2020 Mercedes GLB vs. 2020 Mazda CX-9

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Mazda CX-9 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLB’s standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.

The GLB’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLB and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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, 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 CX-9’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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes GLB 250 is faster than the Mazda CX-9:

GLB

CX-9

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

20.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.9 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the GLB gets better fuel mileage than the CX-9:

MPG

GLB

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

CX-9

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLB’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes GLB higher (5 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-9 (3). This means the GLB produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-9 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Mercedes GLB, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-9.

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 CX-9 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GLB’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-9:

GLB

CX-9

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

The GLB stops much shorter than the CX-9:

GLB

CX-9

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

183 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 CX-9 Sport/Touring’s standard 60 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the GLB can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-9 doesn’t offer run-flat 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 CX-9’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 CX-9 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLB 250 4MATIC handles at .89 G’s, while the CX-9 Signature AWD pulls only .80 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 500 to 600 pounds less than the Mazda CX-9.

The GLB is 1 foot, 5 inches shorter than the CX-9, making the GLB easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The GLB is 5.3 inches narrower than the CX-9, making the GLB easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

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The GLB has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the CX-9.

The front step up height for the GLB is 1.3 inches lower than the CX-9 (17” vs. 18.3”). The GLB’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the CX-9’s (17.5” vs. 18.8”).

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 CX-9’s liftover is 31.6 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLB. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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The GLB uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-9 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 Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 59% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature, 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’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the GLB and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the GLB is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-9 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the GLB the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-9 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The GLB’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The CX-9’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 CX-9’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The GLB’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-9 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 CX-9.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLB offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-9 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The GLB 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 CX-9 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The GLB’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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