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

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2015 BMW X5

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VS

2015 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.

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

Both the X5 and the M-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 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, lubrication and any other required 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 17% better than the Mercedes M-Class and 27% better than the Mercedes M-Class Diesel.

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 ML350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 116 more horsepower (445 vs. 329) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 354) than the ML400’s standard 3.0 turbo 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 M-Class’ 2.1 turbo diesel.

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

X5

M-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.1 MPH

92.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the ML250 BlueTEC (24 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/29 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35i gets better fuel mileage than the ML400 4MATIC (18 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/22 hwy).

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.

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.) The M-Class 350 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

X5

X5 xDrive50i

ML350

ML400

Front Rotors

13.1 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:

X5

M-Class

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 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 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 M-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 M-Class.

The X5 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the ML350 4MATIC (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 2.96 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the M-Class (8.2 vs. 5.24 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 M-Class (.35) 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 M-Class can only carry 5.

The X5 has 1.6 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room and .3 inches more rear headroom than the M-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 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 other key instrumentation 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.”

Economic Advantages Comparison

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 M-Class only retains 44.21% to 48.53%.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes M-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 M-Class isn’t in the top three.

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