2020 Mercedes GLB vs. 2020 Subaru Ascent

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 2020/08/05

The GLB offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Ascent only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

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 Ascent doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLB and the Ascent have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

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 Ascent’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the GLB has a standard 800-amp battery. The Ascent’s 530-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes GLB 250 is faster than the Subaru Ascent:

GLB

Ascent

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

19.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.9 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

130 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 2020/08/05

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

MPG

GLB

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Ascent

AWD

2.4 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

Limited/Touring 2.4 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 Ascent 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 Subaru Ascent (3). This means the GLB produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ascent every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The GLB stops much shorter than the Ascent:

GLB

Ascent

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

178 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 Ascent’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 Ascent 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 Ascent’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 Ascent doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The GLB 250 4MATIC handles at .89 G’s, while the Ascent Limited pulls only .79 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 800 pounds less than the Subaru Ascent.

The GLB is 1 foot, 2.4 inches shorter than the Ascent, making the GLB easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Ascent’s liftover is 32 inches.

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 Ascent 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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The GLB uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Ascent 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 Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Ascent Limited/Touring, 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 Ascent doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Ascent doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the GLB and the Ascent 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 Ascent prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Ascent’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Ascent can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Ascent’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The GLB’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Ascent Premium/Limited/Touring.

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 Ascent’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 Ascent 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 Ascent.

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 Ascent doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

Model Availability

© 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 2020/08/05

The GLB is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Ascent doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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