Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 BMW X5 VS 2013 Mercedes M-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2013 BMW X5

Responsive image

2013 Mercedes M-Class

Safety Comparison

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 M-Class doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the M-Class.

The X5 offers an optional Top View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The M-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 X5 and the M-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Mercedes M-Class:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

84 G’s

150 G’s

Hip Force

138 lbs.

256 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the M-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 M-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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the X5’s reliability will be 10% better than the M-Class.

Engine Comparison

The X5 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 273) than the ML350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 443) than the ML550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 25 more horsepower (265 vs. 240) than the M-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel.

As tested in Motor Trend the X5 xDrive35i is faster than the ML350:



Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15 sec

As tested in Car and Driver the X5 xDrive35d is faster than the ML350 BlueTEC:



Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

X5 xDrive35i

X5 xDrive50i



Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.2 inches

13 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12.8 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 on the M-Class are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the M-Class:



70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

189 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

149 feet

156 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M-Class (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 265/45R20).

The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M-Class’ optional 45 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 M-Class doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X5 xDrive35i handles at .89 G’s, while the ML350 BlueTEC 4MATIC pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 3.46 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the M-Class (8.7 vs. 5.24 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the X5 xDrive35d is quieter than the ML350 BlueTEC 4MATIC (64 vs. 67 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The X5 has 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and .8 inches more rear headroom than the M-Class.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5’s cargo area is larger than the M-Class’ in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






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

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the M-Class.

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 M-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The M-Class doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 M-Class only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the X5’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the M-Class’ headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The X5’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The M-Class doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X5 with a number “5” insurance rate while the M-Class is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

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 M-Class.



Four Year

39% to 43%


Two Year

54% to 61%

49% to 50%

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X5 is less expensive to operate than the M-Class because it costs $1183 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the X5 than the M-Class, including $239 less for a starter, $24 less for front struts and $691 less for a timing belt/chain.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.