2021 Kia Sportage vs. 2020 Mercedes GLB

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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To help make backing safer, the Sportage’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 GLB doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Sportage 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, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sportage the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 35 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLB has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The Sportage comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The GLB’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLB. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the GLB ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 2 times as many Kia dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sportage’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sportage’s reliability 26 points higher than the GLB.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage second among compact suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The GLB isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 66 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 30th, 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 Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 12 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 16 more horsepower (237 vs. 221) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 19 more horsepower (240 vs. 221) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the GLB’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Sportage stops shorter than the GLB:

Sportage

GLB

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLB (245/45R19 vs. 235/55R18).

The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLB’s optional 50 series tires.

The Sportage offers an optional 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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The Sportage has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLB’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the GLB’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 350 pounds less than the Mercedes GLB.

The Sportage is 6 inches shorter than the GLB, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has .4 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLB.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume than the GLB with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 5.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GLB doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Sportage 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.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the GLB’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sportage will cost $840 to $1785 less than the GLB over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Sportage will be $5418 to $13136 less than for the Mercedes 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 2020/10/21

The Kia Sportage has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Sportage

GLB

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Kia Sportage outsold the Mercedes GLB by over 76 to one during 2019.

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