Son's Automotive Group Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz M-Class VS 2015 BMW X4 Near Duluth, GA

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2015 Mercedes Benz M-Class

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2015 Mercedes Benz M-Class

VS
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2015 BMW X4

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes M-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X4 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The M-Class’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X4 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes M-Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the M-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The X4 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The M-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The X4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M-Class and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The Mercedes M-Class weighs 438 to 621 pounds more than the BMW X4. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the M-Class its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X4 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

The ML350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 62 more horsepower (302 vs. 240) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 260) than the X4 xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The ML350’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (302 vs. 300) than the X4 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. The ML400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 29 more horsepower (329 vs. 300) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 300) than the X4 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

The M-Class’ 2.1 turbo diesel produces 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 260) than the X4 xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The M-Class’ 2.1 turbo diesel produces 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 300) than the X4 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the ML250 BlueTEC gets better fuel mileage than the X4 xDrive28i (22 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy).

The M-Class has 6.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the X4 (24.6 vs. 17.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The M-Class stops shorter than the X4:

M-Class

X4

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the M-Class has larger standard tires than the X4 (255/50R19 vs. 245/50R18). The M-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X4 (265/45R20 vs. 245/45R19).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The M-Class offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The X4 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The M-Class has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X4 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M-Class’ wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the X4 (114.8 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M-Class is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the X4.

Passenger Space Comparison

The M-Class has standard seating for 5 passengers; the X4 can only carry 2.

The M-Class has .2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the X4.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the M-Class’ rear seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The M-Class has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X4 with its rear seat up (38.2 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The M-Class has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X4 with its rear seat folded (80.3 vs. 49.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the X4, the M-Class offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The M-Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The X4’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the M-Class offers optional dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The X4 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the M-Class has standard extendable sun visors. The X4 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The M-Class’ optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The X4 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The M-Class offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The M-Class will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the M-Class will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the X4.

M-Class

X4

Five Year

41% to 44%

36%

Three Year

58% to 63%

54% to 55%

Recommendations Comparison

The Mercedes M-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The BMW X4 didn't win any award.

The Mercedes M-Class outsold the BMW X4 by over 17 to one during 2014.

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