Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 Mercedes Benz GLE VS 2021 BMW X5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2021 Mercedes Benz GLE

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VS

2021 BMW X5

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 X5 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 X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the GLE and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 X5 has not been fully 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.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the GLE 450 gets better highway fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive xDrive (21 city/26 hwy vs. 21 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the GLE 350 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the X5 M50i xDrive V8 (19 city/26 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The GLE stops much shorter than the X5:

GLE

X5

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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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 X5 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 X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLE 450 handles at .83 G’s, while the X5 xDrive40i pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the GLE’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the X5’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

For greater off-road capability the GLE Airmatic has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (9.2 vs. 8.7 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 X5 (.36 to .38) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLE get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the X5 xDrive40i (38 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The GLE has .5 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The GLE has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X5 with its rear seat folded (74.9 vs. 72.3 cubic feet).

The GLE’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

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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 X5 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 X5.

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 X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLE is less expensive to operate than the X5 because typical repairs cost much less on the GLE than the X5, including $1266 less for a muffler, $20 less for a starter, $72 less for a fuel pump, $104 less for front struts, $1479 less for a timing belt/chain and $909 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes GLE will be $3838 to $5897 less than for the BMW X5.

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