Mercedes-Benz Glb GLB 220d 4Matic AMG Line Premium 5dr 8G-Tronic

  • Automatic
  • Diesel
  • 47.9 mpg
  • 5 door estate
  • 155 g/km CO2

Ten Second Review

The Mercedes GLB delivers to the market the first properly practical mid-sized SUV from the Three-Pointed Star. There's enough room for seven seats, enough capability for light off road excursions and enough of a premium feel to make other class rivals feel rather low rent. In short, it's a potentially appealing package.

Background

So, yet another Mercedes SUV - this is actually the eighth. But this one has a little more substance than its compact stablemates. The GLA suits only quite small families and the GLC is too expensive for larger ones - and can't be ordered with the third seating row that many of them need. In the same way that at the top of the Stuttgart brand's SUV range, the G-Class offered a practical alternative to a GLE, such is the role of a GLB against a GLA or a GLC. Still with me? If you are, then you'll be interested in the way that Mercedes wants to use this car to address a growing niche on the mid-sized family SUV class, that for seven seats. The VW Group currently does quite well here with ones like the Skoda Kodiaq, the SEAT Tarraco and the VW Tiguan Allspace. The Koreans provide the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Sorento, plus there are 7-seat versions of the Nissan X-Trail and the Honda CR-V. There have to be buyers in that sub-sector who'd like a premium badge. The GLB, mostly offered in 7-seat form, caters directly to them.

Driving Experience

The GLB offers the same engine and powertrain combinations that you'll find in other compact Mercedes models. This means that the starting point to the range is provided by the same Renault-derived 1.3 litre petrol turbo engine you'll find in an A-Class. In the GLB 200, it puts out 163hp and drives the front wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox. If you want the option of 4MATIC 4WD, you'll need to move to a diesel, the 150hp GLB 200d. In the next model up, the GLB 220d with 190hp, you have to have the 4MATIC system, a variant that can be specified with an optional off-road engineering package. This gives you hill start and descent assistance, LED Multibeam headlights and an extra off-road driving mode which includes a special infotainment display showing gradient, technical settings and your various incline angles. At the top of the range sits the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 performance model, which gets the 306hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit from the A 35 hot hatch. Power comes through an 8-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox with a race start function. Plus there's an AMG Dynamic Select driving modes system that as well as the three modes featured in other GLBs ('Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Individual') also features two further ones ('Slippery' and 'Sport+').

Design and Build

The look of the GLB draws inspiration from Mercedes' grand 'G-Class' 'Gelandewagen' - which you need to know because otherwise, you might wonder why it's quite so squarical and van-like. Even Designer Robert Lesnik describes it as 'a box with rounded edges'. The dimensions are a little confusing too, this car actually being almost the same size as the GLC model it supposedly sits beneath in the Mercedes SUV line-up; this GLB's 4.63m length sees it measuring in only 21mm shorter than a GLC - and it's actually 18mm taller than that car. Inside buyers get much the same 'widescreen cockpit' instrument layout as you'll find on all the company's modern compact models. And as usual, it's controlled by the brand's MBUX voice-activated interface. All this hardware integrates into a rather unusually shaped dashboard, this one with an aluminium-look 'tubular' lower element. In the second row, the boxy shape contributes towards quite a spacious feel. And if you're going for a GLB with 7 seats, you'll get an easy-entry feature to reach them. As for the boot space, well there's 560-litres of it in the 5-seat model, which to give you some perspective is 140-litres more than you'd get in an Audi Q5. And you can expand that by flattening the 40:20:40-split backrest to free up 1,755-litres. In 7-seat GLBs, the third row pews fold flat into the floor when not in use.

Market and Model

Pricing starts at around £34,000 and there are four trim levels - 'Sport', 'AMG Line', 'AMG Line Premium' and 'AMG Line Premium Plus', with prices in the mainstream range rising up to around £46,000. Generally, you have to have seven seats, though Mercedes does offer a single five-seat GLB 220d 4MATIC model with mid-range 'AMG Line Premium' trim and a price tag of around £42,000. Think in terms of over £50,000 for the top high performance Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC variant. All mainstream models are well equipped. Even entry-level 'Sport' variants come as standard with 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, the 'Dynamic Select' driving mode system and LED headlights and tail lights. Plus across the range you get a 180-degree reversing camera, aluminium roof rails, two-zone Thermotronic climate control, heated front seats and Artico man-made leather upholstery. Infotainment includes a DAB tuner, a six-speaker/100 watt sound system, a seven-inch digital cockpit display and seven-inch touchscreen media display, the MBUX multimedia system and 'Hey Mercedes' voice activation. Plus you get Mercedes me connect (which includes emergency call system (eCall), accident recovery, breakdown management and maintenance management). Standard safety and assistance equipment includes Active Brake Assist, Active bonnet, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist, and Keyless-Go locking and unlocking.

Cost of Ownership

The engines used here deliver decent returns in other Mercedes compact models, so we'd expected the same from the GLB - which is broadly how it turns out. The base petrol GLB 200 manages a 47.1mpg WLTP-rated combined cycle reading, plus a 138g/km NEDC-rated CO2 emissions reading. For the GLB 200d diesel, the figures are up to 56.5mpg and 133g/km in 2WD form, or up to 51.4mpg and 145g/km as a 4MATIC. The GLB 220d 4MATIC diesel manages 51.4mpg and 146g/km of CO2. As you'd expect, the Mercedes after-care package is comprehensive, with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty that's matches BMW. This is built upon by Mercedes' Mobilo scheme which delivers breakdown cover for up to thirty years, as long as you continue to have your car serviced at a Mercedes main dealer. Ah yes, maintenance. As usual with one of the Stuttgart brand's models, there's an ASSYST PLUS dashboard service indicator that monitors engine use and tells you exactly when a garage visit is due. Fixed price servicing is available across the range and most buyers opt for the Mercedes ServiceCare plan that could cost you as little as about £28 a month based either on a two-service/two year deal, three years with three services or four years with four services.

Summary

At first glance, you might think the GLB an unnecessary further addition to the Mercedes SUV line-up. After looking closely at what it has to offer, we've ended up concluding that going forward, it's likely to be a vital part of it. The brand has never before offered a car in this class that's really practical for a growing family, yet remains reasonably affordable. This is it. Are there issues? Well probably, you could pay slightly less and get a slightly bigger seven-seat SUV in this class from a volume brand but after trying a GLB, we think you may not want to. It has a premium, desirable feel that cars like SEAT's Tarraco, Skoda's Kodiaq, Hyundai's Santa Fe and even Volkswagen's Tiguan Allspace struggle to match. And the interior technology of those cars seems rather yesteryear compared to the cabin media tech on offer here. You probably won't have started off wanting a GLB in this class. But take a look at one and, if you're prepared to pay a slight premium, you could find it a difficult package to overlook.

  • Body coloured door handles with chrome insert for keyless entry
  • AMG bodystyling rear apron with diffuser optics and chrome trim element
  • Two visible tailpipe trim elements exhaust
  • AMG bodystyling front apron with chrome splitter
  • Beltline strips and weather strip in chrome
  • Aerial for GPS
  • Radiator grille with pins in chrome and single louvre with chrome insert
  • AMG bodystyling door panels black grained with chrome plated inserts
  • Exhaust system with dual flow exhaust pipes (non-functional)
  • Polished aluminium roof rails
  • AMG specific front and rear bumper including underride guard in high gloss chrome
  • Dual stage driver and front passenger airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Childproof locks manually operated for rear doors and electrically operated for rear power windows
  • Crash responsive emergency lighting
  • Airbags - kneebag for driver
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front passenger seat occupancy sensor
  • Active bonnet pedestrain safety measure which detects an impact and raises bonnet by 65mm
  • Driver and front passenger head and sidebags
  • 3 rear 3 point seatbelts
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Driver and front passenger windowbags
  • ECO start/stop function
  • Parameter steering system
  • Easy-pack tailgate
  • Car wash mode
  • AMG sports pedals with brushed stainless steel surfaces and black rubber studs
  • Stowage compartment in centre console
  • Fore/aft adjustment rear seats
  • Black roof lining
  • Touchpad on center console
  • Third row of seats for two people on rear seat
  • Galvanished gear shift paddles on steering wheel
  • Luggage net on driver/front passenger seat backrest
  • Front door sills with illuminated changeable cover
  • Front passenger grab handle with brushed side silver chrome
  • 3 spoke multifunction sport steering wheel in nappa leather
  • Twin front cup holders
  • Rear armrest with two integral cup holders for drinks
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Stowage compartment with retractable cover
  • Front centre armrest with stowage
  • Net in front passenger footwell
  • Freight packaging with tie-down hooks
  • Artico man-made leather/Microfibre Dinamica upholstery with red contrast stitching
  • Keyless Go comfort pack - GLB
  • Seat comfort pack - GLB
  • Interior lighting with light and sight pack - GLB
  • Off-road engineering package - GLB
  • Mirror pack - GLB
  • Parking pack - GLB
  • Pre installation for Mercedes Benz Link
  • USB (type C) port in front stowage compartment
  • 10.25" Digital media screen display
  • Hard disk navigation
  • DAB digital radio tuner
  • Mercedes Benz advanced sound system (225 W) with 10 speakers, 1 central speaker, speakers on doors, a tweeter on door,one sub woofer + boost amplifier
  • USB (type C) ports (2) in stowage compartment
  • Urban guard vehicle protection - Anti theft alarm system, tow away protection with visual and acoustic warning and alarm siren
  • Remote central locking and crash sensor with emergency opening function
  • Vehicle key with decorative surround in chrome
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 92.3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Compression Ratio: 15.5:1
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • CC: 1950
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Badge Power: 190
  • Special Edition: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 78
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15500
  • Coin Description: d 4Matic
  • Special Order: False
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Coin Series: AMG Line Prem
  • AdBlue: True
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 30
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 74
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 35E
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 88
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1600
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3800
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.6
  • Engine Torque - NM: 400
  • Top Speed: 135
  • Engine Power - KW: 140
  • Engine Power - BHP: 190
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 295
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.8
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/50 R19
  • Wheel Style: AMG 5 TWIN SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/50 R19
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2000
  • Max. Loading Weight: 515
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1735
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 570
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1805
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2250
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.7
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 60
  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 155
  • HC+NOx: 0.0226
  • Noise Level dB(A): 69
  • CO2 (g/km): 135
  • NOx: 0.018
  • Particles: 0.0009
  • CO: 0.0559
  • HC: N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 7.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 46.3
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 62.8
  • EC Urban (mpg): 46.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 47.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.1
  • EC Combined (mpg): 55.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 37.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 55.4
  • Length: 4634
  • Wheelbase: 2829
  • Height: 1659
  • Width: 1834
  • Height (including roof rails): 1659
  • Width (including mirrors): 2020