Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz GL-Class VS 2015 GMC Yukon Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz GL-Class

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VS

2015 GMC Yukon

Safety Comparison

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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 GMC Yukon XL doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

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

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

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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer a night vision 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the GL-Class and the Yukon XL 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.

Warranty Comparison

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The GL-Class comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Yukon XL’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the GL-Class have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Yukon XL.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 16th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 9th.

Engine Comparison

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The GL-Class has more powerful engines than the Yukon XL:

Horsepower

Torque

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.

Yukon XL 5.3 V8

355 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Yukon XL Denali 6.2 V8

420 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

The GL-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 383) than the Yukon XL’s standard 5.3 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the GL63 AMG is faster than the Yukon XL Denali:

GL-Class

Yukon XL

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

7.4 sec

10.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.2 sec

16.7 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.3 sec

3.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108.3 MPH

94.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the GL350 BlueTEC gets better fuel mileage than the Yukon XL 5.3 V8 4WD (19 city/26 hwy vs. 15 city/22 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the GL450 gets better fuel mileage than the Yukon XL 5.3 V8 4WD (17 city/21 hwy vs. 15 city/22 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GL-Class 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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

GL350 BlueTEC

GL63 AMG

Yukon XL

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

15.4 inches

13 inches

The GL-Class stops much shorter than the Yukon XL:

GL-Class

Yukon XL

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the GL-Class has larger standard tires than the Yukon XL (275/55R19 vs. 265/65R18). The GL550/GL63 AMG’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Yukon XL (295/40R21 vs. 285/45R22).

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 Yukon XL SLE/SLT’s standard 65 series tires. The GL550/GL63 AMG’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Yukon XL’s optional 45 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 Yukon XL SLE/SLT.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes GL-Class has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The GMC Yukon XL has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The GL-Class has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the GL-Class flat and controlled during cornering. The Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL, 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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GL63 AMG handles at .86 G’s, while the Yukon XL Denali 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GL63 AMG executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Yukon XL Denali 4x4 (26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GL-Class’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Yukon XL’s (40.7 feet vs. 43 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GL-Class has a 3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Yukon XL (10.9 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the GL-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GL-Class’ minimum ground clearance is 4.1 inches higher than on the Yukon XL (12 vs. 7.9 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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The GL-Class GL350 BlueTEC/GL450 is 1 foot, 10.7 inches shorter than the Yukon XL, 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 Yukon XL doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The GL-Class has .9 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more third row headroom and .5 inches more third row legroom than the Yukon XL.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Yukon XL SLT/Denali, 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 with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Yukon XL’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to 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 Yukon XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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 Yukon XL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Mercedes GL-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The GMC Yukon XL didn't win any award.

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

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