Mercedes offers no less than 8 SUV styles. Multiply this by at least 2 versions per model and some with up to 4 per model and you have no less than 16 gasoline based SUV’s to choose from and more likely closer to 25 models, not to mention all of the options you can choose per model. The GLB is the newest model to enter the lineup. It provides the more upright convention body style of the GLE and GLS but provides the compactness of the GLC. To spice up the GLB lineup Mercedes introduced the GLB 35. Not a full blown hand crafted AMG, but rather an “AMG Enhanced” 2.0 liter breathes under the hood generating 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed through an 8 speed DCT to all four corners via Mercedes 4-Matic system.
The GLB is truly a unique offering. Nothing else in the market really provides this level of cargo space and utility in such a compact size. Adding the fun factor of this AMG drive train, wheels and appearance enhancements and you have one of the coolest looking SUV’s you can buy. The exterior looks aggressive and upright. Up front you have AMG’s classic vertical grill with large aggressive openings. Combine the 21 inch multi spoke wheels in matte black with the Denim Blue paint scheme and you have something special that stands out from the run of the mill SUV’s on the market. One of the coolest design features is the low floor line of the GLB, getting in and out is a breeze, especially for a vehicle that is family focused. Oh, did I mention that the GLB 35 squeezes in three rows of seating and still has a usable cargo area.
Performance puts the GLB 35 into the hot hatch realm, capable of a 0 to 60 times of 5.1 seconds. By comparison the VW GTI does the same sprint in 5.7 seconds from the same size 2.0L inline four. The performance oriented suspension and 21 inch wheels make for a firm ride, but, livable from day to day. The true fun comes from pushing the GLB on the back roads, where you find the steering to be quick and responsive and the ride remains flat and solid. You truly have to think of the GLB 35 as the perfect match between family hauler and weekend hot hatch so that mom or dad can let their inner Mario Andretti out. The interior has to be the nicest place to be, in comparison to anything else in this segment (i.e. BMW X2 M35i and even the GLC 43). The GLB 35 utilizes Mercedes most modern interior upgrades, including the MBUS dual screen panoramic display, and aviation style air vents. The nicest feature has to the flat bottom AMG wheel.
Coming in at an as tested price of $72,230.00 the GLB 35 is not cheap. However, what you get is the most versatile, quickest and coolest looking compact SUV’s available on the market. Rather than a family requiring two vehicles to meet the needs they have, it ideally fills the responsibility and fun check boxes and gives the ability to grow over time. What more do you need? I know, the full blown AMG GLB 45!