Which Of These Heavyweight Germans is the King of the Red Hot Luxury SUV Segment? Watch the Video and Find Out!

by John Coyle

This week, we’re comparing a pair of big German SUVs, the BMW X7, and the Mercedes-Benz G550.

In this corner, we have the 2020 BMW X7. It’s the first three-row SUV from a company known for making sporty machines that prioritize driving pleasure. Next, we have the 2020 Mercedes-Benz G550. With its military roots, this Teutonic tank is a blend of old-school brawn and new-school tech.

Both the BMW X7 and Mercedes G550 are excellent competitors in the booming luxury SUV segment, so let’s take a look at the engines, cabs, infotainment, and price to determine a winner. Of course, you shouldn’t buy a truck without a thorough test drive. So if you’re deciding between the BMW X7 and the Mercedes G550, visit AutoNation.com to find a nearby dealer.

Full text of the video follows below.

BMW Powertrain

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes G550: Powertrains

The BMW X7 comes with a choice of two power plants. The standard mill is a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder that’s packing 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft or torque. Those looking for more punch can opt for the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, which has 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight speed transmission. With the V6, the X7 is rated at 20 miles-per-gallon city, and 25 highway. With the V8, those figures dip to 15 city, 21 highway. A properly equipped X7 can tow up to 8,700 pounds.

The Mercedes G550 features a 4.0-liter V8 that’s packing 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. There’s also a two-speed transfer case, and locking differentials at the front, center, and rear. Fuel economy comes in at 13 miles-per-gallon city, and 17 highway. At press time, towing capacity hasn’t been released yet.

While we like how off-road ready the G550 is, we think the BMW’s combination of power and fuel economy give it the edge here.

Mercedes-Benz Cabin

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes G550: Cabins

Turning to cabins, both the BMW and Mercedes are supremely comfortable places to be. That said, if you’re looking for real leather, you’ll have to select it from the BMW options list, as synthetic leather is standard. But all the touch points in the cabin of the X7 are soft, and the piano black plastic trim in the center console looks great. Given its large proportions, there’s plenty of space in the front two rows, and while it’s a little tight in the third row, even full-size adults will be happy on short trips. With the third row folded, there’s 48.6 cubic-feet of cargo space available, which climbs to 90.4 with the second row folded.

As you’d expect from Mercedes, the quality of the materials inside the G550 is exceptional. Every touch point is supple, the seats are well-bolstered, and details like the air vents and speaker grilles are beautifully detailed. The display which runs from the top of the center console into the gauge cluster is particularly stunning. And in regard to cargo space, there’s roughly 38 cubic-feet behind the rear seats, and 79 with the seats folded.


While it has more seats and more cargo room, the design of the G550’s cabin is just gorgeous, so we’re going to give it the win here.

 Mercedes-Benz Infotainment

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes G550: Infotainment

Today, infotainment is a huge selling point for buyers, and both the BMW and Mercedes deliver. The BMW uses a conventional 12.3-inch touchscreen to adjust settings, and the iDrive software is relatively intuitive. Wireless charging, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a WiFi hotspot are also standard. Apple CarPlay is standard too, but in a curious move, BMW requires a yearly subscription to access it after the first 12 months of ownership.

Unlike a lot of competitors, the G550 doesn’t have a touchscreen. Instead, drivers use the center console’s touchpad to make selections in Mercedes’ COMAND interface. So there’s a learning curve, but overall, the system is fairly intuitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation,Bluetooth connectivity, and a 15-speaker audio system are standard.

While we really don’t like that BMW has put a popular feature like Apple CarPlay behind a paywall, we think the X7’s touchscreen is easier to use than the one in the Mercedes.

 Safety BMW and Mercedes-Benz

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes G550: Safety

From a safety standpoint, neither the BMW or Mercedes have been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But at this elevated price point, that’s not unusual.

The Mercedes comes standard with a robust set of safety features, including rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.


The BMW has a similar list of standard safety equipment, though you will have to add adaptive cruise as an option. A surround-view camera and a heads up display are also available.

Given how much safety tech is shared between the two models, we’re going to call the safety question a draw.

5 - Price - BMW.jpg

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes G550: Price

Now, it’s time to talk price. The BMW X7 starts at $73,900, though options make that figure rise quickly.

The Mercedes-Benz G550 starts at $124,500, and as with the BMW, there’s plenty of room to go up from there.

Giver that it starts some 60k less than the G550, we think the BMW is the clear winner on price.

Overall - BMW

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes G550: Overall

Overall, while we appreciate the legendary off-road capabilities of the G550, we think the superior power, fuel economy, cargo space, and value of the BMW gives it the win here.

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