Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW X5 VS 2017 Mercedes GLS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 BMW X5

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VS

2017 Mercedes GLS

Safety Comparison

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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 GLS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the X5 and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the GLS’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLS.

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

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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 90% better than the GLS.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 first among midsize premium SUVs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The GLS isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the GLS450 (23 city/29 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the GLS:

 

 

X5

GLS

 

2WD

sDrive35i/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

xDrive35i/Auto

18 city/24 hwy

17 city/22 hwy

450/Auto

 

xDrive50i/Auto

15 city/21 hwy

14 city/18 hwy

550/Auto

 

 

n/a

13 city/17 hwy

63 AMG/Auto

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

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The X5 stops much shorter than the GLS:

 

X5

GLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLS’ standard 55 series tires. The X5’s optional 315/35R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the GLS’ optional 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 GLS doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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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 GLS.

The X5 xDrive35i xDrive handles at .79 G’s, while the GLS450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the GLS350d (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 750 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.

The X5 is 8.8 inches shorter than the GLS, 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 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .32 to .34 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is significantly lower than the GLS (.369 to .38) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X5 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the X5 xDrive35i xDrive is quieter than the GLS450 (64 vs. 65 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X5 has .1 inches more front legroom and 2 inches more front shoulder room than the GLS.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The GLS’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

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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 GLS.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X5 will cost $225 to $6575 less than the GLS 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 46.68% to 48.05% of its original price after five years, while the GLS only retains 39.04% to 46.15%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X5 is less expensive to operate than the GLS because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the X5 than the GLS, including $71 less for a water pump, $22 less for front brake pads, $136 less for a starter, $33 less for a fuel pump and $38 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X5 will be $11511 to $52368 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations Comparison

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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 GLS was rated third in its category.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. The BMW X5 is ranked first in the Luxury Crossover Utility category. The Mercedes GLS is ranked below average. The X5 received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.”

The BMW X5 outsold the Mercedes GLS by almost two to one during 2015.

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