Which is the best SUV: Audi Q7 or Mercedes Benz GL?

In this article, we compare the Audi Q7 and Mercedes Benz GL and answer the following questions: what are the engine options available in the Q7 and GL? Which is more reliable? Should you buy the GL over the Audi Q7?

Which is the best SUV: Audi Q7 or Mercedes Benz GL?

The Mercedes Benz GL is the best sports utility vehicle available in the market. Mercedes Benz renamed the GL class to GLS with the launch of the facelift model in 2016. The following table show key specifications between the Audi Q7 and Mercedes Benz GL

Model/ SpecificationsAudi Q7Mercedes Benz GL/GLS
Starting price60,000 USD77,200 USD
Number of passengers77
Width77.5 in77.0–79.9 in
Height 68.5 in72.8 in
wheelbase117.9 in123.4 in
Engine optionsInline 4, V6 and V8Inline 6, V8 

A Detailed look at Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is a full-sized sports utility vehicle (SUV) that can carry 7 Adults easily. Audi has been making the Q7 SUV since 2006, it is also the first SUV manufactured by Audi.

The Audi Q7 lacks a low-range gears ratio but it has a permanent all-wheel-drive system with a central locking differential. The Q7 gets air suspension with adaptive damping comes as standard.

The Audi is currently in its second generation which was introduced in 2015, in 2020 Audi launched a much-needed facelift version of the Q7 with changes in the exterior styling and LED headlights as standard. 

Mechanically the car remains unchanged, there is the same air suspension system but an active roll stabilisation system is available as an optional extra. It is powered by a 48 V electric system and an electrical pump controls the hydraulic pressure to the active roll bars greatly improving the high-speed behaviour of the Q7 by minimising the body roll.

A detailed look at Mercedes Benz GL

Mercedes Benz GL is the flagship SUV model and Mercedes Benz launched the third generation X167 in 2019. Mercedes Benz also changed the GL name to GLS with the introduction of the facelift model W166 in 2016. 

Mercedes Benz ML is also renamed GLE which is a smaller wheelbase version of the GLS. The latest GLE/GLS models are the most advanced SUVs in the luxury car market. 

The GLS has a hydraulic and air suspension system which gives it additional off-road ability. The car can bounce and achieve better traction if it is stuck in the sand. Interior equipment is also much more advanced than the Q7. 

There is an android tablet integrated into the central console of the second-row seats. The android tablet can be used to control the power windows and sunblind in the second row. It can also act as a remote control for the Command system.

Mercedes ME connect with HERMES control module comes in all variants and the second-row seats are now fully electric. The GLS also has more legroom compared to the Audi Q7 and because of the panoramic sunroof, the entire passenger cabin is well lit. Overall the third generation of the GLS is very premium compared to the Q7. 

What are the engine options available in the Q7 and Mercedes Benz GL/GLS?

Audi offers more engine options in the Q7, the 2020 facelift gets 3 mild hybrid models 45 TDI, 50 TDI and one petrol engine in 55 TFSI. Q7 also has inline 4 cylinder and V6 and V8 petrol engines, Mercedes Benz GLS only has inline 6 petrol and diesel engines. There is no 4-cylinder engine in the GLS, inline 5-cylinder is only available in the smaller GLE model.

The GLS 350d is powered by an OM656 engine and makes 282 horsepower and 600 Nm of torque, the Audi 50 TDI also makes similar power and torque but uses a V6 3.0-litre diesel engine.  OM656 is an inline six-cylinder diesel engine, it is the most advanced diesel engine made by Mercedes Benz.

 The engine block is made from aluminium which makes the engine very light compared to the previous OM 642 engine. The intercooler is liquid-cooled, there are no charge air hoses that can cut overtime and cause reliability issues. 

OM 656 also has two exhaust gas recirculation systems with an integrated selective catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter. The intake manifold remains clean and malfunctions due to the building up of carbon despite the throttle body being avoided,

Mercedes Benz uses a more advanced 9 G-Tronic transmission in the GLS, the new transfer case is also capable of sending 100 per cent of the power to either front or rear axle, Audi only has 6 and 8 speeds automatic transmission.

Which one should you buy: Q7 or the GL/GLS?

The Mercedes Benz GLS is the better choice as it has advanced driver assistance systems like Active blind spot assist, and Active Brake Assist as standard. The overall styling and interior design on the GLS also look very modern.

The facelift model of the Q7 looks outdated compared to the GLS, Audi will launch the third generation of the Q7 soon but right now the Mercedes Benz GLS is the clear winner.

Mercedes Benz GLS is also very reliable and customers can even extend the warranty up to 6 years. Q7 is not very reliable, many customers visit workshops frequently for poor engine performance and electrical faults.

Other articles about  Audi you may be interested in

Which is the best 4-door sedan: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes C Class?

Is Audi better than Mercedes Benz?

How to manually move a power seat in an Audi ?


Audi Q7 and the Mercedes Benz GLS is the flagship SUV from the German brands but Audi needs to launch a proper next-generation model as the facelift model is nowhere near the luxury and performance offered by the Mercedes Benz GLS.

FAQs: Audi Q7 Vs GL

Which is better: Audi Q 7 or Mercedes Benz GL?

The Mercedes Benz Gl is better than the Audi Q 7. Mercedes Benz GL has the better-built quality and the interior is very strong and durable compared to Audi Q 7. Mercedes Benz offers petrol and diesel engines with food fuel economy and the transfer case also comes with a differential lock. Mercedes Benz sells more GL in the luxury passenger car segment than the Q7.

Is the Mercedes Benz GLE bigger than the Audi Q7?

No Mercedes Benz GLE is a shorter wheelbase version of the GL/GLS. It is not bigger than the Audi Q7 and the seating capacity is also 5 occupants as opposed to 7 seats in the Audi Q7. The Mercedes Benz GLE is also available in the inline 4-cylinder diesel engine with rear-wheel drive and a 9-speed gearbox.

Is Audi better than Mercedes?

No, Audi is not better than Mercedes Benz. Today Mercedes Benz is at the top position in the luxury car market followed by BMW and Audi. Mercedes Benz cars are also more reliable than the Audi and even though the cost of maintaining a similar model for the first 3 years, the superior built quality of Mercedes Benz means fewer breakdowns than Audi and the mileage and age start increasing.

Is the Audi Q7 a reliable car?

The Audi Q7 is not a reliable car, Many customers regularly report to dealerships for concerns like engine malfunction light, coolant and oil leaks and the average repair cost is more than 1000 USD. The Q7 also has a very closely packed engine component so the repair times are also slightly higher than other brands.