First comparison test Mercedes-Benz GLS vs BMW X7 and Tesla Model X

Mercedes-Benz GLS 400d 4Matic in the first comparison
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Mat Watson from carwow has tested the new Mercedes-Benz GLS 400d 4Matic up against BMW X7 M50i and Tesla Model X Dual Motor Long Range. Even the engines are not equivalent, the results are interesting. Which is the best? Mercedes-Benz GLS vs BMW X7 and Tesla Model X.

Mercedes-Benz GLS vs BMW X7 and Tesla Model X is a match we cannot imagine 10 years ago. Who can believe that top luxury german SUVs will have an electric rival produced by a completely new carmaker?

It is not quite an ideal comparison because the Mercedes-Benz GLS 400d 4Matic is equipped with a new 3-liter 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 330 hp, BMW X7 M50i has the new 4.4-liter petrol bi-turbo V8 under the hood and 530 hp while the Tesla Model X Dual Motor is powered by two electric motors with a total power of 470 hp and has a large battery of 100 kWh.

At the on-the-go acceleration, the BMW X7 M50i with the classic V8 bi-turbo is the fastest, followed by Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz GLS 400d 4Matic. In contrast, at 50 mph, the Tesla Model X stands out clearly followed by the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS. Surprisingly, the Tesla Model X is the most expensive model in this test, followed by Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Better quality for the german makers

Mat criticizes the manufacturing quality of the Tesla Model X’s bodywork that would not pass quality control at BMW or Mercedes-Benz. The handles are not aligned and the gaps are too big for some body elements. Instead, he appreciates the hawk doors that provide better rear access and the panoramic windshield that provides good visibility. But the finishing of the interior is not at the level of German rivals.

Mat appreciates Mercedes-Benz’s multimedia system more than BMW’s because the screen is brighter and has Android Auto missing at BMW for now.

The Tesla Model X doesn’t even look like an SUV because aerodynamics has been a priority to achieve a lower Cx and thus lower energy consumption. Despite the presence of the pneumatic suspension that allows the ground clearance to be adjusted, the Tesla Model X is not ready for off-road due to the small ground clearance and road tires.

Although both the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS will be used more on the road, they are better prepared for off-road. The BMW X7 also has a pneumatic suspension that allows the suspension to be lifted by 40 mm and an optional Off-road package with Off-road program.

Mercedes-Benz GLS is more practical and spacious

The best prepared for off-road is the Mercedes-Benz GLS where if you order the Off-road package you can not only block the central diffrential but also receive a reduction gear.  And in addition to the standard adaptive air suspension you can opt for the sensationally active E-Active Body Control suspension. In addition, GLS has the largest ground clearance.

Mercedes-Benz GLS can tow the largest payload of 3,500 kg compared to 2,700 kg on the BMW X7 and 2,200 kg on the Tesla Model X.

Mercedes-GLS offers the largest rear space and comes standard in 7-seater configuration in Europe. Optional in Europe and standard in the US, the GLS can be configured with 6 individual seats optionally available configuration also on the BMW X7 and present on the test car.

Mercedes-Benz also offers more space  in the third row and the only criticism is that the panoramic roof does not extend beyond the third row. Another advantage of Mercedes-Benz GLS is the electric operation and the second row seats.

Compared to the other two models, the Tesla Model X has a fairly spacious boot in front and the rear boot with all seven seats mounted offers 357 liters. BMW offers 326 liters and Mercedes-Benz GLS no less than 470 liters with all seats mounted.

It is not surprise that Tesla Model X feels more sporty

When driving, Mercedes-Benz feels solid and gives a lot of confidence to the driver but at the same time it is easy to drive. It is comfortable and quiet for a diesel in combination with the 9-speed automatic transmission. It has a moderate body roll and is not a sports car but it does its job well.

The BMW X7 feels more compact but is still a big car. Subjectively, with the gasoline engine, BMW is a little more silent and absorbs a little more soft short bumps. But the consumption of 17.7 mpg is significantly higher than the 24.6 mpg for Mercedes-Benz GLS. In Sport mode the BMW X7 is slightly more incisive than the GLS and has less body roll.

The Tesla Model X feels the most sporty of the three, the driver sit lower and the center of gravity is lower. Due to the very low battery installation in the floor, between the wheels, the road holding in corners is better than you would expect. But the sound insulation is not as good as the German rivals and the aerodynamic and rolling noises are bigger.

But consumption is a bit far from official data. Real autonomy is only 188 miles compared to 314 miles as shown by official data.