This is Mercedes-Benz GLB, a compact SUV with seven seats for those who don’t want a giant car but still want the practicality of having two extra seats in the back.
Special mention : Spacious and extremely economical 1.4 litre Petrol. Cruise control is very easy to use. Great visibility all round. Lots of ways to create space, folding flat 3rd row bench, sliding 2nd row bench.
Needs work : The doors need a soft close function. Safety systems are a little over-sensitive.
Specs: GLB 200
|Max Power 163 BHP||Petrol / Auto|
|0-100 km/h in 9.1 seconds||Road Tax €390|
GLB 200 €45,425
7 Seats: 3rd Row seating €1,509
Advantage Package €3,755
10″ Media Display
Mercedes Benz Navigation
AMG Line €3,309
Metallic paint €1,509
Night Package €251
|Boot 130-1,680 litres|
The GLB’s closest competitor is the Land Rover Discovery Sport which is technically a larger car and the biggest difference between the GLB and Audi’s Q3 is that the third row will accommodate people up to 168cms tall. Adults can squeeze in the back but it’s not comfortable enough for longer journeys. In order to make it as cosseting as possible however Mercedes have provided two cup holders and two USB-C points. In total there are 7 USB-C points dotted around the GLB, but more than likely for the time being, you will need adapters for your mobile tech. The middle row does go some way to increasing comfort for the rearmost passengers by sliding forward and back, so you can customise the space depending on how you need to use it.
The space up front is well laid out and Mercedes have some of the most plush cabins available. The distinctive exterior square shape adds to the interior space. There’s plenty of leg and headroom and it shows that Mercedes have really thought out the interior design.
Eye catching details include the turbine design air vents which not only look great but are extremely good at controlling the air flow. The wide screens fit seamlessly into the dash and the whole interior really comes alive. The test car is painted electric blue and you can match that inside too or you can choose from a variety of colours which adds to the atmosphere, especially at night. It comes as part of the sports pack which also includes roof rails, tinted rear windows and AMG styling.
There’s a luxury feel from the vegan leather seats which come in great looking two-tone colour. They really feel no different than you would expect and it’s great to see more manufacturers using a wider variety of cabin materials. The black Alcantara seat options are very comfortable and tend to be more comfortable. The leather sports steering wheel, which is also a part of the sports package, has brushed metallic trim levers behind it which you can use to manually change gears.
There’s space for two cup holders in the front and a spot for keys and a phone pad that can be specced as a wireless charger. There’s a decent sized, deep centre storage bin and there’s also bottle holders in each door. You can spec a panoramic sunroof which reaches back to the second row and lets in lots of lovely natural light throughout the cabin.
Adjustment of the seats can come in manual or button/automated form. Using the buttons in the metallic shape of the chair you can move the seat forward by pushing the corresponding seat forward, up, down and you can move the back of the seat forward. Rear passengers also get two cup holders in the centre armrest plus they get the directional air vents and two USB-C points to charge devices. Space in the boot is good with either 130, 565 or 1,630 litres which is decent for this size car. The GLB will easily take suitcases or a pram with the two back seats up. With all three rows in use, the boot does shrink and you’ll be able to fit school bags or some groceries snugly in the remaining space.
We’ve tested the 1.4 litre turbo four-cylinder Petrol engine which excels at economy. Fully loaded, it climbs up hills briskly and while you can hear the engine kicking in with the down change, the engine noise isn’t too gruff with a fully loaded car. The 4Matic all-wheel drive will give you better traction on rougher surfaces, in the wet, on gravel or snow. The two wheel drive option is cheaper and fuel consumption is excellent, from a 55 litre tank, we saw ranges exceeding 800 kms.
The steering is very good which makes parking quite easy considering the size of the GLB. There’s a high definition reverse parking camera and if you option the vision package, which also includes a 360 degree camera, you can see your surroundings virtually from above the car.
As standard you get auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. If you want to take it a step further you can option the driver assistance package which includes front cross traffic alert, steering assist and adaptive cruise control. There are nine airbags, two airbags are side airbags for the middle row and there are also side curtain airbags which extend down to the back row.
The rear seats also have four isofix points and there are also five tether points across the back two rows which means you’re able to fit kids car seats on both of those back rows. Pretty impressive for a compact SUV where you might assume the back two seats are spare seats, Mercedes have actually made them very usable.
There’s a 10.25” wide multimedia screen which when optioned with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, provides instant access to the main apps on your phone where you can easily use maps to navigate or streaming apps to listen to music.
Even though technically it’s a compact SUV, the interior is quite large and will easily fit a family of four. Plus it has the two extra seats in the back fitted with IsoFix points. The interior looks great, the boot is large and it’s got brilliant on-board technology and fuel economy. So if it’s an easy drive you’re after, with a lovely light touch and the ability to pack it full to the brim and still manage fantastic fuel economy, the GLB is an excellent all rounder. It’s easy to live with day to day and it’s capable of tackling the bigger trips.