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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes GLB doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.
To help make backing safer, the Encore (except Base)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The GLB doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Encore and the GLB have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Encore the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 212 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLB has not been tested, yet.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLB. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLB ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLB’s (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 5 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.
The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the GLB’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 3 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.
On the EPA test cycle the Encore FWD gets better fuel mileage than the GLB 250 FWD Auto (25 city/30 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLB requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Encore has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GLB doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
The Encore has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the GLB; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the GLB don’t have a run-flat feature, either.
The Encore has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLB’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the GLB’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 550 pounds less than the Mercedes GLB.
The Encore is 1 foot, 2 inches shorter than the GLB, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLB doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Encore has a much larger cargo volume than the GLB with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 5.1 cubic feet).
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLB only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Encore has standard extendable sun visors. The GLB doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Buick Encore, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Buick Encore outsold the Mercedes GLB by over 87 to one during 2019.
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