The mid-size luxury SUV segment is one of the most desirable segments for most SUV enthusiasts out there. Mid-size SUVs are large, but not overly so make the driving experience feel bus-like and they are compact enough for them to be exciting to drive in their sportiest trim levels.
The Mercedes Benz GLE is one of, if not the most popular mid-size luxury SUV out there because it ticks so many boxes. The Audi Q7 is also a fairly popular mid-size luxury SUV, but it does not enjoy the same status the GLE does even though it bests the GLE in certain areas.
Both SUVs are being offered with air suspension which drastically improves the overall ride quality and you should opt for it. Comfort-wise, the Q7 slightly edges out the GLE, but this is highly dependent on the trim level, the rim size, and the way you drive the car.
Either way, both of these are the very top echelon of the premium mid-size luxury segment which means that your purchasing decision is likely going to be based on badge loyalty as well. The GLE feels more upmarket, but in reality, the Q7 feels a bit better built.
2022 Mercedes GLE – A more striking and desirable SUV
With a starting price of around $54,000, the GLE is well within the limits of the premium mid-size SUV segment. The reason why most people desire the GLE so much is because it looks more luxurious than its competition both from the outside and the inside.
Even though the interior design of the GLE is far from being new, it still looks the newest thanks to its single panel dashboard double screen design. The rest of the GLE cabin is not as futuristic as the two screens, but the space on offer is decent, except for the optional third row of seats which is only accessible for children.
On the road, the GLE feels commanding and confidence-inspiring, not for being sporty, but for feeling more high-end than some of its competition. The GLE is also a class leader when it comes to safety and infotainment system functionality.
All in all, the GLE is one of the best mid-size SUVs out there which means that you can not make a mistake if you consider it as your next car.
2022 Audi Q7 – A more under the radar luxury approach
The 2022 Audi Q7 starts at around $55,800 which ties it directly against the GLE. However, the Q7 is a bit wider and longer which makes it feel more substantial on the road. The interior space is almost identical and both of these are spacious enough for 99% of people out there.
The Q7 does feel a bit more refined on the road thanks to better sound isolation, but the differences are so marginal that it makes little to no difference in the real world. The Q7 does offer more space in the third row of seats which means that it’s better for larger families, even though the seats are only designed for kids.
The engines on offer are plenty powerful and are almost identical to the GLE as far as fuel efficiency is concerned. Audi cars are often deemed a bit boring because they don’t strive to push the design boundaries too much.
However, this can also be a good thing if you want to fly under the radar. All in all, the Q7 offers a similar experience to the GLE, but it does lack when it comes to desirability and popularity.
Conclusion – The Mercedes Benz GLE is the better pick
If you are spending upwards of $60,000 on an SUV, you want it to be known, and that’s where most of the differences between these two reside. The Q7 is just a little bit more restrained and less daring both on the outside and the inside.
Technology-wise, they are almost identical which means that you will not make a bad decision if you opt for either of them. Safety-wise, they are also incredibly similar because IIHS rated both of these with their most prestigious top safety pick + 5-star rating.
Space-wise, they are almost identical, but the Q7 does offer a bit more space, especially when you consider cargo space and the optional third row of seats. The MB UX infotainment system is a bit more advanced and better integrated than Audi’s MMI which is also a benefit for the GLE.
If you are an Audi fan, you should go for the Q7, if you are a Mercedes fan you should go for the GLE. The differences between these two are marginal for the most part which means that both of these are worthy of their premium luxury SUV badges.
Is the Mercedes Benz GLE more reliable than the Audi Q7?
According to a few credible online sources like J.D. Power, the GLE does seem like a marginally more reliable car between the two. Maintenance-wise there is little between the two, but it must be said that Audi is the slightly cheaper car to own.
However, all of this depends on which engine you go for, the mileage, and how you tend to use your car. All in all, both of these are average to above average when it comes to ownership costs and overall reliability.
Is the Mercedes GLE a better off-road car than the Audi Q7?
Neither the Q7 nor the GLE were designed for off-roading purposes but if you equip them accordingly you’d be surprised as to how capable both of these can be. Audi offers the proven Quattro all-wheel-drive system which is a synonym for all-weather capability.
However, Mercedes offers a more comprehensive off-roading package which should enable the GLE to tackle more challenging terrain.
Is the Mercedes GLE a better winter car than the Audi Q7?
As far as snow and ice driving are concerned, the Audi Q7 is the pick of the bunch because it offers Audi’s superior Quattro AWD system. However, a proper set of winter tires makes both of these equally capable.
All in all, you should not worry about snow or ice if you get either of these, but be sure to opt for a decent set of winter rubber as well.