|Lease Term (months)||36|
|Miles per year|
Slotting into the narrow space between the GLA-class and the GLC-class is the all-new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-class compact crossover. This mini ute, however, pulls its boxier styling from the vaunted GLE- and G-class SUVs. Although it’s an inch shorter than the GLC-class, the GLB has an available third row, something that neither the GLC nor the GLA offer. The GLB-class is a spacious crossover equipped with impressive standard technology, but it can be optioned with even more luxury and tech features. The GLB-class starts at a low price for a Mercedes, but adding the available options will quickly make this compact SUV cost as much as most other luxury vehicles.
The GLB is an all-new model for 2020, expanding Mercedes-Benz’s SUV lineup to include a spacious subcompact crossover to compete with the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Volvo XC40.
There is just one trim level available for the GLB-class, but the 4Matic model adds all-wheel drive for $2000. From there, we’d add heated seats and the Premium package, which includes blind-spot monitoring, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-folding sideview mirrors, keyless entry with push-button start, and dual 10.3-inch digital displays for the infotainment and gauge cluster. There is an AMG Line body kit available, but we’d skip it since it only gives you the looks of a Mercedes-AMG without the performance of one. There will be AMG versions of the GLB available in the future, but we’ll review those separately.
Behind the GLB’s big, grille-mounted three-pointed star is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 221 horsepower. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Mercedes-Benz estimates the GLB250 will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. While we haven’t been able to test a GLB250, we drove a 2020 CLA250, which sports the same engine. We didn’t find that car to be very sporty, so we expect the GLB’s performance to be merely adequate with that engine in this SUV.
We haven’t gotten the chance to test the GLB-class for fuel economy, but the front-wheel-drive GLB received an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined fuel economy, with 31 mpg on the highway and 23 in the city. The all-wheel-drive version received the same numbers except for on the highway, where it was estimated to receive 30 mpg. Those numbers are comparable but slightly lower than the EPA-estimated mileage of the BMW X1.
The GLB-class has a very spacious interior, with 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats and 62 cubic feet with those seats folded down, which is almost equal to that of the next-size up BMW X3. The entry-level GLB-class isn’t very well appointed, coming with standard power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a manually adjustable steering wheel. Heated seats will cost you extra, as will ventilated ones, and the third row of seats is also optional. We expect most buyers will spend money outfitting their GLB250 with popular luxury features such as leather upholstery and interior ambient lighting.
While lacking a robust amount of standard interior equipment, the GLB-class makes up for some of that with its infotainment and technology offerings. A 7.0-inch digital gauge display and 7.0-inch touchscreen both come standard, but dual 10.3-inch screens are part of the Premium package, and a color head-up display is a standalone option. There are plenty of ways to link your phone to the GLB250, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four USB-C ports, and Bluetooth. If you want to wirelessly charge your phone, a wireless charging pad is a $200 option.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have tested the safety of the GLB250. It comes standard with cruise control, active brake assist, and adaptive braking, and the available safety features include adaptative cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and active blind-spot assist. Key safety features include:
Mercedes-Benz offers warranty coverage that is competitive with its rivals, but it doesn’t offer the same complimentary scheduled maintenance policy as the X1 or the Jaguar E-Pace.
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