Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Mercedes Benz GLE VS 2017 Toyota Highlander Near Phoenix, AZ

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2017 Mercedes Benz GLE

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2017 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLE 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 Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The GLE’s 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 Highlander doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

The GLE comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Highlander’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Engine Comparison

The GLE has more powerful engines than the Highlander:




GLE350 3.5 DOHC V6

302 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

GLE400 3.0 turbo V6

329 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

AMG GLE43 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

GLE550e 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

436 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Highlander 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Highlander 3.5 DOHC V6

295 HP

263 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the GLE400 3.0 turbo V6 is faster than the Toyota Highlander V6:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.3 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the GLE550e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander w/Start/Stop V6 AWD (39 city/50 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

The GLE550e can drive on battery power alone for up to 18.6 miles. The Highlander must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Highlander doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the GLE’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.) Toyota only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Highlander LE Plus/XLE/Limited/Platinum.

The GLE Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (21.1 vs. 19.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE’s standard fuel tank has 5.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (24.6 vs. 19.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GLE550e/GLE400/GLE43’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander:





Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

13 inches

12.2 inches

The GLE550e/GLE400/GLE43’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Highlander are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops shorter than the Highlander:





60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the Highlander (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (265/45R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The GLE’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 Highlander’s standard 60 series tires. The GLE’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Highlander SE/Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander. The GLE’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Highlander SE/Limited.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The GLE has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Highlander’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The GLE 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 Highlander doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The GLE has a standard continuously variable suspension system. Using sensors on steering angle, speed and other driver inputs, the shocks soften to improve ride, or stiffen when appropriate to aid handling on tricky roads or off-road. The Highlander’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GLE has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Highlander doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The GLE’s 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 Highlander doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the Highlander (114.8 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The GLE300d 4MATIC handles at .77 G’s, while the Highlander LE pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GLE400 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Highlander LE (27.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the GLE AIRMATIC has a 2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander (10 vs. 8 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The GLE is 3.4 inches shorter than the Highlander, making the GLE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The GLE has a much larger cargo area than the Highlander with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 13.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The GLE has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Highlander Limited/Platinum, the GLE offers an optional 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 GLE’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the GLE and the Highlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLE is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The GLE’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Highlander’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the GLE 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 Highlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The GLE’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Highlander’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer fluid is optional on the GLE to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Highlander doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Highlander doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GLE 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 GLE has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Highlander doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

When the GLE is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Highlander’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The GLE has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GLE has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Highlander doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

The GLE has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Highlander.

The GLE’s optional Parking Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Highlander doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the GLE owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the GLE with a number “3” insurance rate while the Highlander is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the Highlander because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the Highlander, including $331 less for an alternator, $430 less for a fuel pump, $36 less for front struts and $1519 less for a timing belt/chain.

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