Do we not have enough “Crossovers” and SUV’s? Mercedes seem to think not and have come up with a new SUV that shares its platform and mechanicals with the B-Class but with rather squared off stying with overtones of G-wagon.
The new GLB sits below the GLC in size. So does it rival a BMW X3, probably not in fact its hard to pigeon hole it into a class. Nevertheless despite its compact dimensions its available as a seven seater and this will be one major feature that sets it apart from cars of this size.
So has it any street cred?
Well they have certainly done well on the style of the new GLB. Its chunky good looks will appeal to many. I haven’t decided yet! In addition its distinctive and a bit more individual looking than the current batch of same looking mass market SUV’s.
What is it like inside?
Slip inside the new GLB and it is immediately obvious that this is a true Mercedes, indeed the driver of an E-Class will recognise a lot of it.
In true Teutonic fashion the dashboard is a model of ergonomic excellence with each switch and button placed well for both safety and ease of use. I found the driving position to be just right and I like the fact that the little bit of extra height over a normal hatchback gives such a commanding view of the road ahead.
The now familiar fully digital dashboard looks and functions well and of course the Mercedes MBUX multimedia system with always live voice activation is just excellent in its functionality.
Standard kit from the entry level “Progressive” model is very good and includes items such as LED lights, 18” alloys, Keyless start, reversing Camera, and electric tailgate and Artico seat trim. (man made leather look upholstery)
Accommodation is really very good with lots of legroom both front and rear. Those last row of seats are really for small kids only but fine for the school run. With those last row folded down theres a decent boot too.
What’s under the bonnet?
My test car was powered by the 2.0 turbo diesel mated to an 8-speed sequential auto gearbox with power going to the front wheels. A Four-Matic all wheel drive is optional.
Overall performance is very good and its frugal too burning just 6.4 litres of diesel per 100km during my tenure. The ratios of the 8-speed auto are well suited to the GLB and offer plenty of mid range power for safe overtaking.
What is it like to drive?
Well this new GLB certainly handles well. It proves surefooted and stable under all road conditions and corners better than most other SUV rivals I can think of. In fact its standout virtue for me was just how rewarding it is to drive. Here's a car thats quite compact, offers an optional 7-seats and yet is really quite good fun to hustle along a twisty country road!
Noise levels are commendably low, indeed this new GLB proves surprisingly refined, with minimal noise from the car in all areas.
My gripes? Not quite sure about the rather boxy style.
Likes: Everything else really. Great to drive incredibly roomy, nicely put together, well specified even from the base model. Lots of options to allow you personalise your new GLB. Whats not to love?
The new Mercedes GLB is priced from €42,350 and I loved it!