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

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2017 Mercedes Benz GLS

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VS

2017 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLS 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 middle seat belts.

The GLS’ pre-crash 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 GLS 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLS. But it costs extra on the X5.

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

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

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The GLS has more powerful engines than the X5:

Horsepower

Torque

GLS450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GLS550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

GLS63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

561 lbs.-ft.

X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

480 lbs.-ft.

The GLS’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (457 vs. 413) than the X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel.

As tested in Car and Driver the GLS450 3.0 turbo V6 is faster than the X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.:

GLS

X5

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

5.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

15.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.9 sec

4.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

96 MPH

Top Speed

133 MPH

127 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The GLS has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (26.4 vs. 22.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the X5:

GL350d/GL450

GLS63 AMG

X5

X5 xDrive50i

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

15.4 inches

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

The GLS stops shorter than the X5:

GLS

X5

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the GLS has larger standard tires than the X5 (275/55R19 vs. 255/50R19). The GLS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X5 (295/40R21 vs. 275/40R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS63 AMG offers optional 22-inch wheels. The X5’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The GLS 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.

The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the X5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The GLS’ 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 X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the X5 (121.1 inches vs. 115.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the GLS is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the X5.

The GLS63 AMG handles at .84 G’s, while the X5 xDrive35i xDrive pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the GLS’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the X5’s (40.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 2.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (10.9 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS’ minimum ground clearance is 3.8 inches higher than on the X5 (12 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLS450 is quieter than the X5 xDrive35i xDrive:

GLS

X5

At idle

37 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The GLS has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The GLS’ cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

GLS

X5

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

12 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

49.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

35.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

76.7 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLS’ optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The GLS’ 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

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

Heated windshield washer fluid is optional on the GLS to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The X5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

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

The GLS 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 X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLS is less expensive to operate than the X5 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLS than the X5, including $650 less for an alternator, $64 less for fuel injection, $566 less for a timing belt/chain and $2293 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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Motor Trend selected the GLS as their 2013 Sport Utility of the Year. The X5 has never been chosen.

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