2021 Honda Pilot vs. 2020 Mercedes GLB

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Pilot deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Pilot’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The GLB’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

To help make backing safer, the Pilot EX/EX-L/SE/Touring/Elite/Black Edition’s 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 GLB doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Pilot and the GLB have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

There are almost 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pilot’s warranty.

Reliability

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The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the GLB has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 59 more horsepower (280 vs. 221) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Pilot uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLB requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pilot has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLB (19.5 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Pilot has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GLB doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Pilot, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the GLB.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the GLB (245/60R18 vs. 235/55R18).

The Pilot 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 GLB doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Pilot has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the GLB; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the GLB don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pilot is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the GLB.

Chassis

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The Pilot uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLB doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the GLB can only carry up to 7.

The Pilot has 6.1 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom, 7.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 4.1 inches more third row headroom, 2.8 inches more third row legroom and 13.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLB.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pilot’s middle and third row seats recline. The GLB’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Pilot’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLB.

Pilot

GLB

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

5.1 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

24 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

62 cubic feet

The Pilot has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The GLB doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics

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

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Pilot has standard extendable sun visors. The GLB doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Pilot to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The GLB doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Both the Pilot and the GLB offer available heated front seats. The Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the GLB.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/08/14

The Honda Pilot has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Pilot

GLB

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Honda Pilot outsold the Mercedes GLB by over 115 to one during 2019.

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