2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB vs 2021 Volvo XC90

2021 Volvo XC90
2021 Volvo XC90
$49,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
$38,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Volvo XC90
$49,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
$38,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Volvo XC90 is 7.7 out of 10, while the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB scores 7.3 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 Volvo XC90 is the better choice, offering a more luxurious interior, higher safety ratings, and a smoother ride.

Overview

MSRP

$49,000

MSRP

$38,600

Average price

$39,723

Average price

$33,852

Listings

1320

Listings

258
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.7 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Premium interior materials
  • Great safety ratings
Cons
  • Cramped third row
  • Sluggish performance
  • No USB-C ports

2021 Volvo XC90 Reviews Summary

Volvo may be known for sensible station wagons, but the XC90 SUV is the Swedish automaker’s de facto flagship. The current generation debuted design features, technology, and powertrains that have since found their way into most other Volvo models. Several years into the current-generation model’s lifecycle, the XC90 is no longer a trendsetter, but remains Volvo’s contender in the competitive midsize luxury SUV segment, with the automaker’s typical emphasis on safety features.

The current-generation XC90 launched for the 2016 model year, so most competitors—including the Audi Q7, Acura MDX, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class—have been updated or redesigned since then. The Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator didn’t even exist when this generation of XC90 launched.

A redesigned version is expected to arrive soon, so changes to the 2021 XC90 are minimal. All 2021 Volvo models are now limited to 112 mph for safety reasons and get Care Key, which lets owners limit the top speed before loaning the car out to a friend or family member. The XC90 also gets a handful of newly standard tech features, and some small cosmetic changes.

Volvo offers the XC90 in three trim levels—Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription—with three powertrain options: T5 and T6 gasoline engines, and the T8 plug-in hybrid. Our test car was a range-topping T8 Recharge Inscription, combining the top Inscription trim level with the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which has the highest output of the three.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB Reviews Summary

Designed for Europe’s narrow city streets and tight parking spaces, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class aims to maximize utility in an SUV that is minimally sized. The result is a boxy vehicle emphasizing practicality over style, offering seating for up to seven people and a base price under $40,000 combined with the performance, technology, and luxury upgrades you expect in a Mercedes.
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 250 hp I4

Engine

2.0L 221 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

7

Seating Capacity

7

Horsepower

250 hp @ 5500 rpm

Horsepower

221 hp @ 5500 rpm

MPG City

21

MPG City

24

MPG Highway

30

MPG Highway

32
2021 Volvo XC90
2021 Volvo XC90
$49,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
$38,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Volvo XC90
$49,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
$38,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Volvo XC90 is 7.7 out of 10, while the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB scores 7.3 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 Volvo XC90 is the better choice, offering a more luxurious interior, higher safety ratings, and a smoother ride.

Overview
MSRP
$49,000
$38,600
Average price
$39,723
$33,852
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.7
4.8
Expert reviews

7.7 out of 10

Read full review

7.3 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Premium interior materials
  • Great safety ratings
Cons
  • Cramped third row
  • Sluggish performance
  • No USB-C ports
Summary

Volvo may be known for sensible station wagons, but the XC90 SUV is the Swedish automaker’s de facto flagship. The current generation debuted design features, technology, and powertrains that have since found their way into most other Volvo models. Several years into the current-generation model’s lifecycle, the XC90 is no longer a trendsetter, but remains Volvo’s contender in the competitive midsize luxury SUV segment, with the automaker’s typical emphasis on safety features.

The current-generation XC90 launched for the 2016 model year, so most competitors—including the Audi Q7, Acura MDX, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class—have been updated or redesigned since then. The Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator didn’t even exist when this generation of XC90 launched.

A redesigned version is expected to arrive soon, so changes to the 2021 XC90 are minimal. All 2021 Volvo models are now limited to 112 mph for safety reasons and get Care Key, which lets owners limit the top speed before loaning the car out to a friend or family member. The XC90 also gets a handful of newly standard tech features, and some small cosmetic changes.

Volvo offers the XC90 in three trim levels—Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription—with three powertrain options: T5 and T6 gasoline engines, and the T8 plug-in hybrid. Our test car was a range-topping T8 Recharge Inscription, combining the top Inscription trim level with the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which has the highest output of the three.

Designed for Europe’s narrow city streets and tight parking spaces, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class aims to maximize utility in an SUV that is minimally sized. The result is a boxy vehicle emphasizing practicality over style, offering seating for up to seven people and a base price under $40,000 combined with the performance, technology, and luxury upgrades you expect in a Mercedes.
Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 250 hp I4
2.0L 221 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
7
7
Horsepower
250 hp @ 5500 rpm
221 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG City
21
24
MPG Highway
30
32
Look and feel
2021 Volvo XC90
9/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
5/10
The 2021 Volvo XC90 successfully reshaped Volvo's image with its design, adding character while maintaining recognizable Volvo elements. Unlike Lexus, which opted for a radical styling revamp, Volvo retained its traditional boxy profile and blunt front end with a rectangular grille. The XC90 featured softer lines, more chrome, and distinctive LED headlights with “Thor’s Hammer” daytime running lights. The Inscription trim, with extra chrome and optional 21-inch alloy wheels, was the flashiest, while the R-Design and Momentum trims offered sportier and more basic looks, respectively. The XC90 shared its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform with other Volvo models, ensuring a cohesive design language across the lineup. Inside, the XC90 embraced “Swedish minimalism” with thoughtfully arranged, high-quality materials. The matte-finish wood trim and optional wool upholstery provided a natural and unique touch. The Orrefors crystal shifter added a high-end element, though it seemed out of place in the otherwise restrained interior. The XC90’s interior design focused on simplicity and elegance, avoiding the overwhelming flashiness seen in some other luxury SUVs. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB slotted between the GLA and GLC in Mercedes' SUV lineup, available in GLB250 and AMG GLB35 specifications. The GLB250 offered front-wheel drive (FWD) or 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD), while the AMG GLB35 featured a more powerful drivetrain and sophisticated AWD system. For 2022, the GLB introduced satellite radio in the Premium Package and a new AMG Night Package Plus with black grille louvers and badges. The starting price for the GLB250 was $38,600, with the AMG GLB35 starting at $51,000, including destination charges. Our test vehicle, an AMG GLB35, came with options like metallic paint, 21-inch wheels, heated front seats, and an AMG Performance steering wheel. The interior showcased Mercedes' tradition of beautifully rendered cabins, with high-definition instrumentation, artistic air vents, and ambient lighting. However, the controls required some acclimation, and the road noise was notably loud, especially with the optional 21-inch wheels. The GLB’s design emphasized function over form, with a steep windshield angle, nearly vertical rear window, and short overhangs, making it an acquired taste.
Performance
2021 Volvo XC90
7/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
8/10
The 2021 Volvo XC90 offered three powertrains, all built around a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base T5 engine was turbocharged, producing 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The T6 engine added a supercharger, increasing output to 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid combined the T6 engine with electric assist, delivering a total of 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. The T5 came standard with FWD, while AWD was optional on the T5 and standard on the T6 and T8. Despite the impressive 400 hp, the XC90’s small engine struggled to provide flexible power, especially at low speeds. The plug-in hybrid’s Pure mode was only usable at low speeds with gentle acceleration, as the gasoline engine often had to assist. The XC90 excelled in ride quality, thanks to an optional air-suspension system, and maintained a quiet cabin. Most models had a 5,000-pound towing capacity, with the base FWD T5 rated at 4,000 pounds. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in both the GLB250 and AMG GLB35. The AMG GLB35’s engine produced 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, significantly more than the GLB250’s engine. The AMG GLB35 also included an AMG SpeedShift eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, AMG Performance variable 4Matic AWD, and an AMG Sport Exhaust system. It accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, compared to the GLB250’s 6.9 seconds. The AMG GLB35’s EPA fuel economy rating was 22 mpg combined, slightly lower than the GLB250’s 25 mpg. The AMG GLB35 emphasized performance, with an AMG High-Performance Braking System, AMG Ride Control adaptive damping sport suspension, and Direct Steer variable steering system. However, the powertrain exhibited some lag in throttle response, and the ride was firm, especially with the optional 21-inch wheels. The GLB250 was better suited for daily driving, while the AMG GLB35 excelled on twisty roads, offering a thrilling driving experience.
Form and function
2021 Volvo XC90
6/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
8/10
The 2021 Volvo XC90 was available in six-seat or seven-seat configurations, with second-row captain’s chairs or a bench seat. Headroom and legroom were average for the segment, with the third row being tight for adults. The optional power moonroof and upright roof profile gave the interior a spacious feel. The Inscription trim featured 10-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with backrest massage, but lacked a power-adjustable steering wheel. Storage space was limited, with a shallow center console storage bin and few storage options on the console. Cargo space in the T8 Recharge model was 11.2 cubic feet with all seats in place, 34.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and 64.1 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded, near the bottom of the segment. The hands-free power tailgate was a convenient feature. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB offered a relatively roomy interior for a small SUV, with an optional third-row seat suitable for children. Standard equipment included dual-zone automatic climate control and eight-way power-adjustable front seats. Simulated leather upholstery was standard, with real leather available as an option. Heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic glass sunroof were also available. The GLB’s rear doors opened wide, providing comfortable seating for two adults in the second row. The optional third-row seat reduced storage space and was only suitable for children. The power rear liftgate revealed a 22 cubic-foot cargo area, expanding to 62 cubic feet with the second-row seat folded.
Technology
2021 Volvo XC90
8/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
10/10
The 2021 Volvo XC90 featured the Sensus infotainment system with a 9-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, and a built-in WiFi hotspot. The 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system and head-up display were available options. The portrait-oriented touchscreen was easy to use, though the amount of text and typeface made reading some menus difficult while driving. The wireless charging pad was too small for most phones, and the XC90 only had second-row USB-C ports. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB’s MBUX infotainment system included a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the AMG GLB35. Standard features included Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mercedes Me connected services. The optional Premium Package added satellite radio, while the Multimedia Package included a navigation system with augmented reality. Additional upgrades included wireless smartphone charging, a Burmester premium surround-sound audio system, WiFi service, and an MBUX Interior Assistant gesture control system. MBUX could be controlled via natural voice recognition, the touchscreen display, physical center console controls, and steering wheel controls. The system’s natural voice recognition and digital assistant worked well, though the navigation system’s augmented reality technology was particularly impressive.
Safety
2021 Volvo XC90
9/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB
9/10
The 2021 Volvo XC90 received the highest “Top Safety Pick+” rating from the IIHS for non-hybrid models and a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. Standard safety features included lane-keep assist, a driver-attention monitor, traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, and Volvo’s Pilot Assist driver aid. Pilot Assist combined adaptive cruise control with automated lane centering, offering smooth and quick reactions to other vehicles. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB test vehicle lacked the optional Driver Assistance Package, which included 12 driving assistance and collision-avoidance technologies. Standard safety features included Active Brake Assist, blind-spot monitoring, Mercedes-Benz emergency call service, rain-sensing wipers, an Attention Assist driver monitoring system, and Exit Warning Assist. Crash-test ratings for the GLB were unavailable.
CarGurus logo

By: CarGurus + AI

At CarGurus, our team of experienced automotive writers remain at the heart of our content operation, conducting hands-on car tests and writing insightful guides that are backed by years of industry experience. To complement this, we are harnessing AI to make our content offering more diverse and more helpful to shoppers than ever. To achieve this, our AI systems are based exclusively on CarGurus content, ratings and data, so that what we produce is both unique to CarGurus, and uniquely helpful to car shoppers.