2020 Mercedes GLB vs. 2020 Ford Explorer

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 2020/09/28

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 Ford Explorer doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

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

Warranty

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The GLB comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Explorer’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes GLB 250 is faster than the Ford Explorer 2.3 turbo 4-cylinder:

GLB

Explorer

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

17.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.9 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

125 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 2020/09/28

On the EPA test cycle the GLB gets better fuel mileage than the Explorer:

MPG

GLB

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Explorer

RWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/24 hwy

Transmission

© 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 2020/09/28

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 Explorer doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The GLB stops much shorter than the Explorer:

GLB

Explorer

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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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 Explorer’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLB offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Explorer’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GLB 250 4MATIC handles at .89 G’s, while the Explorer XLT 4WD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Mercedes GLB may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 1100 pounds less than the Ford Explorer.

The GLB is 1 foot, 4.4 inches shorter than the Explorer, making the GLB easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The GLB is 6.7 inches narrower than the Explorer, making the GLB easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the GLB easier. The GLB’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the Explorer’s liftover is 31.1 inches.

Servicing Ease

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The GLB uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Explorer uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 59% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum, the GLB has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GLB offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Explorer doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The GLB’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Explorer’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The GLB’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Explorer’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

When the GLB is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Explorer’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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