2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Mercedes GLB

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

The Explorer has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLB doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Explorer ST/Platinum has standard Reverse Brake Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLB doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer’s 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 Explorer and the GLB have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The Ford Explorer weighs 454 to 1331 pounds more than the Mercedes GLB. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Explorer its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 206 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLB has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Explorer 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.

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

The Explorer 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 GLB 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 Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 5 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The Explorer’s standard 2.3 turbo 4-cylinder produces 79 more horsepower (300 vs. 221) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Explorer’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 97 more horsepower (318 vs. 221) and 64 lbs.-ft. more torque (322 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Explorer Platinum’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 144 more horsepower (365 vs. 221) and 122 lbs.-ft. more torque (380 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Explorer ST’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 179 more horsepower (400 vs. 221) and 157 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer ST is faster than the Mercedes GLB 250:

Explorer

GLB

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.3 sec

17.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.9 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

146 MPH

131 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer Hybrid RWD gets better fuel mileage than the GLB FWD (27 city/29 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Explorer Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLB doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Explorer Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLB (18 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLB (20.2 vs. 15.9 gallons).

The Explorer 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.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Explorer, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the GLB.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

For better stopping power the Explorer’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the GLB:

Explorer

Explorer ST

GLB

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

The Explorer ST’s optional front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the GLB are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the GLB (255/65R18 vs. 235/55R18). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLB (275/45R21 vs. 235/55R18).

The Explorer ST/Platinum’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 GLB’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer ST/Platinum offers optional 21-inch wheels. The GLB’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Explorer 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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the GLB (119.1 inches vs. 111.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.7 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than on the GLB.

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

The front grille of the Explorer (except 3.3 V6 non-Hybrid) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLB doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Explorer Hybrid 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.

Passenger Space

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The Explorer has 1.9 inches more front legroom, 5.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom, 7 inches more rear shoulder room, 4.1 inches more third row headroom, 3.1 inches more third row legroom and 10.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLB.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLB.

Explorer

GLB

Behind Third Seat

18.2 cubic feet

5.1 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

24 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

62 cubic feet

Both the Explorer and the GLB offer second row automatic folding seats. The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The GLB doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Explorer is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the GLB. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer’s exterior PIN entry system. The GLB doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Explorer 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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Explorer to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The GLB doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Both the Explorer and the GLB offer optional heated front seats. The Explorer also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the GLB.

The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The GLB doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

The Ford Explorer outsold the Mercedes GLB by over 159 to one during 2019.

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

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