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the G-Class.

X5

G-Class

Four Year

39% to 43%

31%

Two Year

54% to 61%

46% to 47%

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X5 will be $47753 to $49295 less than for the Mercedes G-Class.

The headlight lenses on the X5 are made of plastic to be lighter, more resistant to damage and less expensive to replace than the glass headlight lenses on the G-Class.

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