Edmunds: BMW-X1 vs Mercedes-Benz GLB

Experts compared the two to find out which is better.

This photo provided by General Motors shows the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, an upcoming electric compact SUV with an estimated range of up to 300 miles.
This photo provided by General Motors shows the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, an upcoming electric compact SUV with an estimated range of up to 300 miles.
Courtesy of General Motors via AP

Extra- small luxury SUVs are a great way to cruise around in luxury without paying an excessive amount. As an example, check out the Mercedes-Benz GLB. It has been one of Edmunds' top performers in its class since it was introduced in 2020. It sports distinctive boxy styling, excellent technology and a comfortable ride. But in today's highly competitive market, there's always a new model aiming for the top spot. The GLB's main rival, the BMW X1, was redesigned for 2023. The little Bimmer received updated styling, a roomier interior and many of BMW's top-notch technology features. Which one is the better buy? Edmunds' experts compared them to find out.


Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines power both luxury SUVs. The X1's 241-horsepower powerplant is not only more powerful than the GLB's 221-horsepower mill, but it's also more fuel-efficient. With all-wheel drive, the X1 delivers an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving, 3 more than the all-wheel-drive GLB's 25 mpg. When equipped with front-wheel drive, which the BMW doesn't offer, the GLB's rating of 27 mpg combined still doesn't top the X1.

The results were closer when the Edmunds test team drove all-wheel-drive versions of both SUVs on its real-world test route. The X1 averaged 27 mpg, a tad more than the GLB's average of 26 mpg. At the track, the extra oomph in the BMW showed. It accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 5.9 seconds, besting the GLB's 6.5-second sprint. That's not a huge difference but the X1 does feel a bit more eager when you need a burst of speed.

Winner: BMW X1


When it comes to standard tech, the X1 sports wireless smartphone connectivity, a digital instrument panel and a 10.7-inch center touchscreen. The GLB's standard dual monitors are only 7 inches. Wired smartphone connectivity is your only option in the Mercedes. Both SUVs come standard with only a few basic advanced driver aids.

As for optional tech, both SUVs provide a wide variety of advanced driver aids. But unlike the GLB, the X1 offers a drive system that allows hands-free driving at low highway speeds. For a cost, the GLB's tiny standard dual screens can be upgraded to larger ones about the size of the BMW's.

Passenger space is relatively even, but the X1 has 3.7 more cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Although, the GLB offers an optional third row for families needing seating for seven. It's small, however, and suitable for children only.

Winner: BMW X1


As with most BMWs, the X1 is more fun to drive than most of its rivals, including the GLB. It's quicker, has sharper steering and takes corners with more confidence. When you're puttering around town, however, the Mercedes is the smoother of the two. The X1's engine stop-start system is rough when restarting and its transmission can sometimes stumble during slow-speed driving.

Mercedes vehicles are known for comfort, and the GLB isn't any different. It provides a soft ride, comfortable seats and two features the BMW doesn't offer — ventilated front seats and real leather upholstery. The X1's seats and ride are praiseworthy but on the firmer side, especially if you opt for the M Sport package that includes a firmer suspension.

Winner: Mercedes-Benz GLB


The GLB's starting price of $40,950 is practically the same as the X1's starting price of $40,095. However, the X1 comes standard with all-wheel drive, which costs an extra $2,000 in the Mercedes. Besides the X1's larger dual monitors, standard features in both SUVs are similar, and each offers a long list of optional features and packages that can quickly inflate the price. If the standard engine isn't potent enough, the 302-horsepower AMG GLB 35 will please your inner speed demon for a starting price of $52,650. A more powerful X1 isn't available.

Both rivals boast excellent build quality, but a keen eye will notice that the BMW uses fewer hard plastics inside. Limited warranties are identical, four years or 50,000 miles. Although BMW generously includes three years or 36,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance.

Winner: BMW X1


Each luxury SUV has a lot to offer, and you can't go wrong with either highly rated model. But between these two rivals, the BMW X1 takes the win thanks to its value and standard tech, plus a more powerful and efficient engine.

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