Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 BMW X7 VS 2021 Mercedes GLE Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2021 BMW X7

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VS

2021 Mercedes GLE

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 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 Mercedes GLE doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The BMW X7 has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The GLE doesn’t offer a front passenger side knee airbag.

The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X7. But it costs extra on the GLE.

Both the X7 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 and available around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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The X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLE’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 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 X7’s reliability 45 points higher than the GLE.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X7 third among large premium suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The GLE isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 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 18th in initial quality. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 30th.

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’ January 2021 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine Comparison

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The X7 has more powerful engines than the GLE:

Horsepower

Torque

X7 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid

335 HP

331 lbs.-ft.

X7 M50i 4.4 turbo V8

523 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

Alpina XB7 4.4 turbo V8

612 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

GLE 350 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

GLE 580 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid

483 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the X7 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid is faster than the GLE 350 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder:

X7

GLE

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.8 MPH

87.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X7’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 X7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLE:

X7 xDrive40i

X7 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 X7’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 X7 stops much shorter than the GLE:

X7

GLE

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the GLE (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 255/50R19). The Alpina XB7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLE (F:285/35R23 & R:325/30R23 vs. F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21).

The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLE’s standard 50 series tires. The Alpina XB7’s optional 285/35R23 front and 325/30R23 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the GLE 580’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the GLE. The Alpina XB7’s optional 23-inch wheels are larger than the 22-inch wheels optional on the GLE 580.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X7 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 X7 Alpina has 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 front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the GLE, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the GLE (122.2 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

The X7’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.4% to 50.6%) than the GLE’s (53.5% to 46.5%). This gives the X7 more stable handling and braking.

The X7 xDrive40i handles at .86 G’s, while the GLE 350 4MATIC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X7 xDrive40i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the GLE 350 4MATIC (26.3 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLE (8.7 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the X7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The front grille of the X7 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 X7 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room and .3 inches more rear headroom than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLE.

X7

GLE

Third Seat Folded

48.6 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.4 cubic feet

74.9 cubic feet

Both the X7 and the GLE have standard second row automatic folding seats. The X7’s third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The GLE doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

The X7’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The GLE’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Consumer Reports rated the X7’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the GLE’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The X7 has standard heated front and optional heated second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Mercedes doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the GLE.

The X7 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the GLE.

Recommendations Comparison

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Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLE isn't recommended.

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