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Large luxury SUVs feature a combination of performance, safety, interior space, and luxury (of course) at a surprising range of sticker prices. When comparing the Land Rover Range Rover to the Mercedes-Benz GLS, there are similarities in vehicles of this class. However, a few significant differences make one the stand-out leader. As a result, the best large luxury SUV may surprise you.

Comparing the Land Rover Range Rover to the Mercedes-Benz GLS

Edmunds recently published a comparison of the two “mega-luxury SUVs,” declaring the Mercedes GLS the winner because the “GLS delivers better all-around comfort and usability for the price.” While this may be true if all luxury SUV owners limit their travels to shopping centers and coffee shops, the Land Rover Range Rover offers features aimed at taking unpaved paths head-on that the GLS doesn’t consider.

Land Rover Range Rover

The first significant disadvantage the Land Rover Range Rover has is that the Range Rover SE with three-row seating starts at $111,975, about $33,000 more than the three-row Mercedes-Benz GLS. The Edmunds review admits that the Range Rover “felt grand,” but “not $30,000 more grand than the GLS.” A shorter Range Rover starts at $105,975 if you don’t need the third-row seats.

The Range Rover’s interior is “defined by wide, tasteful swaths of wood or leather” for a warm natural aesthetic. The interior materials are plush, and the second-row seats feature a power-sliding feature that outperforms the one in the GLS. Unfortunately, reviewers found that some of the Rover’s touchpoints are plastic, and they heard “some interior panel creaking and groaning” during their test drives that shouldn’t happen in a brand-new luxury SUV.

Safety data for the Range Rover is hard to acquire as Consumer Reports notes that Land Rover does not participate in crash testing. However, Land Rover offers the following available driver-aids for the Range Rover to provide “additional safety for you and your passengers:”

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking alerts to potential collisions and applies emergency braking when needed.
  • Lane Keep Assist detects drifting out of the lane and “encourages you to guide your vehicle back.”
  • Adaptive Cruise Control maintains constant speed without using the accelerator.
  • Park Assist helps with parallel and perpendicular parking using graphics and notifications.
  • Blind Spot Monitor alerts you to vehicles in or approaching your blind spot.
  • 360° Parking Aid “provides audio and visual feedback indicating your proximity to obstacles as you park.”

Both SUVs use turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engines combined with “mild hybrid systems” for improved fuel economy and standard all-wheel drive. The Land Rover Range Rover has 395 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 mph in just over six seconds. While the Range Rover feels “plush on the road,” its soft suspension allows for sway and body roll when cornering and makes it “feel top-heavy.”

Off-roading capabilities provide the Range Rover’s advantage over the Mercedes-Benz GLS. The Range Rover features an adjustable air suspension to provide up to 11.6 inches of ground clearance, a standard locking rear differential for extra traction in rugged terrain, and up to five selectable off-road driving modes. Additionally, the Range Rover boasts a high-water fording capability of up to 35.4 inches. 

Mercedes-Benz GLS

A 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS luxury SUV model parked on a sandy plain near rolling hills of rock and grass
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS | MBUSA

The Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 tested by Edmunds lists for $88,010, including destination charges, and features a nicer interior and more storage space behind the third-row seats than the Land Rover Range Rover. The GLS 450 features styling that is “exciting and modern with big, gleaming air vents and authentic metal touchpoints for a premium feel.” Additionally, the GLS 450 features a larger, easier-to-use 12.3-inch infotainment screen and a “more robust and coherent set of tech features.” 

Again there is a lack of safety test data for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450, but Mercedes offers a similar suite of driver-assist features as Land Rover.

Mercedes only coaxes 362 horsepower from its similar-sized turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder. However, Edmunds’ testers found that both engines provided adequate power to propel the large SUVs to highway speeds with similar 0 to 60 mph times.

While the GLS 450 has an adjustable air suspension similar to the Range Rover, it only raises to provide up to 8.5 inches of ground clearance, and there is no listing for high water fording capabilities. So, it’s safe to say that off-roading is not the GLS 450’s strong suit

Which one is best?

The Edmunds team picked the Mercedes-Benz GLS over the Land Rover Range Rover for good reasons. Its lower price, better quality interior, user-friendly tech, and more stable cornering are attractive features in a large luxury SUV. However, the advantage goes to the Range Rover for anyone looking for the most sport and utility in an off-road-destined luxury SUV.