Chunky, unmissable styling. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class has one of the more standout designs on the market. Unlike a lot of other compact crossovers, it has a boxy design that it takes from the more expensive and upscale Mercedes G-Class. The looks make it appear more rugged.
Mercedes' styling from its other vehicles carries over to the interior, where the GLB has a high-end look. Metallic or wood trim, large circular air vents, well-sized screens, and handsomely-styled buttons all make it feel above its price tag.
Comfortable highway cruiser. First and foremost, the GLB excels as a long-distance cruiser thanks to its comfortable ride and engine tuning.
The GLB comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 221 horsepower. The motor is smooth, while the standard eight-speed automatic transmission operates with few hiccups.
The GLB’s available all-wheel-drive system is capable of shuffling half of the engine’s power to the rear wheels for improved traction. An available adaptive suspension system is an extra $990 and well worth the money, as it helps it feel even more relaxing over bumpy roads without being floaty.
The GLB has four individual drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual – to provide drivers with the ability to set up the vehicle to their specific needs.
Versatile cabin that’s also spacious. Despite having a footprint that’s smaller than the GLC-Class, Mercedes’ other compact crossover, the GLB offers a more versatile interior.
For one, the GLB has seating for up to seven (with the optional third row), which is rare for the class. The only other vehicle in the automaker’s lineup that has three rows of seating is the large GLS.
The GLB also offers an extra dose of adaptability thanks to its second row that can slide fore and after for extra space. With a 40/20/40-split, the seats are also capable of moving individually.
In addition to the versatile seating space, the GLB has a large cargo area. It has a total of 62 cubic feet of cargo space. Thanks to the movable second row, cargo space behind the second row ranges from 20 cubic feet up to 26 cubic feet. The GLB’s maximum cargo capacity is better than the slightly larger GLC because of its boxy design.
Options are needed for a luxurious feel. While the GLB comes with high-end features, unfortunately, it doesn’t feel upscale unless you tack on available packages.
Standard features include dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system is difficult to learn, however.
Still, the base GLB doesn’t feel like a luxury vehicle. Available equipment like a Burmester sound system, a head-up display, wireless smartphone charging, ventilated and front seats, a panoramic roof, and leather upholstery all help it feel like a luxury crossover, but they inflate the cost dramatically.
Mercedes requires consumers to tack on expensive packages to get all of the latest safety features in the GLB, too. Adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and more are only available through pricey packages.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Mercedes GLB will meet a lot of consumers’ needs. High-tech features, a spacious cabin, available luxury features, and a peppy engine will appeal to many buyers. Plus, there’s the GLB’s hidden ace, which is seating for up to seven.
We have little to complain about with the GLB. It has low-end materials in some places, a tight third row, and is lacking some standard active safety equipment. We’re also looking forward to seeing more trims – an AMG version would be great.
In terms of competition, the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Land Rover Discovery Sport are other compact options with three rows of seating. The Tiguan is priced more affordably, has a larger cargo area, more standard safety features, and is a better value proposition. But it has a less powerful engine, a third row that’s just as tight, worse fuel economy, and a powertrain that’s not as refined.
The Discovery Sport is more of an off-roader compared to the GLB. Land Rover’s option has less cargo space, a more powerful standard engine, an incredibly tight third row, loads of standard features, and worse fuel economy.
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