By: Randi Payton, TNJ
When you thought Mercedes-Benz sold every size and type of SUV here in the U.S., along comes the all-new compact GLB-class that squeezes tightly between the GLC-class and the GLA-class.
Introduced in 2020, the GLB-class has available third-row and seven-seats, which gives Mercedes eight SUV categories, starting at $36,230 for the smallest GLA class and up to $130,900 for the top-of-line G-Class SUV.
The new GLB is a compact luxury SUV that is reasonably priced and offers the seating compacity and versatility for large families. The optional third-row seating makes it more versatile than the GLA-class and the GLC-class.
The GLB-class competes in the crossover SUV class against Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar F-Pace, Mazda CX-9, and the Volvo XC60. The Land Rover Discovery Sport, which starts around $37,800 MSRP, also offers an optional third-row seat.
The 2020 GLB250 base model starts at $37,595, while the GLB250 4Matic adds all-wheel drive for $39,595 MSRP. A 221 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine seats under the hood, and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with either front or all-wheel drive.
The advanced Mercedes transmission includes a choice of automatic or paddle-shifting with four drive modes that include Eco/Comfort for daily driving, Sport for power and performance, Off-Road, and Dynamic Select that adapts the steering, suspension, and drivetrain to suit your preference.
The GLB250 is ideal in dense urban streets and congested freeway traffic. The twin-scroll turbo makes it quick on its feet and highly responsive when passing, taking on sharp curves, or changing lanes.
Interior conveniences include ergonomic front seats in various upholstery options, dash and door trim in natural wood grain, and aluminum accents. The GLB offers the Mercedes available LED ambient lighting in 64-colors and hues to change the vehicle’s atmosphere to soothe your mood.
The GLB also comes with Mercedes dual 7-inch or 10-25-inch high-resolution displays that allow customization of the instruments and multimedia to match your preferences.
Say “Hey, Mercedes,” and the GLB can hear your commands and change the climate, navigation, and other cabin features. Other high-tech features include a mobile application that will lock/unlock doors, check vehicle status, or schedule service. WiFi is available with a monthly subscription.
The GLB also has many smart safety and driver assistance features found in higher priced luxury vehicles. It can change lanes by tapping the turn signal, hands-free parking, and the adaptive cruise control to steer and maintain a safe distance behind upfront traffic. It even slows the vehicle down on off ramps.