BMW X5 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 17, 2019

Fully redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class becomes the mid-size luxury SUV to beat. Mercedes has thrown the kitchen sink at the SUV, offering more features, better refinement, and even more capability with the new GLE-Class. The automaker’s MBUX infotainment system also makes an appearance as part of the SUV’s list of standard equipment, making it a high-tech machine.

BMW’s not resting on its laurels as Mercedes redesigns its mid-size offering. The BMW X5 has been redesigned for 2019, offering more space, a new platform, and more features than before. While not as extensive as the GLE-Class’ redesign, the new X5 is working overtime to dethrone Mercedes’ option. Has it worked?

See a side-by-side comparison of the X5 & GLE-Class»

What the X5 Gets Right

Performance has always been BMW’s thing and the X5 continues the trend by being more powerful than the GLE-Class. The entry-level X5 comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that produces 340 horsepower. The base GLE-Class is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder motor that generates 255 hp.

With the extra power, the base X5 is a more performance-oriented model with a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds. The base GLE-Class can make the sprint in 7.1 seconds.

The X5 is the more spacious option of the two, as it has more front head room, front and rear leg room, and front shoulder room than the GLE-Class. Behind the second row, the X5 offers more cargo space, as it has 33.9 cubic feet of space compared to the GLE-Class’ 22.2 cubic feet.

What the GLE-Class Gets Right

The GLE-Class is the much more affordable SUV in this comparison. Pricing for the GLE-Class starts at $54,695 including destination, while the X5 has a price tag of $61,695. The $7,000 difference in the GLE-Class’ favor makes it the obvious choice for buyers on a budget or value-conscious shoppers.

It may be the cheaper option, but the GLE-Class comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and the latest in safety technology.

While the X5 has more cargo space behind the second row, the GLE-Class has more overall cargo space. The GLE-Class has an extra 0.2 cubic feet, as it has a total of 72.5 cubic feet of cargo space compared to the X5’s 72.3 cubic feet.

Mercedes has set the standard for luxurious interiors and the new GLE-Class proves why that’s the case. Lush materials, a first-class design, and superb fit and finish make the GLE-Class feel like a bona-fide X5. BMW’s interior isn’t bad by any means, but if there’s a truly luxurious option, it’s the GLE-Class.

The Benchmark Has Been Set

The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class was a leader in the segment before, but the all-new 2020 model is better than ever, which is hard to believe. The BMW X5 is a good option in the mid-size segment, but the GLE-Class has it outclassed and out-teched at a more affordable price.

Our Verdict: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

Offering a balance of cutting-edge technology, luxury features, and good performance in a handsome package, there’s little the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class gets wrong. We expect more trims to be announced in the near future, making the SUV even more of a well-rounded option. Even now, the GLE-Class is the SUV to beat in its respective segment.

Take a closer look at the BMW X5 »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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