BMW X7 vs Mercedes GLS: Which Luxury SUV Reigns Supreme?

The battle for supremacy in the full-size luxury SUV segment is a heated one, with two German titans leading the charge – the BMW X7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Both vehicles exude opulence, performance, and cutting-edge technology, making them a tough choice for discerning buyers. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty details, weighing the pros and cons of each SUV to determine which one emerges as the victor.

SpecificationBMW X7Mercedes-Benz GLS
Engine Options
Base Engine3.0L Turbo I6 (335 hp)3.0L Turbo I6 (362 hp)
Optional Engines4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 (523 hp)<br>3.0L Turbo I6 Hybrid (389 hp)4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 (489 hp)<br>4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Hybrid (630 hp)
Transmission8-Speed Automatic9-Speed Automatic
DrivetrainStandard AWDStandard AWD
Towing Capacity7,500 lbs7,700 lbs
Fuel Economy (City/Hwy)
Base Engine19/24 mpg19/24 mpg
V8 Engine15/21 mpg16/21 mpg
Hybrid Engine22/25 mpg19/24 mpg
Dimensions
Length203.3 in205.0 in
Width78.7 in77.0 in
Height71.1 in70.8 in
Wheelbase122.2 in123.4 in
Curb Weight5,370 – 5,675 lbs5,467 – 5,842 lbs
Interior Space
Seating Capacity6 or 77
Front Headroom41.8 in39.4 in
Rear Headroom39.9 in40.2 in
Front Legroom39.8 in40.3 in
Rear Legroom37.6 in42.3 in
Cargo Volume48.6 – 90.4 cu ft48.7 – 94.7 cu ft
Starting Price
Base Model$77,850$79,500
Top Trim Level$103,100$132,100
BMW X7 vs Mercedes GLS

Exterior Design and Presence:

The BMW X7 flaunts a bold and muscular appearance, with a massive kidney grille that’s hard to miss. Its aggressive styling cues and sculpted lines give it a commanding road presence. On the other hand, the Mercedes GLS embraces a more refined and elegant design language, with a stately front fascia and sleek body lines that exude sophistication.

BMW X7:

  • Bold and muscular appearance with a massive kidney grille.
  • Aggressive styling cues and sculpted lines for a commanding road presence.

Mercedes GLS:

  • Refined and elegant design language with a stately front fascia.
  • Sleek body lines exude sophistication and timeless appeal.

Interior Luxury and Comfort:

Both SUVs offer sumptuous and well-appointed interiors, but they differ in their approach. The BMW X7’s cabin is a masterclass in modern luxury, with high-quality materials, impeccable craftsmanship, and a driver-focused layout. The Mercedes GLS, on the other hand, embodies traditional luxury with its rich leather upholstery, wood trim, and a more spacious and airy cabin.

BMW X7:

  • Modern luxury with high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship.
  • Driver-focused layout for a luxurious driving experience.

Mercedes GLS:

  • Traditional luxury with rich leather upholstery and wood trim.
  • Spacious and airy cabin providing a comfortable ride for all passengers.

Performance and Driving Dynamics:

Both SUVs offer a range of powerful engine options, catering to different performance preferences. The BMW X7 is the more athletic and dynamic of the two, with its responsive steering and well-tuned suspension providing an engaging driving experience. The Mercedes GLS, while no slouch, prioritizes comfort and ride quality over outright sportiness.

BMW X7:

  • Athletic and dynamic with responsive steering and well-tuned suspension.
  • Powerful engine choices deliver an engaging driving experience.

Mercedes GLS:

  • Prioritizes comfort and ride quality with smooth performance.
  • Plenty of power on tap for a refined driving experience.

Technology and Features:

In the realm of technology and features, both SUVs are generously equipped with the latest gadgets and gizmos. The BMW X7 boasts a cutting-edge infotainment system with a massive curved display, as well as a host of advanced driver-assistance features.

BMW X7:

  • Cutting-edge infotainment system with a massive curved display.
  • Comprehensive driver-assistance features enhance safety and convenience.

Mercedes GLS:

  • Intuitive MBUX infotainment system with impressive tech offerings.
  • Range of safety and convenience features for a connected driving experience.

The Mercedes GLS counters with its own comprehensive suite of tech, including the MBUX infotainment system and a range of safety and convenience features.

Safety Features:

  • Both the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS prioritize safety with a suite of advanced driver-assistance technologies.
  • The X7 offers features like Frontal Collision Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, and Lane Departure Warning.
  • The GLS counters with its own comprehensive set of safety systems, including Active Brake Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and PRESAFE® sound for enhanced occupant protection.

Infotainment and Connectivity:

  • The BMW X7’s cutting-edge infotainment system features a massive 12.3-inch central display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
  • It offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, along with a host of connected services.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLS boasts the intuitive MBUX infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, augmented reality navigation, and an array of voice commands for effortless control.

Off-Road Capabilities:

  • While primarily designed for on-road luxury, both the X7 and GLS offer respectable off-road capabilities.
  • The BMW X7 features an advanced all-wheel-drive system, an optional off-road package with underbody protection and air suspension, and various terrain modes for optimized performance.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLS counters with its own 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, adjustable air suspension, and an optional off-road engineering package for enhanced off-road prowess.

Practicality and Versatility:

  • These luxury SUVs cater to families and active lifestyles with their versatile interiors.
  • The BMW X7 offers a spacious cabin with seating for up to seven passengers, fold-down seats for increased cargo space, and various storage solutions.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLS matches that with its own flexible seating configurations, generous cargo volume, and a range of practical features like power-folding third-row seats and a hands-free liftgate.

Ownership Experience and Maintenance:

  • Both the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS are backed by comprehensive warranty coverage and renowned brand reputations for quality and reliability.
  • However, the Mercedes-Benz GLS may have a slight edge in terms of lower maintenance costs and better overall ownership experience based on various customer satisfaction surveys and reviews.

Customization Options:

  • These luxury SUVs offer a range of customization options to personalize them to your taste.
  • The BMW X7 can be outfitted with various exterior color choices, wheel designs, and interior trim options, including unique BMW Individual packages.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLS also boasts a wide array of exterior and interior customization choices, along with special edition models like the AMG GLS 63 for performance enthusiasts.

Comparison with Other Competitors:

  • While the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS are formidable contenders in the luxury SUV segment, they face stiff competition from other prominent models like the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Lexus LX.
  • Each of these SUVs brings its own unique strengths to the table, catering to different buyer preferences and priorities.

Pricing and Value:

When it comes to pricing, both SUVs command a premium, but the Mercedes GLS tends to be slightly more expensive than the BMW X7 across most trim levels. However, the GLS often comes better equipped at its respective price points, offering slightly better value for money.

BMW X7:

  • Slightly lower starting price with the potential for pricey higher trim levels.
  • Excellent value proposition considering the luxurious amenities offered.
  • The base model BMW X7 starts at $77,850, while the top trim level costs $103,100.

Mercedes GLS:

  • Generally more expensive across most trim levels but comes well-equipped.
  • Better value for money with generous standard equipment.
  • The base Mercedes-Benz GLS has a starting price of $79,500, and the top trim level can go up to $132,100.

The Verdict:

After weighing the pros and cons of each SUV, it’s a tough call to declare an outright winner, as both vehicles excel in different areas. However, if we had to choose, the BMW X7 edges out the Mercedes GLS by a narrow margin, thanks to its more engaging driving dynamics, stunning interior design, and cutting-edge technology. That said, the GLS remains a formidable contender, particularly for those who prioritize traditional luxury, ride comfort, and value for money.

Verdict: BMW X7: 9/10 Mercedes GLS: 8.5/10

AspectBMW X7Mercedes-Benz GLS
Exterior Design and PresenceBold and muscular appearance with a massive kidney grille. Aggressive styling cues and sculpted lines for a commanding road presence.Refined and elegant design language with a stately front fascia. Sleek body lines exude sophistication and timeless appeal.
Interior Luxury and ComfortModern luxury with high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship. Driver-focused layout for a luxurious driving experience.Traditional luxury with rich leather upholstery and wood trim. Spacious and airy cabin providing a comfortable ride for all passengers.
Performance and Driving DynamicsAthletic and dynamic with responsive steering and well-tuned suspension. Powerful engine choices deliver an engaging driving experience.Prioritizes comfort and ride quality with smooth performance. Plenty of power on tap for a refined driving experience.
Technology and FeaturesCutting-edge infotainment system with a massive curved display. Comprehensive driver-assistance features enhance safety and convenience.Intuitive MBUX infotainment system with impressive tech offerings. Range of safety and convenience features for a connected driving experience.
Pricing and ValueSlightly lower starting price with the potential for pricey higher trim levels. Excellent value proposition considering the luxurious amenities offered.Generally more expensive across most trim levels but comes well-equipped. Better value for money with generous standard equipment.
VerdictThe BMW X7 edges out the Mercedes GLS by a narrow margin, thanks to its more engaging driving dynamics, stunning interior design, and cutting-edge technology. (Score: 9/10)A formidable contender, particularly for those who prioritize traditional luxury, ride comfort, and value for money. (Score: 8.5/10)

In the end, the choice between these two titans boils down to personal preferences and priorities. Whether you favor the bold and athletic character of the BMW X7 or the refined and comfortable nature of the Mercedes GLS, either SUV will undoubtedly provide an exceptional luxury experience.

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