2020 Mercedes GLB vs. 2020 BMW X3

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 2020/01/24

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLB have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLB are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the GLB and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the GLB’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLB 250 4MATIC Auto gets better fuel mileage than the X3 s/xDrive30i xDrive (23 city/31 hwy vs. 24 city/29 hwy).

Transmission

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The GLB offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The X3 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLB has larger tires than the X3 (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R18).

The GLB’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X3’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLB’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The X3 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the GLB’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (38.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The GLB’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the X3 M40i’s (38.4 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes GLB may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the BMW X3.

The GLB is 3.5 inches shorter than the X3, making the GLB easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The GLB offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the X3 can only carry 5.

The GLB has .8 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.7 inches more rear legroom than the X3.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the GLB’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The GLB has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X3, the GLB has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GLB offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the X3.

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