The fourth generation BMW X5 and the GLE from Mercedes-Benz, both been the two most popular luxury SUV models of German descent, over the years had savored the lion’s share of sales in the luxury midsize SUV category. The GLE, which incubated as the ML, was one of the first Mercedes-Benz vehicles built in the United States. Although, the buyers then chose the ML for comfort and the X5 for performance. Over the years, the gap has narrowed to the point of disappearing completely with the new generations of the model on the road right now.

The 2019 BMW X5 SUV and the Mercedes-Benz GLE were both designed to offer the best adventure seeking All-Wheel Drive (AWD) capability as well as versatile cargo and passenger space, so everything fits inside for the morning commute or weekend retreat with ease. These two luxury SUVs provide unmatched comfort, convenience, and interior amenities as well as precision performance under the hood. Also, the advanced technology and safety features incorporated in the 2019 GLE and 2019 X5 also enhance the ride quality wherever the destination may be. However, they have some dissimilarity that you will soon get to know as you tag along. Below is the side by side comparison of the 2019 BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

INTERIOR DESIGNS

Is no news that interior of the Mercedes-Benz is far more overt and flashy than that of Bimmer. This fact still holds between the X5 and GLE. Mercedes Benz best in class interiors has been their staple for many years.

The X5’s rotund wheels have a fully digital instrument behind it, which display’s maps and other info integrated, and an additional large configurable head-up display integrated into the binnacle, which projects onto the windscreen. The cabin of the X5 seems to be so restrained, with the exception of the gauche glass gear-shifter option.  Most parts of the interior are adorned with soft leather, offset by wooden and metallic highlights and the odd bit of glossy black plastic.

Also, the X5’s fascia is designed with an enlarged tablet-style screen, running BMW’s brand-new OS 7.0 software, with a new user interface and a raft of cloud-based connections controlled by the familiar iDrive rotary dial next to the shifter. The dial is accosted by the rocker switches to control the optional air suspension height and various off-road-specific modes. The various shortcut buttons, designed to help navigate various sub menus are likewise present here. Everything is lit with much ease by an adjustable LED ambient cabin light signatures.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE’s dominant feature is the feature of a huge screen that combines the driver’s digital instruments and the center display, which runs the company’s incredible new MBUX operating system that responds to inputs from a haptic controller on the transmission tunnel, or to ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice commands. A HUD is also incorporated. The 2019 Mercedes Benz GLE also features the new corporate steering wheel from the S-Class, having touchpads on each spoke to control various functions.

SAFETY

The X5 and the GLE are top notch SUV models relative to safety. Both cars obviously get the most common safety techs like standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors. Both also park themselves, both longitudinally and laterally.

However, the BMW X5 is best in it’s class when it comes to it’s use of standard Active Protection, which automatically makes use of the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and mitigate further injuries. The GLE albeit offers no 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.

The optional infrared night vision system (passive as it may seem) on the X5 helps the driver to detect people, animals, or other objects in front of the vehicle at night with much ease. The system utilizes an infrared camera in detecting heat and then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard.

To help make backing safer, the X5’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions and to stay alert. It can also drive largely autonomously in low-speed traffic jams, keep you in your lane by steering itself for short distances, can pull itself to the side of the road if you’re incapacitated, and changes lanes by itself when you tap the indicator, checking your blind spots for you first.

The GLE features a system that uses live traffic updates to slow automatically before unseen traffic snarls; it can automatically change your cruise control speed to mirror the speed limit at any moment, and also, navigate through corners for you before telling you to make use of the wheels yourself. The system is very capable of driving the vehicle to stop or start traffic – with your attention, like the BMW. However, the GLE offers no trailer park-assist feature.

ENGINE, TRANSMISSION AND FUEL ECONOMY

The BMW X5 30d has a standard 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel with 195kW/620Nm, the M50d has a quad turbo diesel with 294kW/760Nm, the M40i has a 3.0-liter turbo with 335 horsepower,  and the US/China-only 50i 4.4-litre force-fed V8 with 456 horsepower and 479 torque. All uses eight-speed autos.

The GLE 450 4Matic drive train has a turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine and a 48V EQ Boost mild hybrid system, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The GLE’s 400 standard 3.0 turbo V6 offers a 329 horsepower. Also, the AMG GLE 43’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 385 horsepower with 384 torque. The 48V system, however, supports active anti-roll, and smarter start/stop.

Relative to fuel economy, from the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the GLE, with the X5 city at 20 and 26 mpg highway to the GLE’s city 17 and 23 mpg highway.

PASSENGER AND CARGO SPACE

The X5 can accommodate up to seven passengers with ease to the GLE’s five to seven passengers.  Both SUVs have 40:20:40 middle seat rows, while the GLE edges the X5 for cargo space with 645L as against 825L. However, the X5 has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear headroom than the GLE. The X5 features an automatic switch that lowers the optional second and third-row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier.


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