Mercedes-Benz’ GLB is Quick, Enticing and Versatile. Best of All, it Dares to be Different
The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is a most interesting SUV proposition. It sits between the GLA and the GLC, second from the bottom, to complete Benz’ utility ladder. And it even comes as seven-seater. It’s biggest plus however, is that it’s quite different. See, rather than just pumping another sausage of a different length squeezed out of that Stuttgart machine, this one is nothing like the GLA below and GLC above.
GLB Looks Very Much its SUV Part
It looks far more like the utility vehicle it is, than just another pumped up saloon. GLB has more of a classic squared-off G Class look. Which is pretty cool all on its own. GLB also has a cavernous and spacious cabin. To set a spacious cat among those compact SUV pigeons. Merc says GLB redefine the versatile compact SUV market. We tend to agree.
But there’s more to the GLB. Quite a bit more, truth be told. Let’s start with its modernised, more powerful, torquier, thriftier and cleaner-burning four-cylinder petrol and engine and its bang up to date driveline. This 221 HP 258 lb.-ft front-wheel drive GLB 250 is quick. The completely updated turbo 2-litre turns Merc’s 8G-DCT automatic transmission. They claim a GTI-chasing 6.9 second 0-60 mph dash and 147 mph top speed.
We got closer to six and a half. It sips 31 mpg on the highway, 23 in town. And runs smooth and steady as you’d imagine in everyday driving, is more than versatile enough off it. Push a little and GLB 250 rewards energetic driving with aplomb, too. It’s compelling to drive. All that said, there’s far more to this car than just its GTi scaring street ability.
Powerful GLB Proportions Look the Part
As we said, it’s different. GLB’s powerful proportions, unique LED headlights and short overhangs set it apart as a spacious and versatile family car that speaks to a whole new Mercedes-Benz audience. That off-road-focused G-wagon-inspired design features an upright nose, a rising waistline and muscular haunches. Stylised skid plates front and rear and protective cladding emphasise that off-road character.
GLB’s wide-opening doors reach down over their sills for easy access. 184.2-inches long, 179.5 inches wide and 65.3″ tall, it rides on a 111.4″ wheelbase and is 3 inches longer than the new B-Class. You soon notice that GLB has class leading front row headroom and especially comfortable rear legroom in this one’s five-seat get-up.
The 40:20:40 split folding second row bench can be moved fore and aft to grow GLB’s handy 570-litre trunk to 62 cubic foot abd deliver the versatility of a true estate car. The load cover shield can fold and stow in the handy and sizeable extra compartment under the height-adjustable boot floor.
Mercedes State of The Art
GLB of course comes with Merc’s full state-of-the-art widescreen ‘My Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment. That offers powerful computing, brilliant screens and graphics, customisable presentation and full-colour head-up display. Ours even had the optional augmented reality navigation with learning software and voice activated ‘Hey Mercedes’ prompting.
Driving assistance systems are drawn from the S-Class, with improved camera and radar that allow the GLB to see up to 500 yards ahead and drive in semi-automated mode in certain situations. All very cool kit!
GLB 250 Hits the Spot
All in all, the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB is a most interesting car that fills a needy void in Merc’s range. As well as in the market in general. This car’s biggest plus is probably however how different it is. It certainly seems Mercedes has hit the sweet spot again. Yes it’s still a relatively small car. But it certainly knows it’s big!
ROAD TESTED: Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 SUV
Engine: 221 HP 258 lb.-ft 2-litre turbo petrol I4
Drive: 8-speed dual-clutch Automatic FWD
0-40 mph: 2.84 sec
0-60 mph: 6.49 sec
0-100 mph: 16.89 sec
¼-mile: 14.8 sec 95 mph
50-75 mph: 4.75 sec
75-100 mph: 7.89 sec
VMax: 130 mph
Fuel City: 31 mpg
Fuel Highway 23 mpg
LIST PRICE $38,050 MSRP