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Spec Comparo: BMW X7 vs Mercedes-Benz GLS

Omkar Thakur

BMW has started building their biggest SUV yet, the X7 here in India and the entry-level car with the BSVI upgrade has been priced at Rs 92.5 lakh, ex-showroom. While there are a few options for that kind of money like the Audi Q7 or the Volvo XC90 or the Land Rover Discovery, there is only one car that matches it bulk and the price and almost everything – the Mercedes-Benz GLS. It can be fairly said that the X7 was developed to take on the GLS, one of the highest-selling SUVs in that segment, not only in India, and that is why we pit them against each other – spec-by-spec to find out how they fare.

Styling and Size

Looks are subjective and while many will like the sleek, subtle design on the Mercedes-GLS, the BMW's presence is polarizing. While a few may not like the large kidney grille (read journalists and purists), the ‘bigger-the-better' junta seems to have taken a liking to that in-your-face brawn of the BMW X7. Both the SUVs get LED headlamps and tail lamps along with fog lamps both fore and aft.

In terms of size, the X7 (5151mm length and 2000mm width) is longer and wider than the GLS, but the Mercedes (1850mm height) stands taller. Both the SUVs weigh over two and a half ton, have three rows and seat seven occupants each including the driver. The BMW gets the larger 21-inch rims as against the 20-inch wheels of the GLS. Both the cars run adaptive pneumatic suspension with ride height adjustability for off-road use.

Engine and Performance

3.0L turbocharged diesel engines is a norm in this segment and the BMW gets the twin-turbocharged straight-six that develops 265PS of power and 620Nm of torque as against the 255bhp 600Nm torque V6 of the Mercedes. The BMW gets an 8-speed dual clutch gearbox while the Mercedes scores a point with its 9-speed automatic. Both these cars run intelligent torque-on-demand all-wheel drive systems and the BMW is certified at 13.38 kmpl for fuel economy by the ARAI as against the 11.5kmpl from the Mercedes.

Both the BMW and the Mercedes also get 3.0-litre petrol engine options with all-wheel drive and while the Mercedes-Benz GLS petrol is cheaper than the diesel, the BMW petrol is expensive.

GLS 350 d

Safety and features

Being premium SUVs, the largest luxury cars in India, the BMW X7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS have an array of safety features. Starting from airbags (7 in X7 and 8 in GLS), you get child seat anchor points, tyre pressure monitoring systems, ESP with traction control and cornering stability control along with 360 camera, parking sensors, lane-departure systems and other driver assists.

The creature comforts include a four-zone climate control for the X7 and a three-zone unit in the GLS with separate fans for the rear passengers and vents for the second and the third row as well. Both the driver and co-driver seats are electrically adjustable while the second and third row seat backs are recline adjustable. Panoramic sunroof is standard and so is ambient lighting, touchscreen infotainment system, steering-mounted controls, cruise control and a host of other features.


The BMW is offered in two trims for the diesel - the DPE and the DPE Signature at Rs 92.5 lakh and Rs 1.02 crore respectively while the Mercedes-Benz GLS is offered in only one trim - the 350d at Rs 88.2 lakh.

The petrol BMW X7 xDrive 40i is expensive at Rs 1.07 crore while the petrol GLS 400 4Matic is priced lower than its diesel at Rs 87.8 lakhs. You could also opt for the performance GLS, the GLS63 AMG and that will set you back by Rs 1.92 crores (all prices ex-showroom).

While the BMW X7 is a brand new product, the new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS is expected to arrive in India later this year.

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