Mercedes-Benz India has launched its largest and most luxurious SUV, the new GLS. The company calls it the S-Class of SUVs. There's a petrol and a diesel, and both are priced at Rs 99.90 lakh (ex-showroom, India, except Kerala) each. I'll give you a quick rundown on both, while also simultaneously comparing it to its most direct rival, the BMW X7.
Mercedes-Benz GLS vs BMW X7: Horsepower and Torque
Mercedes-Benz GLS 400 d 4MATIC: The 400 d is powered by a straight-six 2925 cc diesel (in case you missed the 'd' in the nomenclature) engine, which produces 330 horsepower at 3600-4200 rpm and 700 Nm of torque at 1200-3200rpm.
The BMW X7 xDrive 30d also sports a straight-six motor, but its power and torque figures are quite underwhelming in comparison. The BMW pushes out 265 hp at 4000 rpm and 620 Nm at 2000-2500rpm.
The comparable trim (DPE Signature) of the BMW X7 30d is a few lakh rupees dearer than the Merc.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4MATIC: The petrol GLS is also powered by a straight-six, and this one produces 367 horsepower at 5500-6100 rpm and 500 Nm of torque at 1600-4500rpm. The petrol BMW X7 (xDrive 40i) produces 340 hp at 5500-6500rpm and 450Nm of torque at 1500-5200rpm from its straight-six motor. The Merc wins, clearly.
However, what absolutely destroys the BMW is the fact that the Merc gets an additional boost of 22 hp and 250 Nm, thanks to its ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) or ISA (Integrated Starter Alternator) apparatus, taking the GLS 450's peak output figures to 389 hp and 750 Nm.
Also, the petrol BMW is even more expensive than its aforementioned diesel sibling.
Please also note that while both the Mercs employ a 9-speed automatic transmission, the BMWs make do with one-speed less. All of them, however, are AWD (All Wheel Drive).
Mercedes-Benz GLS vs BMW X7: Features and Gadgets
Both manufacturers offer a complimentary five-day training program (after you've paid for the vehicle, of course) where they teach you the nuances of the gazillion features of their cars. Okay, that's not true. I was just trying to put an idea into their heads.
As far as you are concerned, please check the features on their websites. However, if you must know, it will just suffice to say that though both the Germans are seven-star hotels on wheels, with features and gadgets that would make Iron Man proud, it's the Merc that's better here.
Mercedes-Benz GLS vs BMW X7: Dimensions
The Mercedes GLS is 5207 mm long, 2157 mm wide (with mirrors), and 1823 mm tall. The Merc's wheelbase is 3135 mm.
The BMW X7 is 5151 mm long, 2218 mm wide (with mirrors), and 1805 mm tall. Its wheelbase is 3105 mm.
Interestingly, while the Merc's front track measures exactly the same as the BMW's rear track (1705 mm), the latter's front track (1684 mm) is almost the same as the Merc's rear track (1692 mm).
Well, that's the long and short of it. I like the petrol GLS more, and I shall tell you the reasons as and when I get to review it. But do let me know which one would you buy and why.