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German rivalry, unleashed!


The Mercedes Benz has been one of the top sellers in the Luxury SUV segment. It is old school, it is rugged, and has witnessed stupendous success over the years. It has seen some stiff competition from the Audi Q7, which is considered the epitome of luxury and refinement. BMW, however, have recently launched their biggest SUV, the X7 to spruce up the ages old German rivalry. Which one should be on your consideration list? Read more to find out.


Mercedes Benz GLS Class

The Mercedes Benz GLS has always been known for its old school looks. This big, butch and rugged looking SUV is available in 3 trims, namely GLS 450 4matic, GLS 550 4matic and AMG GLS 63 4matic. Interestingly, all the 3 trims get different engines and are priced between $70,150 and $126,150. All the variants get AWD as standard.

The 2018Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63 4matic trim is powered by a 5.5-liter Twin-Turbo V8 motor, which produces 577 hp of power and 561 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a 7 speed shiftable automatic gearbox, which channels power to all the wheels. The flat-bottom steering is well weighted, and straight-line stability of the car is admirable. On twisty and winding sections though, there is too much body roll and though stable, the car doesn’t feel very refined to handle. The braking performance is remarkable, with car coming to a halt without any complications. The car returns an efficiency of 18 mpg, which is far from good.

Compared to its old school exterior looks, the interior is modern, with well integrated dashboard and luxurious seats, which offer great support for the driver. All round visibility is great, and that coupled with comfortable seats make driving this SUV a breeze. There is ample space in all the 3 rows and beige interior touches lend an airy feeling into the cabin. If the exteriors are old school and rugged, the interior is much more modern and luxurious.

The GLS comes standard with a rearview camera, forward-collision warnings, and automatic emergency braking. Optional safety equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, active lane control, traffic-sign based speed warnings and adaptive cruise control.

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 comes across as one of the top luxury crossovers in its segment. This flagship Audi is available in 3 trims namely Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, and are priced at $53,900; $60,400 and $65,400 respectively. A 2 liter 4 cy. engine is standard while there is an option of a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 engine as well. Both the engines come mated to a 8 speed automatic transmission with AWD as standard across all trims.

While there are two engine options on offer, it’s a no-brainer to decide which one is better. The 3.0 liter supercharged 6-cylinder motor produces 333 hp of power and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission, which offers smooth and seamless gear shifts.The car does 0-60 mph sprint under 6 seconds, which is respectable for a SUV of this size and caliber. For its size, the Q7 comes across as a very nimble and light car to drive, be it on straight roads or twisty corners. The steering is very well calibrated, and offers good feedback. The braking performance is commendable, with car coming to a halt with no nosedive whatsoever.

As understated and elegant it looks on the outside, the luxurious interior theme doesn’t come as a surprise. It is filled with high quality materials throughout, with excellent seating space in all the 3 rows. The seats are supportive, with good cushioning and bolstering, and that coupled with good all-round visibility makes driving this car an easy task. Large windows let a good amount of light enter the cabin and one never feels claustrophobic inside. Overall, the luxurious interior complements the timeless and elegant exterior design really well.

Standard safety features include low-speed automatic emergency braking, multiple airbags, stability assist, a rearview camera and adaptive cruise control, what must be noted is that IIHS has rated the Q7 highly and federal officials rated the Q7 at full five stars.

 BMW X7

The newest kid on the block, BMW unveiled its flagship SUV recently and has since gained quite a lot of attention. It also happens to be BMW’s ‘proper’ 3 row SUV, and it will be available in two trims, namely xDrive40i and xDrive50i. Engine options include a turbocharged 3.0 liter inline-6 and a Twin-Turbo 4.4 liter V8. While the xDrive40i is priced at $73,900, the xDrive50i with the twin-turbo V8 is priced at $92,600.

With two engine options on offer, the twin-turbo 4.4 liter V8 is surely the pick of the lot. It develops 456 hp of power and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which channels power to all the wheels. As is the case with most BMW’s, performance is good, and the car is dynamically accomplished for the most part, Straight-line stability is good, while there is a bit of body roll around corners and twisty sections of the road. The feedback rich steering feels good to hold, and is an extremely capable unit. Braking performance too, is impressive.

The interior is identical to that of 7 series sedan, the only change being use of wooden inserts on the dashboard. The seats are comfortable and all-round visibility is good. There is more than ample amount of space in all the three rows, and the beige interiors with good glass area lend an airy feel to the cabin. The X7’s interiors totally live up to the expectations that BMW have set for themselves and others.

Standard safety equipment includes multiple airbags, lane departure warning, tire pressure monitoring, blind spot monitoring and a rearview camera. The car hasn’t yet been crash-tested, but it is speculated that with so much safety equipment on offer, the car is expected to fare well on safety parameters.

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