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The GLB offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Outback only offers a rear monitor.
Both the GLB and the Outback 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.
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 Outback’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the GLB has a standard 800-amp battery. The Outback’s 620-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.
The GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 39 more horsepower (221 vs. 182) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 176) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the GLB 250 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the Outback XT (23 city/31 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).
For better stopping power the GLB’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:
For better traction, the GLB has larger tires than the Outback (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17).
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 Outback Base/Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The GLB’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Outback Onyx Edition XT/Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLB has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback Base/Premium. The GLB’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Outback Onyx Edition XT/Limited/Touring.
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 Outback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
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 Outback’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 Outback doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLB’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Outback (111.4 inches vs. 108.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLB is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .4 inches wider in the rear than on the Outback.
The GLB is 8.9 inches shorter than the Outback, making the GLB easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The GLB offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Outback can only carry 5.
The GLB has .6 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the Outback.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLB’s middle row seats recline. The Outback’s rear seats don’t recline.
The front step up height for the GLB is 2 inches lower than the Outback (17” vs. 19”). The GLB’s rear step up height is 1 inches lower than the Outback’s (17.5” vs. 18.5”).
The GLB uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outback 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.
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 Outback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Outback 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 Outback 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 Outback doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the GLB and the Outback 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 Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear 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 Outback’s standard 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 Outback 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 Outback’s 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 Outback Premium/Limited/Touring/Onyx.
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 Outback.
The GLB has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring/Onyx.
Both the GLB and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the GLB has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
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 Outback 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 Outback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The GLB is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Outback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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