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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review
LIKES
  • Handsome cockpit
  • Chunky body
  • Sliding second-row seat
  • Lots of technology
  • Right-sized
DISLIKES
  • Tight third-row seat
  • Some features force you to buy other features
  • Infotainment needs a primer
  • Priced at a premium
BUYING TIP
  • Don’t skip the adaptive dampers, wide-screen displays, or the all-wheel drive; if you’re starved for attention, the light-up star logo and 20-inch wheels might help.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class hides station-wagon virtues behind its charming SUV-like body.

What kind of car is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class? What does it compare to?
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class is a crossover SUV with up to seven seats. It taps a turbo-4 for power, and adds on some of Mercedes’ latest infotainment and safety technology. It’s a rival for vehicles like the Mazda CX-9, Volvo XC60, and Land Rover Discovery Sport. 

Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB -Class a good car?
We think so, and give it a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10, before crash-test results are factored in.

What’s new for the 2021 Mercedes GLB?
Blind-spot monitors are now standard.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review
The GLB is Mercedes’ lowest-priced three-row crossover SUV. It’s one that reads more like a traditional SUV, with a boxy and upright shape graced with a few rounded corners to plant it squarely in the Benz SUV-verse. It looks a little more at home on dusty trails than the smaller GLA-Class and bigger GLC-Class, but that’s only from the outside. Inside, the GLB drapes big digital displays, leather, metallic trim, and 64-shade ambient lighting to give it an extroverted and spacious feel that wouldn’t be out of home in a South Korean luxury car—and that’s no backhanded compliment.

A 2.0-liter turbo-4 sends 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to the front or all four wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. The GLB drops brisk acceleration, with 0-60 mph runs that take about seven seconds—and that’s before the 302-hp GLB35 AMG comes along. The GLB steers with confident heft and damps out the worst of the road, but it’s better with the spend-up adaptive shocks. Off-road pioneering isn’t exactly in its wheelhouse, but all-season traction? Handled, with the $2,000 AWD upgrade.

At about 182 inches long and 72 inches wide, the GLB’s as long as the old Benz M-Class, but it’s a lot more narrow. Four adults fit well, but a fifth in the second-row seat will need to be a sample size. An available third-row seat can be accessed by sliding row two forward, but even Benz admits row three’s for smaller passengers and short trips. It’s better flipped forward for cargo space, which maxes out at about 62 cubic feet.

Crash-test scores aren’t in, but the 2021 GLB-Class comes with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors, with options for a surround-view camera system and a head-up display. 

How much does the 2021 Mercedes GLB cost?
It’s $39,100 for the base GLB 250, which has keyless start, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, and a power tailgate. With options from Burmester sound to adaptive dampers to twin 10.3-inch screens, the GLB-Class can run into the high-$40,000 range. 

Where is the 2021 Mercedes GLB made?
In Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Styling

Smart and tidy, the Mercedes GLB blurs the line between crossover SUV and station wagon.

Is the Mercedes GLB a good-looking car?
We love its throwback shape and its fast-forward interior. With some of the swagger written on the surface of the GLS- and G-Class SUVs, the mid-size Mercedes GLB-Class wraps a box-like body with some elegant details and graces it with a handsome cabin, for a score of 7 here. 

The big-SUV look scales down well to the GLB’s size-medium footprint. It’s friendly and chunky, and square-jawed without coming off as rugged beyond repair. Big LED headlights flank a big grille with a big tri-star logo—lighted, if you want. The long roofline gradually tapers at the rear, without a kitschy coupe-like drape. It’s simple, classic SUV style, one that can be dressed up with Night and AMG Line appearance packages that deepen the chin spoiler and add some dazzle to bigger wheels.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review
The cockpit of the GLB apes the best of the G-Class and GLS-Class, too. A wide band of metallic trim cuts across the cabin at the centerline, and twin digital displays and large round air vents break up the space between without complicating the design too much. In theory, a pair of 7.0-inch screens take up residence on the dash, but we’ve only seen the upgraded twin 10.3-inch screens and their high-definition dominance over the interior. Ambient lighting changes the car’s mood, too, from cool white to strip-club purple.

Performance

We’d spend up for all-wheel drive and the adaptive suspension for the 2021 GLB-Class.

All GLB crossovers come with a turbo-4, an independent suspension, and an 8-speed automatic. Brisk acceleration and above-grade handling give it a 7 here, with an AMG-tuned GLB35 still to come.

The GLB’s one confident and poised all-wheel-drive wagon, though far from the G-Class that it calls inspiration. For one, its cylinder count’s half of the bigger G-Wagen: It’s a 2.0-liter turbo-4 shared with the latest CLA-Class and A-Class sedans. Here it’s good for 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and it whirrs along in relative quiet thanks to more sound-killing padding. It shifts better than Mercedes’ prior small-car efforts, with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic that thinks more quickly and judders less. 

A 302-hp GLB35 AMG is in the cards, but we’ve yet to drive one.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review

Is the Mercedes GLB 4WD?
All-wheel drive’s an option.

How fast is the Mercedes-Benz GLB?
With the available all-wheel-drive system and a curb weight of about 3,600 pounds in base trim, the GLB 250 4Matic trots from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, according to the maker, and reaches a top speed of 130 mph.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review
The GLB’s electric power steering, independent suspension, and drive-mode selector give it a range of personalities from economy-minded to comfort-soaked to sporty. In most modes, the GLB has assertive steering effort and quick throttle response, but we like it best in Sport mode, where it’s fluid and more fun to drive. We’d spend extra for the  optional adaptive dampers and leave them set to the softer tune in Individual mode. Even with 20-inch wheels, a GLB so configured makes for an excellent long-distance cruiser, one with a well-damped ride and good highway tracking.

There’s an off-road drive mode that cuts down on wheelspin with slower responses and a higher launch gear, but don’t think of the GLB as an off-roader.

Comfort & Quality

As long as the original Mercedes M-Class, the GLB totes up to seven in comfort.

It slips in an SUV cue or two, but the Benz GLB’s true inner self channels an old-school family station wagon.

With a 111.4-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 182.4 inches, the GLB’s about the length of the original Benz SUV, the M-Class, though it’s not as wide. Interior space is good, and the front seats are the place to be. They’re clad in synthetic leather in base spec, but have pocketed bottom cushions and side bolsters that snug and cinch in the right places. Benz sells heated and cooled and leather-wrapped versions, too. With power adjustment and lots of head and leg room it’s easy to find a good driving position.

At 72.2 inches wide—about five inches slimmer than a mid-size Benz GLE—the GLB can’t quite sit three adults across its middle bench seat. Two adults fit fine, and the second row slides on a track to expand leg room or cargo space—or third-row space, when it’s been fitted. That wayback bench is very small, and even Mercedes concedes it’ll only be good for medium-sized passengers and those smaller.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review
Fold down both back rows of seats and the GLB can carry about 62 cubic feet of stuff; it’s good for about 26 cubic feet behind the sliding second row. 

Interior fit and finish is good, though some of us take issue with the sheer square feet of plastic in the GLB cabin, and with some of the glitzier details.

Safety

The GLB hasn’t been crash-tested yet.

How safe is the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class?
The NHTSA and IIHS haven’t put the GLB through their crash-test regimens, so we leave it unscored. The crossover SUV comes with automatic emergency braking, and its thin roof pillars give the driver a great view of the road, front and back. Blind-spot monitors are now standard.

On the options list, Mercedes offers a bundle with adaptive cruise control, automatic lane changing, automatic park assist, and a surround-view camera system.

Features

The GLB comes well stocked with a big touchscreen and other luxury touches.

With its widescreen infotainment, plentiful standard features and options, the GLB earns an 8 for features. With free maintenance added to its 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, it’d earn another.

Which Mercedes GLB should I buy?
There’s not much choice, actually. The $39,100 GLB 250 comes with power front seats, keyless start, LED headlights, 18-inch wheels and run-flat tires, and a power tailgate. All-wheel drive costs $2,000.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review
How much is a fully loaded Mercedes GLB?
From there, the GLB offers leather upholstery, a panoramic roof, heated and cooled front seats, wireless smartphone charging, a third-row seat, Burmester audio, adaptive dampers, a head-up display, and a lighted Mercedes star logo. Take most of those and you’ll pay more than $50,000. 

The GLB’s infotainment system has twin 7.0-inch screens. One displays gauges, the other secondary functions such as navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A single interface called MBUX weaves it all together and accepts touch input on the screen and on a pad on the console, as well as via steering-wheel controls. We’d select the upgraded system and its twin 10.3-inch screens, since it also responds by voice—which we’ve found works very well.

Fuel Economy

All-wheel drive’s a small boon for gas mileage.

Is the Mercedes GLB good on gas?
It is, even considering its seven-seat capacity. The EPA rates it at 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined with front-wheel drive, good for a 5 here. There’s no penalty for all-wheel drive, either—in fact, the AWD GLB’s highway rating actually rises, to 31 mpg. 

The EPA hasn’t rated the upcoming GLB35 version yet.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Class Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, February 18, 2021 Rating: 5

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