Lexus RX vs BMW X5 vs Mercedes-Benz GLE: Feature Wars
Which of these full-size luxury SUVs packs the most features?
Just a few years back, these SUVs were considered to be the flagships of their respective brands. But with changing times, they have been pushed down the order by larger siblings that offer seating for seven. That doesn’t mean these offer anything less in terms of creature comforts. In contention today are three of these SUVs that are trying to one-up the other with some pretty unique features. Let’s find out which one has the most to offer to occupants.
The first order of business is the price. The three SUVs here are direct imports into the country and among them, the GLE and the RX are in their long-wheelbase avatar. Take a look at the prices of their flagship variants that we will be comparing today.
Lexus RX 450hL LUXURY: Rs 99.0 lakh
BMW X5 xDrive40i M Sport: Rs 84.4 lakh
Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d 4MATIC LWB Hip Hop Edition: Rs 1.25 crore
(all prices ex-showroom)
The RX is the only SUV here to offer a proper hybrid powertrain. And, it is the only one here to offer a third-row of seating. Accommodating that last row, it is the longest SUV out of the three, but it gets the shortest wheelbase.
In terms of exterior features, the RX packs 3-eye Bi-Beam LED headlamps, LED fog lamps, and sequential turn indicators both at the front and rear. The windshield uses acoustic glass to cut UV lights and sound while the ORVMs are heated and tilt down automatically when the reverse gear is engaged. The most distinctive elements, however, remain the large front grille that can grab attention in the flashiest of gatherings, and the elegantly designed 18-inch wheels.
Inside the cabin, you get a wood finish cabin, a heated steering wheel, and a moonroof. The driver gets a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument console flanked by two analogue dials and a colour head-up display. The SUV also gets a wireless charger, ambient illumination, dual-zone climate control, ventilated and heated front seats with 10-way power adjust, heated second-row seats, and power-folding third-row seats with 50/50 split. The cabin gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display and a brilliant 15 speaker Mark Levinson sound system. It also gets both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
In terms of safety, the Lexus packs nine airbags, whiplash injury lessening concept front seats, TRC (Traction Control System), VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), hill-start assist control, ABS, with EBD, brake assist system, and anchor bars for fixing ISOFIX-compliant child seat.
The BMW SUV in question here is in its MSport variant. Which means, on the outside, it gets the M aerodynamics pack which gives it a different front apron, side skirts, and wheel arch. It also gets M sport blue-painted brake callipers with M designation, rear diffuser insert, and tailpipe finished in M Sport package-specific geometry. Apart from these extras, you get BMW Laserlight LED lights with adaptive function and selective beam, welcome light carpet, and a split tailgate. What’s most impressive are the 20-inch M light-alloy wheels.
Step inside the BMW and you find yourself in a driver-focused cabin. That doesn’t mean the other passengers have drawn the short stick. You get leather upholstery with four trim options, four-zone climate control, electrically adjustable comfort seats for front passengers, M leather steering wheel, ambient light with six colours, and a large panoramic glass roof. For those of you interested in screens, the Beemer packs a head-up display, a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system. The system gets Apple CarPlay with wireless functionality (no Android Auto), BMW Gesture Control, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a 360-degree camera with panorama and 3D view. You also get the high-tech BMW Display Key with LCD colour display and touch control panel.
For safety, the BMW gets six airbags, ABS with brake assist, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including dynamic traction, hill descent control, ISOFIX child seat mounting, and run-flat tyres.
The BMW gets a lot more equipment than the Lexus. Things like the four-zone climate control, digital instrument cluster, panoramic glass roof, and the gesture control make it feel much more modern. Time to see what the Mercedes gets.
Also Read: Lexus NX vs ES: Sedan Or SUV?
The GLE packs the most understated design of the three SUVs here. On the outside, you get multibeam LED headlamps with a range up to 150 metres. It gets an illuminated, aluminium-finish running board on the side, giving it a tough look and making it easier for you to get into the SUV. The electrically folding outside mirrors get surround lighting and logo projection. But, the main attraction will be the large 20-inch wheels, which though impressive, are second to the BMW.
The Mercedes GLE, in the 2019 facelift launch, got air suspension to match the other two for enhanced comfort. The cabin is dressed in man-made leather but the comfort seats are wrapped in leather for the Hip Hop Edition. The ambient lighting system gives you a choice of 64 colours with attractive colour schemes to flow inside the cabin. It also gets an electrically opening panoramic sunroof, unique to the Mercedes in this comparison.
Equipped with the latest MBUX infotainment system, the GLE gets two 12.3-inch fully digital colour displays in a flat-screen look. The system can accept voice commands and gets connected car features as well. The steering wheel too gets touchpads for easier operation of the command system. It supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and also gets a wireless charger. The cabin also gets four-zone climate control, two monitors for the rear passengers, electrically folding sunblinds for the rear windows, and the ENERGIZING Package Plus, which adds massage, heating and ventilation to the front seats. It also adds an air purifier and perfume dispenser. Specifically for the Hip Hop Edition, Mercedes is also offering a 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system with a system output of 590 watts, electrically adjustable rear seats, a head-up display, and memory function for the seats.
Safety features are pretty much the same as the BMW with the addition of a knee airbag.
Clearly, it’s the Mercedes that offers the most in terms of cabin comfort and features, along with a major price jump. The BMW offers more to the driver with gesture controls and a cockpit-like cabin. And by offering these at a relatively accessible price, it emerges as the most sensible pick of the three. The Lexus is fairly loaded with convenience features too, but it fails to match up to the standards of the other two. But if you want it all, for all the passengers, the Mercedes wins it with features like monitors for the rear passengers, electric sunblinds, and an electric panoramic sunroof.
Read More on : RX Automatic
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