Professionals: Big area and nice mpg for its section; high-style inside; spunky AMG 35
Cons: Infotainment system can overwhelm
Most small luxurious SUVs are tough to advocate. They’re normally too small, too chintzy and too unrefined for the costs they command. We’d usually advocate getting a well-equipped and extra spacious non-luxury SUV as a substitute. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class is an exception. It’s distinctive, versatile and classy in a method that its opponents will not be. It could begin north of $40,000, but it surely appears to be like, feels and performs prefer it ought to price that a lot. There’s precise worth past that fancy three-pointed emblem, and we completely advocate it consequently.
A giant cause for the GLB’s transcendent enchantment is its extra-large measurement for the section and extra-boxy form. Add within the versatility of a sliding again seat, and you’ve got a subcompact SUV with a midsize SUV’s inside area. We have been surprised by how a lot its cargo space may swallow. Nevertheless, in addition to the cabin’s packaging, its placing design stands out in a section that always comes throughout as a bit low-cost. The daring rotary air vents and fairly dual-screen infotainment system carry a variety of the burden, however supplies high quality is healthier than common for the section, too. And though the GLB is certainly constructed to a value on much less subtle bones than its pricier, extra refined GLC sibling, we predict it is a drop-off that is greater than truthful for the value. Actually, we will simply see somebody fortunately selecting a GLB over a GLC simply because they prefer it higher, with saving cash as a bonus. We won’t say the identical factor a few BMW X1, Audi Q3, Lexus UX and even the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Inside & Expertise | Passenger & Cargo House | Efficiency & Gas Financial system
What it is wish to drive | Pricing & Trim Ranges | Crash Scores & Security Options
What’s new for 2023?
The GLB is unchanged for 2023, however its all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQB sibling does debut.
What are the GLB inside and in-car expertise like?
Mercedes-Benz put fairly a little bit of thought into the GLB’s inside packaging. It gives plenty of intelligent storage in each the passenger cabin and cargo space, making it extra sensible than most luxurious choices on this section (and certainly many others). The GLB’s driving place is superb, and its front- and second-row seats are snug and supportive with loads of adjustment.
The GLB is on the cheap aspect for a Mercedes-Benz, however the high quality of supplies and accessible choices are on par or higher for expectations at this value level. The fancier choices will drive up the value, in fact, however even the elemental parts are high-quality and exact.
Each GLB contains the final iteration of Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX infotainment suite, which is managed by your selection of a central touchscreen (7 inch normal, 10.25 inch accessible), heart console touchpad, steering wheel controls and natural-language instructions. Whereas we like this “have it your method method” and admire this method’s speedy responses and fairly graphics, it simply is not simple to make use of. Having solely three icons on the house display results in far an excessive amount of swiping and clicking, many icons are too small and the identical shade because the background, and there is fairly frankly simply an amazing variety of capabilities to manage and settings to alter.
How huge is the GLB?
The GLB’s wheelbase is nearer to that of many midsize choices, and its total size exceeds that of most opponents. You do not actually discover this behind the wheel – it nonetheless feels fairly small – and this additional size mixed with the boxy design ends in the GLB being a cargo-hauling rockstar. On paper, Mercedes says the GLB gives 24 cubic ft with the second-row seats up, however in actuality, there’s truly excess of that quantity would indicate. Its rear load ground may be lowered to accommodate bigger objects, however even with the ground in its normal place, the GLB can swallow extra cargo than crossovers within the greater, pricier compact section.
This additional size interprets into tons of second-row area, the place passengers will discover sliding and reclining seats for additional consolation (you do not get these within the mechanically associated GLA). The mix of fold-down seatbacks and sliding bases may also be exploited for extra cargo area if the roomy hatch alone won’t suffice, making the GLB a versatility rockstar, too.
The GLB additionally has accessible third-row seating, which its smaller opponents and even these within the bigger compact class lack. We suppose this feature would not harm, however these non-obligatory rearmost seats simply aren’t that liveable, even for teenagers. We would skip them or get a non-luxury three-row automobile for a similar value.
What are the GLB 250 and AMG 35 gasoline financial system and efficiency specs?
The GLB 250 identify signifies that the GLB in query has the bottom engine: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four producing 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That is on-par for its section. It has an eight-speed dual-clutch automated handbook transmission. Entrance-wheel drive is normal and with it, the GLB is rated at 24 mpg metropolis, 32 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed. The non-obligatory 4Matic all-wheel-drive system knocks these scores right down to 22/30/25 mpg, respectively. Mercedes-Benz says the GLB 250 will do 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. That is respectable for a CUV of this measurement.
The Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 additionally has a 2.0-liter turbo, but it surely’s been labored over by Mercedes’ AMG tuning division to provide 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’ll hit 60 in 5.1 seconds. The eight-speed DCT and normal all-wheel drive are additionally particular AMG variations. Gas financial system estimates for 2023 weren’t accessible on the time of this writing, however ought to be roughly the identical as these for 2022: 20 mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway and 22 mpg mixed.
There may be technically an electrical GLB accessible, though it’s formally often known as the Mercedes-Benz EQB. You possibly can learn our EQB first drive evaluation right here.
What is the GLB wish to drive?
The GLB 250 is extra about luxurious and luxury than efficiency. Because of its lengthy wheelbase and supple suspension, it delivers in spades for this section. The non-obligatory adaptive suspension will tighten up the dealing with on demand, however even with that choice that we’re guessing will not often present up on seller tons, the GLB 250 by no means rises to the extent of “enjoyable to drive.” That is completely OK, although – it would not have to be. As for what’s beneath the hood, the GLB 250’s normal four-cylinder supplies loads of punch however does come off a little bit thrashy in comparison with what you may expertise in pricier Benz fashions. Certainly, total refinement is the place the GLB reveals its cheaper price tag. The trip, steering, throttle and transmission response, and driving expertise on the whole are fairly merely much less subtle, but it surely’s a discount that is at the very least commensurate with that price ticket and truly not as nice as what you may discover lacking within the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and others within the section.
As for the AMG GLB 35, it’s legitimately enjoyable even when it doesn’t fairly attain the extent of “extra-tall scorching hatch” because the smaller GLA 35 does. The bigger footprint and further tallness lead to it being not practically as agile or darty. Nonetheless, just like the GLA and different AMG 35 fashions, the GLB 35 is simply “on” from the second you pop it into Drive. The snappy and fast eight-speed dual-clutch automated transmission cracks off upshifts with a pop that accentuates and underlines each shift. Certainly, the extent of drama and added theater encourages a heavy proper foot. And because of its AMG-tuned chassis, you possibly can nonetheless fortunately hustle this little crossover round a winding highway. With the Sport drive mode chosen, physique motions are properly managed with the stiffness and sharpness you’d anticipate from an AMG. Steering response is a bit numb, although, and its weighting isn’t as sharp as different AMG 35s.
What different Mercedes-Benz GLB opinions can I learn?
Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Street Check Assessment
Take a more in-depth have a look at the 302-horsepower, AMG-tuned GLB that injects a spunky quantity of enjoyable into what’s in any other case a surprisingly wise small SUV.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 First Drive | The true deal
Our preliminary drive of the GLB options extra particulars about its design and engineering. It actually hasn’t modified a lot since then.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 Baggage Check | It may well maintain all this!
Overlook the official numbers. The boxy and versatile GLB punches above its weight class. All of these items suits within the cargo space.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class Inside Storage Driveway Check
West Coast Editor James Riswick breaks out odds and ends to stuff inside Mercedes’ most utility-focused mannequin.
What’s the 2023 GLB-Class value?
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 begins at $40,850, together with the $1,050 vacation spot cost. The all-wheel-drive GLB 250 4Matic begins at $42,850. The AMG GLB 35 begins at $52,550.
The GLB gives much more customization than is typical at this value level. There are the standard packages, together with the $1,750 Premium bundle that provides the pair of 10.25-inch inside shows, however many options like a panoramic sunroof and heated/ventilated entrance seats are stand-alone choices. This implies it may be tough to search out precisely what you need in inventory at a seller lot, but it surely additionally implies that in case you have some endurance, you possibly can order precisely what you need and never pay for stuff you don’t.
One other key choice to contemplate is the AMG Line bundle that provides distinctive styling components to the GLB 250. You possibly can see the distinction beneath with the AMG Line on the proper. The complete-blown AMG GLB 35 is then beneath.
What are the GLB security scores and driver help options?
The GLB 250’s normal driver help tools contains ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and a driver inattention monitor. The Driver Help bundle provides a mountain of programs, most of that are higher executed than many comparable programs. These embody lane-keeping help, automated evasive steering help for the blind-spot and ahead collision warning programs, automated emergency braking for the rear cross-traffic warning system, the next velocity threshold for the ahead automated emergency braking system, automated velocity discount based mostly on posted velocity limits (you possibly can flip this one off like most of those programs), Mercedes’ Pre-Protected pre-crash preparation programs, and Mercedes glorious Distronic adaptive cruise management system with stop-and-go functionality and lane-centering steering help.
Ought to all of that also fail to stop a crash, the NHTSA gave the GLB 4 out of 5 stars for total frontal crash safety, and 5 stars for total aspect crash safety. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security hasn’t examined it.