Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Mercedes Benz GL-Class VS 2014 Lincoln Navigator Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Mercedes Benz GL-Class

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VS

2014 Lincoln Navigator

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GL-Class 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 Lincoln Navigator doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The GL-Class’ front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Navigator doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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

The GL-Class offers optional PRE-SAFE Brake, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Navigator doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GL-Class’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Navigator doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

The Mercedes GL-Class has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Navigator doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the GL-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Navigator doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The GL-Class’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Navigator doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The GL-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Navigator only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that flash a light and beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The GL-Class’ 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 Navigator doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

Both the GL-Class and the Navigator 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 and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GL-Class second among large premium CUVs in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The Navigator isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 17th.

Engine Comparison

The GL450’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 52 more horsepower (362 vs. 310) and 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 365) than the Navigator’s 5.4 SOHC V8. The GL550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 119 more horsepower (429 vs. 310) and 151 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 365) than the Navigator’s 5.4 SOHC V8. The GL63 AMG’s standard 5.5 turbo V8 produces 240 more horsepower (550 vs. 310) and 195 lbs.-ft. more torque (560 vs. 365) than the Navigator’s 5.4 SOHC V8.

The GL-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 90 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 365) than the Navigator’s 5.4 SOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the GL63 AMG is faster than the Lincoln Navigator:

GL-Class

Navigator

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108.3 MPH

84.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the GL350 BlueTEC gets better fuel mileage than the Navigator 4WD (19 city/26 hwy vs. 13 city/18 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the GL450 gets better fuel mileage than the Navigator 4WD (14 city/19 hwy vs. 13 city/18 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GL-Class GL63 AMG’s 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 Navigator doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GL-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Navigator:

GL350 BlueTEC

GL63 AMG

Navigator

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

15.4 inches

13.5 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

13.1 inches

The GL-Class stops much shorter than the Navigator:

GL-Class

Navigator

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

209 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

143 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

146 feet

167 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the GL-Class has larger standard tires than the Navigator (275/55R19 vs. 255/70R18). The GL550/GL63 AMG’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Navigator (295/40R21 vs. 275/55R20).

The GL-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Navigator’s standard 70 series tires. The GL550/GL63 AMG’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Navigator’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GL-Class has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Navigator. The GL550/GL63 AMG’s 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Navigator.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the GL-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Navigator, which uses coil springs in front. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The GL-Class offers an available 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 Navigator’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GL-Class’ 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 Navigator doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GL-Class’ wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the Navigator (121.1 inches vs. 119 inches).

The GL63 AMG handles at .84 G’s, while the Navigator 4x4 pulls only .65 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the GL-Class has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Navigator (10.9 vs. 9.1 inches), allowing the GL-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GL-Class’ minimum ground clearance is 2.9 inches higher than on the Navigator (12 vs. 9.1 inches).

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes GL-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Lincoln Navigator.

The GL-Class GL350 BlueTEC/GL450 is 6.8 inches shorter than the Navigator, making the GL-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction makes the GL-Class’ 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 Navigator doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Passenger Space Comparison

The GL-Class has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more third row headroom than the Navigator.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GL-Class’ optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Navigator doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Navigator, the GL-Class offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GL-Class’ 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 Navigator’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the GL-Class the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Navigator can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless-Go optional on the GL-Class allows you 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 vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Lincoln Navigator doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The GL-Class has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Navigator doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GL-Class offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Navigator doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GL-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Navigator doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GL-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the GL-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Navigator doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

When the GL-Class with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Navigator’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the GL-Class’ passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Navigator doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the GL-Class offers an optional Distronic Plus, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Navigator doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The GL-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Navigator doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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

GL-Class

Navigator

Five Year

32%

31%

Three Year

46%

45%

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GL-Class is less expensive to operate than the Navigator because typical repairs cost much less on the GL-Class than the Navigator, including $57 less for a fuel pump and $250 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GL-Class second among large premium CUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Navigator isn’t in the top three in its category.

Motor Trend selected the GL-Class as their 2013 Sport Utility of the Year. The Navigator has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GL-Class outsold the Lincoln Navigator by almost four to one during the 2013 model year.

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