Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 Mercedes Benz GLE VS 2021 BMW X3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2021 Mercedes Benz GLE

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VS

2021 BMW X3

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 BMW X3 M doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLE 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 X3 M doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the GLE and the X3 M have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, 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 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 X3 M has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLE’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

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The GLE 580’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 469) than the X3 M Competition’s optional 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the GLE 450 gets better fuel mileage than the X3 M (21 city/26 hwy vs. 14 city/19 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the GLE 350 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the X3 M with its standard engine (19 city/26 hwy vs. 14 city/19 hwy).

The GLE has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3 M (22.5 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the X3 M (255/50R19 vs. 245/45R20). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X3 M (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. F:255/40R21 & R:265/40R21).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE 580 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The X3 M’s largest wheels are only 21-inches.

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. BMW doesn’t offer an active suspension on the X3 M.

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 X3 M 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 X3 M doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the X3 M (117.9 inches vs. 112.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than on the X3 M.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the X3 M’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLE Airmatic has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X3 M (9.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the GLE to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the Mercedes GLE amounts to more than styling. The GLE has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the X3 M (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The GLE offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the X3 M can only carry 5.

The GLE has 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 4.5 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3 M.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X3 M with its rear seat up (33.3 vs. 28.7 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X3 M with its rear seat folded (74.9 vs. 62.7 cubic feet).

The GLE’s cargo area is larger than the X3 M’s in every dimension:

GLE

X3 M

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40”/76.5”

36.5”/69”

Min Width

43.7”

43.3”

Height

35.5”

29.7”

Ergonomics Comparison

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The GLE has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X3 M doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X3 M, 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 standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The X3 M doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 X3 M does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 X3 M.

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. Wireless charging costs extra on the X3 M.

The GLE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X3 M doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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