2022 Lexus RX vs. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Comparison

Erin Riches-Wong | Sep 29, 2021

The Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLE (formerly the M-Class) are the original midsize luxury SUVs. Both arrived on the scene for the 1998 model year, and they remain popular choices in this class.

They're similar in personality, too. Off-road capability has never been on the menu, but both the Lexus RX and Mercedes GLE will get you through a snowstorm while keeping you and your passengers comfortable. Mercedes offers a broader range of engines for buyers seeking performance from a midsize luxury crossover, while Lexus provides a hybrid powertrain for consumers who prioritize fuel economy.

If you're shopping for a midsize premium SUV, you'll want to consider the RX and GLE. Here's a 2022 Lexus RX vs. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE comparison to help you sort out the differences.

Price and Value

2022 Lexus RX 350L Front Quarter View

2022 Lexus RX 350L

A midsize luxury SUV, the 2022 Lexus RX has standard seating for five. The extended-length Lexus RX L adds a small third-row seat and has seating for seven. Most families won't find the RX L useful as an everyday 3-row SUV, however. Instead, think of it as a Lexus RX with more cargo space.

Trim levels on the 2022 Lexus RX include RX 350, RX 350 F Sport, RX 350L, RX 450h, RX 450h F Sport, and NX 450hL. Consumers will find that pricing ranges from $45,320 to $51,410, not including the $1,075 destination charge.

The RX 350 models have a V6 engine, standard front-wheel drive (FWD), and optional all-wheel drive (AWD). The RX 450h models are hybrids. They combine a V6 engine with three electric motors. All-wheel drive is standard on the RX 450h models, though they achieve that via front- and rear-drive electric motors rather than a conventional driveshaft as on the RX 350.

The 2022 Lexus RX 350 F Sport and RX 450h F Sport have a sport-tuned suspension and numerous cosmetic upgrades. The optional Handling package aims to deliver a sportier driving experience via adaptive suspension damping and recalibrated steering.

Lexus offers typical connected services, including remote access (unlock the doors, start the engine, etc.), automatic collision notification, rapid access to emergency services and roadside assistance, and concierge services. There's also a Wi-Fi hotspot on the 2022 RX.

Lexus provides two complimentary scheduled maintenance visits during your first 12 months of ownership. The Lexus RX ranks highest among Midsize Premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2020 Resale Value Awards.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE also comes in two body styles: the standard GLE SUV and the GLE Coupe, which has a rakish, coupe-inspired roofline. Both have standard seating for five, but you can get a third-row seat on the standard GLE. The Mercedes GLE has a longer wheelbase than the Lexus RX L, so you're likely to find it more practical as a 7-passenger vehicle.

Trim levels include the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350, GLE 450, GLE 580, and the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 and GLE 53 Coupe. Pricing ranges from $55,700 to $80,200, not including the $1,050 destination charge. Note that this range does not include the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S and GLE 63 S Coupe, which are among the many high-performance, V8-powered Mercedes models on hold for 2022.

Of course, you could get the Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 if you want a V8 engine. The GLE 350 and GLE 450 use 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines, respectively, and all three engines are turbocharged. Mercedes GLE 350 buyers can choose either rear-wheel drive or the optional 4Matic AWD system; 4Matic is standard on all other trims.

The sporty Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 and GLE 53 Coupe slot into the lineup between the GLE 450 and GLE 580. Both use a turbo inline-6 engine tuned by the automaker's AMG performance division. The GLE 53 models also have a sport-tuned suspension with self-leveling air springs and adaptive damping. An option package provides upgraded brakes and Active Roll Stabilization, a feature that helps keep this SUV steady and balanced when going around tight turns.

Every 2022 Mercedes GLE and GLE Coupe comes with connected services, including remote access, rapid access to emergency and roadside assistance, geofencing for less trusted drivers, a parking-lot finder feature, and three years of downloadable map updates for the factory navigation system. Wi-Fi is optional.

Mercedes does not offer free scheduled maintenance for the 2022 GLE.

Advantage: Lexus RX

Reliability and Quality

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic Red Front Quarter View Action

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic

The Lexus RX ranks third among Midsize Premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and first in the 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2022 Lexus RX comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 10 years or 150,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

The Mercedes-Benz GLE does not rank among the top Midsize Premium SUVs in the 2021 VDS or the 2021 IQS. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Lexus RX 350 Interior Dashboard

2022 Lexus RX 350

Consumers shopping for the 2022 Lexus RX have two powertrain choices. The Lexus RX 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 295 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard.

On the RX 450h models, the 3.5-liter V6 engine joins forces with two electric-drive motors—one driving the front wheels, the other driving the rear wheels. A third electric motor functions as a generator and starter and manages the gear ratios for the RX 450h's standard electric continuously variable transmission (eCVT). The combined output is 308 hp.

Towing is possible with any 2022 Lexus RX. Properly equipped, this midsize luxury SUV has a 3,500-pound tow rating.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 2022 Lexus RX 350 models at 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving with FWD and 22 mpg with AWD. The heavier Lexus RX 350 L rates one less mpg with either setup. The 2022 Lexus RX 450h rates 30 mpg combined, and the RX 450h L rates 29 mpg.

You have four engine choices on the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE. First up is the Mercedes GLE 350, which has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 255 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Although the 4-cylinder Mercedes-Benz GLE has respectable numbers, most buyers will be happier with the GLE 450, which uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder. This engine makes 362 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. It's also equipped with a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrification system that powers the GLE 450's electrical system, provides a modest acceleration boost, and smooths out the operation of the SUV's automatic engine stop/start system. The 2022 GLE 450 comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

If you want a more athletic midsize Mercedes SUV, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 or GLE 53 Coupe is the logical next step. The GLE 53 has a higher-performance version of the turbo inline-6 rated at 429 hp and 384 pound-feet of torque. The GLE 53 also uses the 48-volt electrification system. It gets a quicker-shifting version of the 9-speed automatic.

For buyers wanting a V8, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 is your only choice for now. It features a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates 483 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque. The V8 also uses the 48-volt electrification system, and it has a 9-speed automatic transmission as standard.

Properly equipped, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupe have a 7,700-pound tow rating.

The EPA rates the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 at 22 mpg in combined city and highway driving, regardless of whether you get the rear-wheel-drive version or the more useful 4Matic AWD model. The GLE 450 rates 23 mpg combined. The GLE 53 Coupe rates 20 mpg in combined driving, while the heavier GLE 53 SUV rates 19 mpg. The GLE 580 has a 19-mpg rating.

Advantage: Mercedes-Benz GLE

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic Interior Dashboard

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic

Every 2022 Lexus RX comes with the same package of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) known as Lexus Safety System+ 2.0. This list includes a forward-collision warning (FCW) system and automatic emergency braking (AEB). It's capable of detecting pedestrians in broad daylight and low-light conditions, along with cyclists in daylight. You also get a blind-spot warning (BSW) system with rear cross-traffic warning, lane-departure warning (LDW), and lane-keeping assistance (LKA) as standard.

With the standard adaptive cruise control (ACC) engaged, there's stop-and-go capability and lane centering (Lexus calls it Lane Tracing Assist). This is considered a form of Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance known as traffic jam assist (TJA).

The 2022 Lexus RX has a 4-star (out of a possible 5 stars) overall National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating, including 4 stars for frontal-impact protection and 5 stars for side-impact crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2021 Lexus RX a Top Safety Pick.

Standard ADAS on the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE includes FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, a BSW system with rear cross-traffic warnings and safe-exit assistance, and a driver-attention monitoring system. In an unavoidable collision, every 2022 GLE has the Mercedes Pre-Safe and Pre-Safe Sound accident-mitigation systems as standard.

Optional equipment on the Mercedes GLE is extensive. The list includes ACC with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering assistance, automatic emergency stop assistanceevasive-steering assistance, and lane-change assistance. In addition, the GLE's AEB system can be upgraded with front cross-traffic detection (for vehicles and pedestrians), while the BSW system gains an active assist feature to prevent you from steering into an occupied lane.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE has a 5-star overall crash rating from the NHTSA. The IIHS named the 2021 GLE a Top Safety Pick+, the Institute's highest safety rating.

Advantage: Mercedes-Benz GLE

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Lexus RX 350 Rear Quarter View

2022 Lexus RX 350

An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface is standard in every 2022 Lexus RX. Although Lexus has adopted touchscreen technology, the RX still includes the older-style Remote Touchpad controller if you prefer using that. A 12.3-inch touchscreen display is optional. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is included with both setups.

Options include factory navigation, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, and a wireless charging pad. Six USB ports are standard, including two in the back seat.

Every 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment interface backed by the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) platform. Smartphone integration and factory navigation are standard, and the voice-recognition technology is among the best you'll find in a midsize luxury SUV. Standard near-field communication (NFC) technology speeds up Bluetooth pairing. A wireless charging pad is also included.

Among the available options is an augmented video feature for the navigation system that makes it easier to pinpoint unfamiliar locations. There's also the MBUX Interior Assistant, which allows passengers to use gestures to control basic functions in the cabin, as well as a premium Burmester surround-sound system. The 2022 Mercedes GLE comes with five USB ports. You can get two additional ports to go with the optional third-row seat.

Advantage: Mercedes-Benz GLE

Comfort and Utility

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic Red Rear Quarter View

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic

One of the older designs in the midsize luxury SUV segment, the 2022 Lexus RX looks tidy but slightly old-fashioned on the inside. The dash has a layered appearance and lots of buttons and dials. For consumers overwhelmed by the digital age, this approach might be refreshing. Predictably, there are numerous interior treatments to choose from, and materials quality is high.

You'll find the first- and second-row seats equally accommodating. You sit up higher than expected in the back, making it easier to see out of the RX. The regular-size Lexus RX has dual-zone climate control only, but the RX 350L and RX 450hL add a third climate zone.

Measured by the SAE standard, the standard RX offers a maximum cargo volume of 32.7 cubic feet, while the RX L offers 58.5 cubic feet.

Step inside the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE and, even in base GLE 350 trim, you'll find a gorgeous interior design built around the digital instrument panel and infotainment display. In most cases, materials quality reflects the high-end design. The control layout is straightforward, but it will take you some time to personalize all the owner settings. And due to all the infotainment hardware, center console storage space is minimal.

As in the Lexus, adults will find the first- and second-row seats quite comfortable. Desirable options include 4-zone climate control, air purification and fragrance system, and heating and cooling for both the seats and the cupholders.

Mercedes-Benz lists the maximum cargo capacity for the 2022 GLE SUV at 74.9 cubic feet (33.3 cubic feet with the second-row seats in use). Keep in mind that Mercedes uses a different measuring standard than Lexus. Although the GLE is indeed larger than the Lexus RX L, the difference in cargo volume is not as great as it appears.

Advantage: Neither

Test drive them both and take your pick.

Learn More About the Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLE

If you'd like to learn more about these midsize premium SUVs, be sure to read our expert reviews of the 2022 Lexus RX and 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on September 29, 2021, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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