Mercedes-AMG has given the GLB-class SUV a more athletic look and added a turbocharged four-cylinder with 302 horsepower. The GLB35 is larger and more upright than its smaller cousin, the GLA45. It also has a third row of seating, something that even the larger GLC class SUV does not have. The high-tech interior includes the Mercedes MBUX infotainment systems, two large digital displays and many creature comforts. Mercedes-AMG’s performance estimates would place it alongside the BMW X2 M35i, and some SUVs of the next class.
What’s new for 2021?
Everything. The Mercedes-Benz GLB class is a new model in the Mercedes AMG lineup. It is a more powerful, high-performance version than the GLB-class. For now, the GLB35 is the only variant. It’s powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine of 302 horsepower.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
Although the GLB35 is well-equipped from the start, there are a few options packages that we would consider. We would add the Premium package which includes power-folding exterior mirrors and a handsfree power liftgate. Passive keyless entry is also available. We’d also choose the panoramic sunroof. Finally, the Exterior Lighting package would be our last stop on our shopping spree. This includes adaptive LED headlamps and an automatic high beam feature.
Performance, Transmission and Engine
The GLB35’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder makes 302 horsepower. It also features an eight-speed automatic transmission as well as all-wheel drive. The GLB35 ran a quick 4.9 second run to 60 mph at our test track. The GLB35’s handling is quite sharp and playful. However, the GLB35 is a compromise for such an enjoyable-to-drive nature. A higher-powered GLB45 model will be available in the future, powered by the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 382 horsepower in our revamped CLA45 sedan.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
GLB35 has been rated at 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway by the EPA. Similar SUVs, such as the Mini Cooper Countryman JCW and the BMW X2 M35i, achieve EPA highway ratings at 29 and 30 mpg respectively. They also earn the same 25 mpg combined rating. We’ll be able to run the 75-mph highway fuel efficiency test on the GLB35 and will update this story with the results.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
Mercedes has managed to squeeze three rows of seating into the GLB-class’s compact body. We’d be horrified if we were to be the unfortunate passenger who had to squeeze themselves in the back. Adults will find the first and second rows more comfortable. The AMG GLB class is a differentiator from its Benz-branded counterpart. It features a flat-bottomed steering column and microfiber and leather upholstery.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The digital gauge display can be reconfigured to blend seamlessly with a large, wide-screen infotainment screen behind one glass panel. Mercedes’s MBUX infotainment system allows voice recognition, touchpad and gesture-controlled interactions. Navigation is an option. The GLB35’s infotainment system and the various interaction methods are fussy. This is consistent with our experience with other Mercedes products.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes-AMG offers a basic, low-cost warranty package for its new cars. It provides four years or 50,000 mile coverage on both the bumper-to-bumper as well as powertrain policies. BMW offers three years of maintenance free, while AMG customers don’t get the same benefit.