Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Mercedes Benz GLS VS 2017 Infiniti QX80 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 Mercedes Benz GLS

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2017 Infiniti QX80

Safety Comparison

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 Infiniti QX80 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle 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 QX80.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The QX80 doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

The Mercedes GLS has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The QX80 doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the GLS 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The GLS’ 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the GLS 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 QX80 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the GLS and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 78 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLS’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

The GLS550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 49 more horsepower (449 vs. 400) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8. The GLS63 AMG’s standard 5.5 turbo V8 produces 177 more horsepower (577 vs. 400) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (561 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

The GLS’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (457 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the GLS450 is faster than the Infiniti QX80:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

17.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the GLS450 gets better fuel mileage than the QX80 AWD (17 city/22 hwy vs. 13 city/19 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLS450/GLS63 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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GLS63 AMG’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX80:




Front Rotors

15.4 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.8 inches

The GLS stops much shorter than the QX80:





70 to 0 MPH

179 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

146 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the GLS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX80 (295/40R21 vs. 275/60R20).

The GLS’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s standard 60 series tires. The GLS’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 QX80 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 QX80, which uses coil springs in front. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The GLS offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLS63 AMG handles at .84 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The GLS350d goes through AutoWeek’s slalom 1.3 MPH faster than the QX80 AWD (37.4 vs. 36.1 MPH).

The GLS63 AMG executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the QX80 AWD (26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GLS’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the QX80’s (40.7 feet vs. 41.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the QX80 (10.9 vs. 9.2 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS’ minimum ground clearance is 2.8 inches higher than on the QX80 (12 vs. 9.2 inches).

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes GLS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Infiniti QX80.

The GLS is 6.9 inches shorter than the QX80, making the GLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction makes the GLS’ 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 QX80 doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Passenger Space Comparison

The GLS has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more third row headroom and 6.2 inches more third row legroom than the QX80.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the QX80, 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.

The power windows standard on both the GLS and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLS is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Optional Mercedes-Benz Apps for the GLS allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The QX80 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The GLS’ 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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its July 2015 issue and they ranked the Mercedes GLS450 four places higher than the Infiniti QX80 AWD.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLS third among large premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The QX80 isn’t in the top three.

Motor Trend selected the GLS as their 2013 Sport Utility of the Year. The QX80 has never been chosen.

The Mercedes GLS outsold the Infiniti QX80 by 75% during the 2016 model year.

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