BMW X7 Vs Mercedes GLS: Which Full-Size German Luxury SUV Do You Prefer?

We’ve now entered a new age of automotive engineering, and if the late 2000s were more about experimenting with segment variations, the 2020s seem to be all about  expanding offerings to cover all sizes and needs.

The fact that there is such a model as a BMW X7 is proof that the German automaker is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to segment diversity.

You can even argue that this segment wasn’t all that crowded as far as European products were concerned, with the Mercedes GLS and the Range Rover being the only products you could wholeheartedly call “full-size”. Also, while the Audi Q7 is sometimes regarded as walking the line between mid-size and full-size, technically speaking, it’s still more of a GLE/X5 rival than a GLS/X7 rival.

But enough with that; let’s get to the nitty-gritty and talk aesthetics about these two German behemoths.

The X7 keeps as close as possible to the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, maintaining the sleek headlights, massive kidney grille and overall design language –  at least for the exterior. Actually, we would argue that the production X7 looks a little more robust than the concept, which is good.

Other noteworthy features include the large alloys (20-22 inches), flat roof design, prominent greenhouse with chrome surrounds, long rear doors and split tailgate. The latter you can open and close electronically, as you would with an SUV that’s priced from just under $74,000.

As for its size, the X7 measures 5,163 mm (203.3 inches) in length, 1,999 mm (78.7 inches) in width, stands at 1,805 mm (71.1 inches) tall and has a wheelbase that’s 3,103 mm (122.2 inches) long. Now, here’s how it compares to the Mercedes GLS, which is 5,130 mm (201.9 inches) long, 1,934 mm (76.1 inches) wide, 1,850 mm (72.8 inches) tall and has a 3,075 mm-long (121 inch) wheelbase.

What these numbers basically say is that the X7 is longer, wider and has a larger wheelbase than the GLS, although the latter is slightly taller. Once Mercedes unveil their all-new GLS however, we expect measurements to be even closer, just like many other factors that would probably make you choose the X7 over the GLS if you had to do so right now.

For starters, the BMW looks a lot more modern, especially you look at the rear end design, which is where the GLS is really showing its GL heritage. However, from a front 3/4 angle, you could argue in favor of either model, with the Mercedes still looking sufficiently imposing so as to merit consideration.

You can’t top modern luxury

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that very few people would actually prefer the cabin of the (older) GLS over than of the BMW X7. The Mercedes’ cabin is based on a design that dates back to 2012, whereas the X7’s interior is as modern as you’ll find on any other BMW.

This also means there is a big difference in available on-board tech, where the X7 boasts a large head-up display, two 12.3-inch displays, ambient lighting, wireless charging, cooled and heated cupholders, voice recognition, gesture control, plus a wide array of driver assistance systems such as the Active Driving Assistant with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation – and these are only the systems that are standard.

Even its Bowers & Wilkins sound system is better, at 1,500 watts across 20 speakers, versus the Mercedes’ Bang & Olufsen 1,400 watt system with 14 speakers.

The GLS, on the other hand, has adaptive cruise control and that’s pretty much it, as far as advanced driver assistance is concerned. Otherwise, you still get rear seat entertainment, three zone climate control, Mercedes Me connectivity and all the luxury amenities you’d expect from a yesteryear flagship SUV.

Finally, let’s talk costs, because now that we know the X7 will set you back at least $73,900 in the U.S., we can try to look at these two models from a value perspective, which could have favored the outgoing GLS if Mercedes wouldn’t have priced it from $70,150.

As far as luxury products go, there’s not a lot of money between these two, and tech-wise, you can bet that the BMW will more than make up for that $3,750 price difference.

  • Honda NSX-R

    I’ll wait for the new GLS to come out

    • Merc1

      Correct. Lets revisit this summer 2019.


  • ksegg

    Just get a G-Wagen and call it a day.

    • PK

      Amen! The G Class’s the King of the German SUVs!!!! <3

  • AxlRock

    Range Rover. End of discussion.

    • Philip George

      Fun fact: you want to know why the two Range Rover drivers didn’t great hello to each other? Because they already met at the mechanic’s garage in the morning, just like every other morning.

  • Matthew Daraei

    This man knows how to do reviews, without being too boring, and also without being extremely excited like the buffoon that Doug Demuro is!

    • MarketAndChurch

      he’s the best

    • TheBelltower

      I like Demuro’s buffoonery. This guy is more of a strict reviewer without any of the hokeyness.


      Doug DeMoron! 😉

  • Matt

    A Land Cruiser with a hideous dress is not really a rival to these in any way.


    BMW roof and windows lines are too high…

  • TheBelltower

    The two people that bought the Lexus last year would certainly agree with you. But it has rotted on the vine worse than the Panther platform.

  • Jason Panamera

    For me both cars aren’t the most beautiful to look at. Just learn from Range Rover how to make big, nice looking SUVs. Oh, and even new Lincoln Navigator looks better.

  • Anthony Paonita

    Neither. Ugly, huge tanks, throwing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Almost makes me wish for gas at $7/gallon.

    • Daniel

      So, prices as we face in Germany.
      If you buy such a car, you dont care about prices for gas.
      It only affects those that cant afford a new car.

      Great argument.

  • MarketAndChurch

    always my favorite reviewer to watch for in depth analysis and on how interiors of cars look and feel

    • Exactly. I especially like how he and his team pay attention to design and build quality elements, features that most car reviewers do not cover.

  • MarketAndChurch

    bmw all the way, but thats mostly because the mercedes is so old

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Navigator. XC90. Escalade. Range Rover.

    These? Not really my tempo.

  • Larry Qualls

    X7 Looking pretty dope, I must say! Interior is pretty posh and lux.

  • Galaxium

    Waiting for the next GLS. Or just get the G-wagon and fit the extra two people in the rather spacious trunk.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    The X7 looks very good to me from all angles. The GLS reminds me too much of the Dodge Journey from the rear.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Another easy one: neither!

  • Adam

    The Mercedes hands down even if it’s old. The BMW is horrible especially the new grille, it looks like the green pigs ? from Angry Birds.

  • Yishay


  • Craig

    I’ll take a Lincoln Navigator.

    • Bash


    • Emajean Brown

      It is a Ford truck….no comparison

  • schnittz

    I’d rather go with the Escalade

  • Paul

    I’d prefer neither and go with the new Lincoln instead.

    • Emajean Brown

      The Lincoln and Escalade are TRUCKS, clumsy looking and clumsy performance. I know, have had all of these.

  • Nordschleife

    Thank you for pointing out other youTuve reviewers.

  • Emajean Brown

    Range Rover is JUNK…always at the bottom in reliability

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