Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Reviews 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Review: The AMG SUV With Real Personality

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Review: The AMG SUV With Real Personality

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is another highly entertaining premium AMG vehicle


  • The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is priced from $48,900 in Canada, $38,600 in the US.

  • The AMG GLB 35 goes for $59,300 in Canada and $49,950 in the US.

  • The GLB itself is Benz’s coolest SUV.


There are, or were, clearly two factions within Mercedes-AMG: Those who work with boosted 4-cylinder engines and those who don’t. Specifically, given the recent changes within AMG’s powertrain options, I’m speaking about 35 and 45 series models; they are mad good fun, and loaded with personality. And the GLB 35 is awesome.

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Even now, when I think about Mercedes-Benz, I imagine uptight German engineers who know nothing about fun. But, I always remind myself that AMG, on the other hand, are the creators of some of the wildest cars and SUVs on the road today. Over the last few years, the A 35 and CLA 45 stand out as being the most fizz-inducing rides I’ve had the pleasure of driving. And I was delighted that the GLB 35 is just as exciting.

To start, the Mercedes-Benz GLB is the brand’s most enticing SUV on this side of the OE badass G-Class. Tragically, but possibly by design, it’s also the least cherished by consumers who prefer a lesser GLA, more forgettable GLC, or bloated GLE. As mean as this may read, the point is that the GLB is nearly exotic compared to the three hyper-common SUVs. Adding three of the fastest letters in the alphabet ahead of GLB simply signifies that this is a future appreciating classic.


AMG 35

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Most premium automakers use a series of numbers following a model name to disclose power numbers. Now, although “35” is the lowest on the AMG totem pole, it may very well be the most entertaining. The turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder produces a beyond-satisfying 302hp at 5,800 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm. The power is enough to send the 4,000lb SUV to 100km/h from a standstill in only 5.3 seconds meaning it’ll keep up with the more powerful Audi SQ5, but there’s something to keep in mind when stop-light racing.

The standard AMG Speedshift DCT 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, attached to the included AMG Performance 4MATIC AWD, is painstakingly slow to engage in any setting other than Sport. Generally, dual-clutch transmissions default to self-preservation above all, meaning that they’ll give the clutches all the time in the world to gently embrace the flywheel. Under normal circumstances, drivers can and do adapt but in my opinion, it’s unacceptable for an AMG.


Individual mode

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This is one of the main reasons why configuring the Individual drive mode is a must. With the Drive set in Sport, not only is throttle response sharper but the transmission will be quicker to activate. The change in overall engine transmission behaviour is nothing short of remarkable. The other goal behind focusing on the Individual drive mode is setting the adjustable dampers to Comfort. In Sport or Dynamic, only a perfectly smooth SoCal road will do.

Once arranged in this way, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35’s best personality shines through. The standard AMG sports exhaust system braaaps and fraaaps under decent load, enhancing the small sports SUV’s driving experience. The 2.0T’s torque is strong and sustained, and perfectly in tune with the now properly-adjusted Speedshift transmission. The AMG GLB now feels poised and ready to show its true colours.

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The SUV’s steering is involving, and responsive, much like the chassis. There’s a fizz and character to the experience. From the helm, the GLB 35 is tightly wound but not oppressively so with the dampers in comfort – it wants to be driven hard and knows how to handle itself – and the brakes are extremely strong.


Cool but pricey personality

In AMG guise, the small SUV lets its hair down. Out of the box, the GLB 250 is a handsome small vehicle but once Affalterbach has had it way with it, it becomes furiously good-looking. Included are full AMG body styling and 19-inch wheels. My tester however is visually sharper painted Galaxy blue and sporting the optional 21-inch wheels, and the AMG Night Package. These options positively impact the small SUV’s on-road presence for the better.

As tested, this 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 retailed for roughly $74,000, which is somewhat shocking. The cabin features the still impressive double 10.25-inch screens, the ultra-cool vents, and numerous other elements. The front seats are heated, the driver’s is power operated, it comes with keyless start, and that’s about it. The Premium package is a must if you want Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, keyless entry, or basically most of the features you’ll get in a near-basic Hyundai Tucson including navigation, which is also an option here. The nice additions included in the Galaxy Blue GLB 35 were the AMG Driver’s package that throws in an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in Nappa/DINAMICA materials.

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

About space, the Mercedes-Benz GLB is at least as roomy as the GLC. What’s more, only 20mm separates the two in overall length, the GLC being longer, but the GLB offers up far more boot volume to the tune of 700 litres versus 550.


Too much personality and shorted by the price

The options built into the tester are nearly all must-haves in 2022 (now 2023). And even at around $70,000, the GLB 35 is priced on par with the AMG GLC 43 which, for most, is a more premium product, though it isn’t. The pricing debate continues when compared to the Audi SQ5 and BMW X3 M40i, which present as “more grownup” and high class.

Basically, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 does not fit the premium performance SUV mold because it has so much more personality than all the other mentioned SUVs. And this is why it’s so great.

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Trending Now

Honda Wants to Catch up to Rival EVs by Creating a New Division

The automaker will consolidate its electrification strategy for all of its vehicle development programs on April 1st. Honda will also combine its six...

Toyota President and CEO Toyoda Stepping Down

Driving enthusiast Toyoda moving to new role GR President Sato to take over Toyota The head of Toyota is stepping down. Akio Toyoda, the...

Most Popular Cars in the United States in 2022

The Ford F-Series dominates the list of the most popular cars in the United States in 2022. Strong sales gains for Tesla Model...

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Sedan pricing announced for Canada

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE fully-electric sedan to start at $85,600 in Canada Three versions will be offered New Mercedes-AMG EQE 4MATIC+ will start at...

Alfa Romeo Plans to Have a Larger Electric Model in the US by 2027

This upcoming model will be larger than the Giulia and Stelvio. The brand has yet to say if it will be an SUV...
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.