Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 Mercedes Benz GLE VS 2020 Acura MDX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2021 Mercedes Benz GLE

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VS

2020 Acura MDX

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and middle 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 Acura MDX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle 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 MDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems 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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the GLE its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2021, a rating granted to only 35 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The MDX has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 42 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

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 GLE’s reliability 15 points higher than the MDX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 7 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine Comparison

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The GLE has more powerful engines than the MDX:

Horsepower

Torque

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.

MDX 3.5 SOHC V6

290 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

MDX Sport Hybrid 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid

321 HP

289 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid is faster than the Acura MDX V6:

GLE

MDX

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.3 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The GLE has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GLE has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

GLE 350

GLE 450

MDX

MDX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The GLE 450’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

The GLE stops much shorter than the MDX:

GLE

MDX

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the MDX (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MDX (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 265/45R20).

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 MDX’s standard 60 series tires. The GLE 580’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the MDX A-Spec’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the MDX. The GLE 580’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the MDX.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The GLE 450 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Acura doesn’t offer an active suspension on the MDX.

The GLE has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLE’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The MDX 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 MDX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the MDX (117.9 inches vs. 111 inches).

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the MDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

The GLE 450 handles at .84 G’s, while the MDX SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the GLE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (7.9 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLE Airmatic’s minimum ground clearance is 1.9 inches higher than on the MDX (9.2 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the MDX SH-AWD:

GLE

MDX

Full-Throttle

70 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The GLE has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 4.3 inches more rear legroom than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The GLE has a much larger cargo volume than the MDX with its rear seat up (33.3 vs. 15.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLE’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MDX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLE’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the MDX, 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 instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MDX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the GLE and the MDX 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 MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The GLE’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The MDX’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 MDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The GLE’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the MDX’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The MDX 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 shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GLE has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The GLE offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the MDX.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLE has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The MDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The GLE’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the GLE owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the GLE with a number “8” insurance rate while the MDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the MDX because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the MDX, including $795 less for fuel injection, $133 less for a fuel pump and $8 less for a timing belt/chain.

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