2020 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2020 Mercedes GLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Suburban are height-adjustable, and the middle and 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 GLS doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

Both the Suburban and GLS have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Suburban has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The GLS’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLS doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The GLS doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Suburban and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Suburban 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Suburban’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLS’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Suburban has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The GLS doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The Suburban’s standard 5.3 V8 produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (383 vs. 369) than the GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Suburban’s fuel efficiency. The GLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Suburban uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 6.2 V8 engine for maximum performance). The GLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Suburban has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLS (31 vs. 23.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the GLS.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Suburban has larger standard tires than the GLS (265/65R18 vs. 255/50R19). The Suburban’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLS (285/45R22 vs. 255/50R19).

The Suburban’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLS’ 50 series tires.

The Chevrolet Suburban’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes GLS only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Suburban has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The GLS doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Suburban has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the GLS, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban’s wheelbase is 6.6 inches longer than on the GLS (130 inches vs. 123.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Suburban is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the GLS.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Suburban uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the GLS can only carry 7.

The Suburban has 3.4 inches more front headroom, 5 inches more front legroom, 5.5 inches more front shoulder room and 6.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLS.

Cargo Capacity

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The Suburban’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLS.

Suburban

GLS

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

17.4 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

42.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.1 cubic feet

84.7 cubic feet

Towing

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

Maximum trailer towing in the Mercedes GLS is limited to 7700 pounds. The Suburban offers up to a 8300 lbs. towing capacity.

The Suburban 4WD can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Suburban can be unhitched and driven around locally. The GLS can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Suburban’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The GLS does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Suburban has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLS only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Model Availability

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The Suburban is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLS doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chevrolet Suburban, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the Mercedes GLS by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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