2021 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2019 Mercedes GLS

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 2020/08/08

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLS doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The GLS doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

To help make backing safer, the Suburban’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The GLS doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Suburban and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Suburban 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Suburban’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLS’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’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 Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The Suburban’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 369) than the GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Suburban gets better fuel mileage than the GLS:

MPG

Suburban

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

16 city/20 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

15 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/19 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/19 hwy

GLS

AWD

4.7 turbo V8

14 city/19 hwy

AMG 63 5.5 turbo V8

13 city/18 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Suburban V8’s fuel efficiency. The GLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Suburban uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Suburban High Country for maximum performance). The GLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the GLS.

Tires and Wheels

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The Chevrolet Suburban’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes GLS only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Suburban has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The GLS doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban’s wheelbase is 13 inches longer than on the GLS (134.1 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Suburban is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLS.

For better maneuverability, the ’s turning circle is 40.7 feet tighter than the GLS’ ( feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Suburban uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the GLS can only carry 7.

The Suburban has 27.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLS (170.8 vs. 143.6).

The Suburban has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 4.2 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more third row legroom than the GLS.

Cargo Capacity

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The Suburban’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLS.

Suburban

GLS

Behind Third Seat

41.5 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

49.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

144.7 cubic feet

93.8 cubic feet

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

Ergonomics

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The Suburban’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The GLS does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Suburban (except LS/LT/RST/Z71) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Suburban has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLS only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Suburban 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 costs extra on the GLS.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Suburban LT/RST/Z71/Premier/High Country has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The GLS doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Suburban is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLS doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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