The mid-size luxury SUV segment is brimming with countless amazing SUVs made by all the relevant high-end brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Land Rover, Bentley, Aston Martin, Cadillac, and Lincoln, but no two mid-size SUVs are compared as often as the BMW X5 and the Mercedes Benz GLE are.
These are so closely matched that it means that you are not going to make a bad decision if you opt for either of them. The US market expresses the most interest in these two SUVs and that’s why both the BMW X5 and the Mercedes GLE are being built in the US.
When put head to heat, the X5 ends up on top as far as quality and sportiness are concerned because it offers higher-end interior materials and a more exciting driving experience while the GLE offers a more futuristic-looking dashboard, more cargo space, and a more chilled-down approach towards driving.
The BMW X5 is a little bit newer when compared to the GLE and it definitely shows. However, these two are both amazing mid-size SUVs and you are going to be more than fine with either one of them.
2022 Mercedes GLE – A more comfortable SUV
With a starting price of around $56,000, the GLE sits firmly within the luxury mid-size SUV segment. The GLE is also available with an optional third row of seating which is only accessible to children and thus should not be used for adult chauffeuring purposes.
The GLE comes with punchy engines which include both 6-cylinder powerplants and 8-cylinder powerplants. The GLE offers a definite wow factor when compared to the X5 because it offers more a futuristic-looking exterior and interior design that looks and feels more commanding.
The GLE is more tuned towards a comfortable and refined ride which means that it does not try to be sporty nor aggressive in any way shape or form. The second row of seats in the GLE feels more spacious and comfortable because the seats are not as upright as they are in the X5.
The GLE and the X5 are very different from behind the wheel even though they are both mid-size SUVs that do share a similar market placement strategy.
2022 BMW X5 – The driver’s choice
The BMW X5 starts at $59,400 which means that it does cost a little bit more than the GLE, but if you option them out to a comparable level, they are incredibly closely matched. The X5 is not as striking nor attractive at first glance, but the more you look at it, the more you realize that BMW has played it safe.
The exterior styling of the X5 depends highly on which options you go for which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Poorly specified X5 models look dull and uninspiring, but M-Sport high-end models look amazing which means that you will have to pay more if you want to be noticed.
Where the X5 has a definite upper edge over the GLE are both in the driving department and the quality department. The X5 feels more agile and willing to take a turn at a fast pace, it rolls less in the corners without being overly stiff which means that the X5 is the obvious choice for someone who loves an exciting drive.
Quality is also where BMW tends to excel and the X5 does feel a little bit better built when compared to the GLE. The material choices are more consistent throughout the cabin and there are fewer cheap plastic bits when compared to the GLE.
Conclusion – Pick the X5 if you want a sporty drive, pick the GLE if you want comfort
The GLE is the comfort champion because it drives the way it drives. You are not tempted to explore the traction limits of the GLE because it does not want you to. This is not to say that the X5 is not comfortable, yet the fact that the X5 simply is not as isolated from the process of driving in the same manner the GLE is.
The X5 feels more car-like, more connected to the road and it communicates with the driver a lot more while the GLE makes you sit back and enjoy the ride. The X5 is better at being comfortable than the GLE is at being sporty. This ultimately means that the X5 ticks more boxes in the driving department.
However, the GLE has a road presence that simply can not be matched by the X5, and that’s important when it comes to luxury SUVs. Either way, both of these are amazing, and you should stick to your style of driving when it comes time to choose between the two.
Is the Mercedes GLE safer than the BMW X5?
Both the BMW X5 and the Mercedes Benz GLE are superiorly safe mid-size SUVs which means that they are closely matched when it comes to safety. IIHS rewarded the X5 with the top safety pick rating and a corresponding 5-start rating which means that the X5 is safe.
The Mercedes GLE won the Top safety pick + rating which means that the GLE slightly edges out the X5 when it comes to safety, at least in regards to IIHS testings.
Is the Mercedes GLE more fuel-efficient than the BMW X5?
Your fuel efficiency is highly dependent on the type of engine you go for, but it seems like these two are so closely matched that it’s impossible to pick a winner here. It all depends on how you drive, but it’s safe to say that both of these are fairly fuel efficient considering the size and weight.
The GLE is a lot heavier though which means that it should be easier to achieve a better MPG result with the X5.
Is the Mercedes GLE more desirable than the BMW X5?
Both of these two mid-size SUVs are desirable for a myriad of reasons, but thanks to a more stately-looking exterior design, the GLE is a more desirable pick for most people out there. A regular non-car person is going to look at the GLE and think that it costs more than the X5 because of the way it looks.
Mercedes cars have an aura of unbridled elegance about them which originates from not trying to be both sporty and luxurious while BMW sits on the fence between a sporty drive and a comfy ride perfectly which is both a good thing and a bad thing.