Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW X5 VS 2015 Mercedes GLK-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW X5

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VS

2015 Mercedes GLK-Class

Safety Comparison

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

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer a night vision system.

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

The BMW X5 weighs 434 to 1071 pounds more than the Mercedes GLK-Class. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the GLK-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, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLK-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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

The X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 273) than the GLK-Class’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 143 more horsepower (445 vs. 302) and 207 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 273) than the GLK-Class’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 55 more horsepower (255 vs. 200) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 369) than the GLK-Class’ 2.1 turbo diesel.

As tested in Motor Trend the X5 xDrive50i is faster than the Mercedes GLK350:

X5

GLK-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106.9 MPH

96.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the GLK-Class:

X5

GLK-Class

2WD

6 cyl./Auto

19 city/27 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

V6

V6/Auto

n/a

19 city/25 hwy

PZEV

4WD

6 cyl./Auto

18 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

V6

V6/Auto

n/a

18 city/24 hwy

PZEV

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

Regardless of its engine, the X5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Mercedes only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the GLK-Class V6.

The X5 has 6.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLK-Class Diesel’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 15.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X5 has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLK-Class Gas’ standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 17.4 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X5 xDrive50i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLK-Class:

X5

X5 xDrive50i

GLK-Class

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

The X5 stops much shorter than the GLK-Class:

X5

GLK-Class

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the GLK-Class (255/55R18 vs. 235/50R19). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLK-Class (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 255/45R20).

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 GLK-Class’ optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the GLK-Class.

The X5 has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 7 inches longer than on the GLK-Class (115.5 inches vs. 108.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 4 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the GLK-Class.

The X5 xDrive35d handles at .82 G’s, while the GLK350 4MATIC pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the GLK350 4MATIC (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLK250 BlueTEC (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the BMW X5 amounts to more than styling. The X5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the GLK-Class (.34 to .36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The X5 has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 5.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLK-Class.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the GLK-Class with its rear seat up (22.9 vs. 16.5 cubic feet). The X5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLK-Class with its rear seat folded (66 vs. 54.7 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLK-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 GLK-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 GLK-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 GLK-Class’ headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The X5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the GLK-Class. The X5 also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLK-Class.

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 GLK-Class doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X5 and the Mercedes GLK-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 second among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GLK-Class was rated third in its category.

The BMW X5 outsold the Mercedes GLK-Class by 11% during the 2014 model year.

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