Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz GL-Class VS 2015 Audi Q7 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz GL-Class

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2015 Audi Q7

Safety Comparison

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 Q7 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The GL-Class offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Q7 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.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The GL-Class has standard mbrace, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Q7 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the GL-Class and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 18 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GL-Class’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes second in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The GL-Class has more powerful engines than the Q7:



GL450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GL550 4.7 turbo V8

429 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

GL63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

550 HP

560 lbs.-ft.

Q7 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6

280 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Q7 3.0 TFSI Prestige 3.0 supercharged V6

333 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

The GL-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 49 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 406) than the Q7’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel.

As tested in Car and Driver the GL63 AMG is faster than the Q7 3.0 TFSI Prestige:



Zero to 60 MPH

4.8 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.2 sec

17.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.5 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

156 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GL450/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 Q7 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GL450/550’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Q7:



Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

The GL-Class stops much shorter than the Q7:



70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

146 feet

150 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the GL-Class has larger standard tires than the Q7 (275/55R19 vs. 255/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GL-Class has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q7.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The GL-Class has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the GL-Class flat and controlled during cornering. The Q7’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The GL-Class offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Q7 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The front and rear suspension of the GL-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Q7, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GL-Class’ wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Q7 (121.1 inches vs. 118.2 inches).

The GL63 AMG handles at .84 G’s, while the Q7 pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The GL63 AMG executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Q7 3.0 TDI Premium (26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the GL-Class has a 2.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Q7 (10.9 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the GL-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GL-Class’ minimum ground clearance is 2.6 inches higher than on the Q7 air suspension (12 vs. 9.4 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

The GL-Class has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, .2 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.3 inches more third row headroom, 5.8 inches more third row legroom and 1.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The GL-Class’ cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.



Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

10.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

49.4 cubic feet

42 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

72.5 cubic feet

The GL-Class’ cargo area is larger than the Q7’s in almost every dimension:



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



Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GL-Class’ optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q7 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Q7 Premium Plus/Prestige, 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.

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 Q7 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Optional Mercedes-Benz Apps for the GL-Class allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Q7 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The GL-Class has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GL-Class is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because typical repairs cost much less on the GL-Class than the Q7, including $679 less for an alternator, $208 less for a starter, $355 less for fuel injection, $149 less for a fuel pump, $1442 less for front struts and $1924 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

The Mercedes GL-Class won the Best Resale Value award in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue. The Audi Q7 didn't win any award.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GL-Class third among large premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q7 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Motor Trend selected the GL-Class as their 2013 Sport Utility of the Year. The Q7 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GL-Class outsold the Audi Q7 by 39% during the 2014 model year.

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