Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW X5 VS 2015 Mercedes GL-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2015 BMW X5

Responsive image
VS

2015 Mercedes GL-Class

Safety Comparison

Both the X5 and the GL-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.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the GL-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 GL-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 94% better than the GL-Class.

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 3.0 turbo diesel produces 15 more horsepower (255 vs. 240) than the GL-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel.

As tested in Motor Trend the X5 xDrive50i is faster than the GL63 AMG:

X5

GL-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

13.1 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the GL350 BlueTEC (24 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35i gets better fuel mileage than the GL450 (18 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GL-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 GL-Class GL450/GL63 AMG.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The X5 stops much shorter than the GL-Class:

X5

GL-Class

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The X5’s optional 315/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GL550/GL63 AMG’s 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available 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 GL-Class doesn’t offer run-flat 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 GL-Class.

The X5 xDrive35d handles at .82 G’s, while the GL350 BlueTEC pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the GL350 BlueTEC (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 700 pounds less than the Mercedes GL-Class.

The X5 is 8.4 inches shorter than the GL-Class GL350 BlueTEC/GL450, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW X5 amounts to more than styling. The X5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is significantly lower than the GL-Class (.369 to .377) 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 has .1 inches more front legroom and 2 inches more front shoulder room than the GL-Class.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The GL-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 GL-Class.

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

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X5 will cost $455 less than the GL-Class over a five-year period.

The X5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the X5 will retain 49.67% to 53.21% of its original price after five years, while the GL-Class only retains 42.57% to 48.29%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X5 will be $11233 to $50769 less than for the Mercedes GL-Class.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GL-Class isn't recommended.

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 GL-Class was rated third in its category.

The BMW X5 outsold the Mercedes GL-Class by 63% during the 2014 model year.

© 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.