It’s time for s German fight: 2024 BMW X5 vs. 2024 Mercedes GLE! So, two of the oldest luxury SUV nameplates, and two of the best-selling are the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE. Now we recently squared these two off for a comparison, but now both models have been refreshed, and there are more changes than what initially meets the eyes. We have updated designs, more powerful engines and important tech enhancements for them to try to get an edge over each other. So, who will win the battle between Refreshed BMW X5 vs. Mercedes GLE?

Pricing and Equipment

Beginning with refreshed BMW X5, we have the xDrive40i model, which is the mainstream version most people pick. The base price has increased this year, and as typical of German vehicles, we have a lot of options to add. $9,930 to be exact, which takes us to a total price of $78,425

MSRP (X5 xDrive40i): $67,500 | Options: $9,930 | Destination: $995 | Total: $78,425

Moving to the updated GLE, this is also the standard powertrain configuration, called GLE 350. Its price too has moved up this year, and after factoring in the options, its total price is almost exactly the same as the X5: $78,325.

MSRP (GLE 350 4MATIC): $62,650 | Options: $14,525 | Destination: $1,150 | Total: $78,325

Now this is going to be an objective comparison. We have done our best to weigh the points awarded throughout in major and minor categories, but at the end of the comparison we will sum up with our thoughts and other important considerations.

Exterior Design

Initially, we pointed out that the designs have been revised for 2024, although you probably wouldn’t notice at first. These are subtle updates that freshen up the already nice and classy looks, most recognizably in the lower facias and also the headlights. Both models have revised lighting signatures, now dashes and arrows, but the BMW has projector LED lights vs the reflector LED’s in the Mercedes without the intelligent LED light option.

The BMW also has premium fading turn signals and neither have fog lights.

Now heading to the sides, both have a similar RWD proportion, and as equipped we have 20-inch alloys on the Mercedes and 21-inchers on the BMW.

Length: 194.2 in (X5) | 193.9-in (GLE)

In the back, the changes are even less noticeable than the front, but both have some revisions, most notably to the full-LED taillights. The tow ratings remain in the Mercedes favor by 6.5% or 500 lbs.

X5: 7,200 lbs | GLE: 7,700 lbs

Additional Features

Now heading on to some of the other features, both of them have heated, power-folding, auto-dimming mirrors with blind spot monitoring, and both of them also come equipped with the all the latest safety systems including, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, auto high beam headlights, plus highway driving and traffic jam assistants.

Finally, when it comes to warranties, both have 4 year, 50k mile basic and powertrain warranties, but only the BMW comes with 3 years of complementary maintenance.

Now, let’s dive into the interiors of these German Luxury SUVs!

GLE interior
X5 Interior

Interior Design

So, walking up to the vehicles, both of course have smart entry and high-quality key fobs.

Next, once we actually open up the doors and view the interiors, the BMW’s updated design actually look more similar to the GLE this year. But before we get into all those details, let’s talk about the seating. You might be surprised to learn that the BMW’s beautiful Silverstone quilted seats are actually made from a faux leather, while the Mercedes has real leather finished in a new color called Catalana.

Both have more adjustments than you can shake a stick at, along with 3-person memory, heating and ventilation. Massaging is offered on both of them as well.

Once inside, we can discuss the major point of cabin materials, and unsurprisingly, both these two use top-notch selections throughout. Our GLE has full leather covering all the door trim and across the upper dash, plus its rocking the new option of Piano Black Lacquer flowing wood from the GLS Maybach 600. The BMW also has leather head-to-toe and generous use of open-pore wood trim. It also has glass controls, but the Mercedes cancels it out with detailed metal speaker grilles.

Now like I was saying, one of the big updates to the BMW’s interior is the new dual display setup, and the gauge cluster part is 12.3-inches just like the GLE. Both have lots of design adjustments, but BMW also includes a head-up display on most models.

And coming back to the steering wheels, both are power adjusting and heated, although the BMW has a leather air bag cover as well as heated arm rests, an extra cost option on the GLE.

Storage and Technology

Next up, let’s dig into the major area of interior storage. They seem like they were designed by the same person, because we have almost identical layouts and wireless phone charging pads up front.

I already mentioned the lovely glass shifter in the BMW and the GLE also has an electronic one just column mounted. When in reverse, both are equipped with 360-degree camera systems and for 2024, the Mercedes has an awesome 3D view just like the BMW.

Now let’s go ahead and check out the audio systems. Overall, both sound great but we have a slight preference for the sound of the Burmester.

X5: 464-watt, 16-speaker Harmon Kardon Premium Audio

GLE: 590-watt, 13-speaker Burmester Premium Audio

However, as we move to the climate controls, this is where we find quite a few differences. First of all, the BMW has migrated its climate controls into the display. The Mercedes retains metal physical controls that are a lot less overwhelming than the X5’s climate menu. Also, the GLE retains normal vents which are easier to get the airflow pointed at you, vs. the futuristic mostly-sealed-off look in the BMW. However, BMW fights back with 4-zone climate on today’s model, which requires another package for the Merc.

Now let’s focus in on the infotainment systems, since they play a large role in interior functions. The display remains 12.3-inches in the GLE and is upgraded to 14.9-inches in the BMW for 2024.

Both are upgraded to the latest versions of MBUX and iDrive, respectively, and overall performance and graphics are top notch. Navigation systems, voice assistants and detailed ambient lighting setting are built in, plus both have built in wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Finally, the last things to mention up front are the auto-dimming mirrors and large panoramic sunroofs. The BMW’s has lights in it.

GLE Rear
X5 Rear

Rear Seats and Cargo

Now even though these are not usually 3-row crossovers, you still want to have nicely appointed rear seats for whoever might find themselves back there.

The first criteria is space, and the GLE has about 9% more legroom, and the headroom figures are roughly the same.

  • X5: Legroom: 37.4-inches | Headroom: 40.8-inches
  • GLE: Legroom: 40.9-inches | Headroom: 39.6-inches

Now for luxury features, I already talked about the climate controls, and the BMW also has heated rear seats.

Both provide ample connections and cupholders, but the BMW has manual sunshades.

Next let’s check out the cargo areas where both have ample space. Actually, cargo volume behind the second row and behind the third rows are so similar that its falls below our 5% threshold to score a point. What is point worthy is fact that the BMW has handles to fold the 2nd row from the back, and the Mercedes has a spare tire.

X5: Behind 2rd row: 33.9 cu.ft | 72.3 cu.ft seats all seats folded MAX

GLE: Behind 2nd row: 33.3 cu.ft | MAX: 74.9 cu.ft

GLE Front
X5 Front


Germans automakers are notorious for trying to match each other tit-for-tat, but this is not one of those instances because the base engines are quite different. The BMW starts off with a 3.0L Turbo I-6 while the GLE begins with a 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder. To boot, the X5 actually gets a power boost for 2024, which makes the delta even larger; 375 hp vs. 255. As you would expect, that contributes to the approximately 2s 0-60 difference.

  • GLE 350: 3.0L Turbo I-4 w/ Mild Hybrid: 255 hp | 295 lb.ft | 0-60: 7.0s
  • X5 40i: 3.0L Turbo I-6 w/ Mild Hybrid: 375 hp | 383 lb.ft | 0-60: 5.2s

Despite speed differences, both were designed with smoothness at the core. Their 8 and 9-speed automatics are some of the best in the business, with imperceptible shifts and dual personalities that awaken when using the sport modes. Both have AWD as equipped. 

Driving Impressions and fuel economy

Let’s also talk about ride quality. There really is nothing bad to say about either model, with a spectacularly comfortable ride and that typical solid-Germanic feel. Adaptive dampers allow them to change ride characteristics depending on the drive mode.

Now as far as other driving dynamics, both have some German athleticism backed into them as well. Even though comfort is still the primary mission, the X5 comes across as a bit sharper in handling response and steering.

I also want to talk about their auto start/stop systems, which are powered by the mild hybrid setups. Both manufactures have done a great job here, but, that being said, the seamless Mercedes EQ-Boost system is still the industry leader in our experience.

Pinnacle-luxury vehicles also need to be quiet, and they both deliver library-quiet cabins even at highway speed. These even beat most luxury EV’s without gas engines, delivering two of the most hushed measurements we’ve ever tested, both of which improved slightly from last year as well.

X5: 51.6 dB @ 55 MPH

GLE: 52.7 db @ 55 MPH

To see how these two fall in the entire segment, click the “Sound Level Readings” tab above to see all the details!

Refreshed BMW X5 vs Mercedes GLE Winner!

After a tough battle, the objective winner in our eyes is the BMW X5! Now,  it’s time to declare “your” winner because that varies person-to-person.

The X5 is your winner if you value: 

  • More powerful standard engine
  • More rear seat amenities for the money
  • Larger infotainment screen

The GLE should be your winner if you value: 

  • More traditional interior layout with buttons
  • More towing capabilities
  • Better audio system w/ metal speaker grilles

We want to know your opinions so make sure to head to the comment section and let us know which one you would pick!