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

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2015 Mercedes Benz M-Class

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VS

2015 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes M-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 BMW X5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The M-Class’ front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes M-Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the M-Class its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 48 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been fully tested, yet.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Engine Comparison

The ML400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 29 more horsepower (329 vs. 300) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 300) than the X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the ML350 is faster than the X5 s/xDrive35i:

M-Class

X5

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.4 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The M-Class has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (24.6 vs. 22.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The M-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 X5 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For better maneuverability, the M-Class’ turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the M-Class Airmatic has a 3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (11.2 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the M-Class to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The M-Class is 4.1 inches shorter than the X5, making the M-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The M-Class has 1.8 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The M-Class has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X5 with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 22.9 cubic feet). The M-Class has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X5 with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 66 cubic feet).

The M-Class’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5, the M-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.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the M-Class offers optional dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The X5 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The M-Class offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the M-Class owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the M-Class will cost $1405 to $3320 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes M-Class will be $1400 to $3013 less than for the BMW X5.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes M-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mercedes M-Class outsold the BMW X5 by 6% during the 2014 model year.

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