Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2020 BMW X5 VS 2020 Mercedes GLE Near Phoenix, AZ

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2020 BMW X5

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VS

2020 Mercedes GLE

Safety Comparison

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The X5 has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLE doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X5 offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLE doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The GLE doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the X5 and the GLE 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLE has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLE’s (12 vs. 5 years).

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 GLE.

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 a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 20 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine Comparison

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The X5 has more powerful engines than the GLE:

Horsepower

Torque

X5 s/xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

456 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

X5 M50i 4.4 turbo V8

523 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

GLE 350 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X5 is faster than the GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid:

X5 s/xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

GLE

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

n/a

1.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.8 sec

4.2 sec

5.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.5 sec

n/a

13.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.8 sec

n/a

6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

n/a

3.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.7 sec

n/a

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

12.7 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

109 MPH

100 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 s/xDrive40i xDrive gets better city fuel mileage than the GLE 350 4MATIC (20 city/26 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Mercedes only offers a regenerative brake system on the GLE 450.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

GLE 350

GLE 450

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

13 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

13 inches

13.6 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the GLE 350 are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the GLE:

X5

GLE

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the GLE (265/50R19 vs. 255/50R19).

The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLE’s optional 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The GLE’s largest wheels are only 21-inches.

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 GLE doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the GLE’s (53.5% to 46.5%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the GLE 450 pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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The front grille of the X5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLE doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X5 has .2 inches more front headroom and .7 inches more front shoulder room than the GLE.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available third row seats recline. The GLE’s optional third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The X5 has a larger cargo volume than the GLE with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 33 cubic feet).

Both the X5 and the GLE offer second row automatic folding seats. The X5’s optional third row seats also fold down at the press of a button. The GLE doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Consumer Reports rated the X5’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the GLE’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

Recommendations Comparison

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Consumer Reports® chose the BMW X5 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLE isn't recommended.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its August 2019 issue and they ranked the BMW X5 xDrive40i two places higher than the Mercedes GLE 450.

The BMW X5 outsold the Mercedes GLE by 14% during the 2019 model year.

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