Of all the SUV segments, the compact luxury one has the most potential for growth. As consumers move away from “regular” $35,000+ and $45,000+ luxury sedans, they are being lured towards compact luxury SUV which offer equal or greater amounts of features, prestige and personality.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 and 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 will provide measurable levels of all of the above in an extremely appealing shell. The GLB’s content will vary with options however its boxy, robust yet discreet styling will slay all those who craze the SUV.
In its segment, the GLB tackles the likes of the impressive Volvo XC40, the BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace, Audi Q3, to name a few. Question is whether you should wait a few more months for the GLB or go ahead and sign away on the Volvo or another vehicle.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Why you should buy a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB:
- Built on the same platform as the new A- and CLA class cars, the new GLB rides and drives above its weight class.
- The GLB 250’s turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine provides gobs of torque. Performance is beyond entertaining thanks to the standard 8-speed dual-clutch DCT transmission.
- With an extra 100mm grafted to its wheelbase over the A and CLA, the GLB is not only roomier than most of its competition but the ride quality is surprisingly refined.
- The styling – the new GLB is the perfect cross between the GLS and the G -wagen.
- The new 2020 GLB will be the only vehicle in its class with an optional 3rd row of seats. It can be a nice-to-have.
- Benz’s MBUX twin 10.25 display is available and happens to be one of the best interfaces one can get.
- The AMG GLB 35 retains all of the GLB 250’s highlights and throws in 302-horsepower, and a 0-100kmh sprint of just over 5 seconds.
Why you should not buy a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB:
- The optional 3rd row is more of a promotional coup than a usual addition to carry people. Humans over the age of 10 won’t last more than 15 minutes on the bench.
- The 8-speed dual-clutch transmission suffers from an annoying delay. Upon throttle application especially in “comfort” drive mode, the transmission needs far too long to engage.
- Pricing has not yet been announced however a well-spec’d out GLB 250 will more than likely reach well over $50,000, close to $55,000 perhaps. This is, for example, Lexus RX and well-equipped GLC 300 money.
As Mercedes-Benz continues to add SUVs to its already extensive collection, nine including the EQC by my count, all somehow belong. I’d make an exception in regard to the Coupe versions of the GLC and GLE but I’ve recently learned that their personalities are sufficiently distinct.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 and 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 are something of a return to squared-off SUV styling. And for it, the GLBs will be, in my opinion, an absolute hit. The previous GLK, the GLC’s predecessor, was an immense hit thanks in part to its traditional SUV styling. The GLB picks up where it left off and happens to be a better-driving, far more advanced vehicle.
I’ve driven the new A-Class and CLA and Benz’s latest crop of small vehicles is by far superior to the one it replaces. The Mercedes-Benz GLB will without a doubt please.