German automakers have long enjoyed a prestigious and profitable role in the Arabian landscape, and for many decades, have stood testament to the regions ever growing demand for high-end automobiles. In the past few years, demand for large luxury SUVs have skyrocketed, thus opening the floodgates for the launch of newer and even more luxurious four-wheeled behemoths.
Today, we will look at two of the newest and largest SUVs from two of the most popular automakers from Deutschland -- BMW with its all-new X7 and the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS. While the S-Class of SUVs has been around since 2012 (presently in its all-new third-generation avatar), the BMW X7 only came onto the scene officially in late 2018 to early 2019.
The BMW X7 is built on top of the Bavarian marque’s Cluster Architecture, whilst the big bad GLS has been worked on from the ground up, and features some of the latest technology and construction techniques that Mercedes-Benz has to offer right now. So which one should you buy?
Obviously, there’s no getting away from the fact that these two SUVs are absolutely massive - stretching over 5 meters in length! The Mercedes is wider and stands taller than the new X7, while the latter boasts a longer wheelbase. In terms of their overall presence, the BMW X7 dwarfs most SUVs (even full-sized ones) with its ridiculously huge but signature BMW ‘kidney grille’.
Then there are the really cool-looking and sophisticated laser headlamps, massive alloy wheels, loads of chrome trim, large windows, and a heavily-contoured rear end with a shiny chrome strip on the tailgate, smart-looking LED wraparound tail lamps, and a twin-exhaust setup with a diffuser. The Mercedes-Benz GLS also looks bold, muscular and from certain angles - an absolute butch.
The twin-bar front grille bears a large three-pointed star, flanked by bold multi-beam headlamps with distinctive LED running lights, and a chiseled bumper down below with large air intakes. The sides feature huge wheel arches, sporty-looking alloy rims and strong bodylines. At the back, there are 3D-styled LED tail lamps, a sculpted tailgate, and a bumper with twin pipes and an air diffuser.
These SUVs sure have very distinctive yet tastefully done interiors that not only look sublime, but showcase excellent craftsmanship as well - even more evident in the BMW X7. And while both cars sport large and high-definition dual front displays, it’s the Merc’s setup that looks truly wonderful. BMW and Mercedes have done a fantastic job when it comes to the build quality plus fit-and-finish of these SUVs, but it’s the X7 that feels a cut above, still.
Comfort is clearly a non-issue here, with the X7 and GLS boasting well-lit, spacious and quiet cabins. Both cars get customizable mood lighting, large & multi-panel panoramic glass roofs, adaptive air suspension, heads-up display, rear-seat entertainment suite, power-operated seats for all rows and much, much more. Of course, the third-row seats in both these SUVs aren’t perfect and adults may not really enjoy them, but they are far from appalling.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 500 is powered by a good-old fashioned V8 that churns out 455 hp and 700 Nm of torque - all pushed through a 9-speed gearbox and to all four corners. Meanwhile, the BMW X7 40i houses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that develops 340 hp and 450 Nm, mated to a ZF 8-speed gearbox and channeled to all fours via BMW’s xDrive AWD system.
Of course, the V8-powered GLS is quicker to 100 km/h - finishing the sprint from a standstill in just 5.4 seconds. The X7 40i, meanwhile, accomplishes the same feat in 6.1 seconds. Top speed for both these SUVs is in the region of 250 km/h.
With a price difference of nearly 60,000 dirhams, punchier performance and with the possibility of adding more optional equipment, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 500 -- priced at AED 425,000 -- makes an excellent case for itself over the pricier BMW X7.
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