Mercedes Benz GLB – The underdog?

The GLB is currently in its second generation and I had the pleasure of testing the first gen unit. I was given the GLB 250 and it’s quite a car.

The GLB slots between the GLA and GLC, making it a compact SUV. Its rivals the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X2. What is notable about this car is that it has a 7 set configuration, giving it a competitive advantage over its rivals and siblings.

Under the bonnet

It is powered by a 2.0l turbopetrol engine that produces 165kW/350Nm. The acceleration is lively and eager, as you put your foot down the car takes off amazingly. Power retention is really good, I did a 1000km return commute to the Free State and the drive was absolutely excellent. Prompt gear changes thanks to the 8-speed automatic mates to the engine. The GLB is insanely comfortable, I even took a longer route to Bloemfontein via Welkom just to have some more time in the car. Mercedes Benz claims a fuel consumption of 7.1l/100km, I was around 7.6l/100km during my time with it. I toggled between comfort and eco mode mostly, and I think the best setting on the daily is comfort.

Styling and interior

The unorthodox and boxy exterior styling of this car makes it unique. It looks different from most Mercedes Benz’s, more like a lowered and more serious GLC, with those square LED’s that makes it different from the rest of the G-range.

On the interior, I was slightly dazed. I opened the door of the vehicle and saw a white and black dual tone interior and I instantly shrieked. Unfortunately, I am not a fan. However, it is beautiful in the objective sense, feels as though you are in a little Maybach, so it is appealing and exudes a luxurious feel. The GLB has this very light and uncrowded interior, the large windscreen allows you to see more and makes the driving experience more serene. The dual-screen MBUX infotainment system is phenomenal to look at thanks to the high-resolution screens, but I found it to be hard to manouvre around. MBUX is not too user friendly unless I’m not technologically advanced, but all the touchscreen dials you need to use to select a function confused me quite a bit. There is a large touchpad on the center console that you need to use to toggle between functions and that device did leave me perplexed. I do, however, think that the operating system is the best in the class, I just wish I was better at using it.


The luxury small SUV segment is laden with a plethora of options to suit your needs. If you want something that looks less executive and more sporty, I would suggest the Audi Q3.

The pricing of the GLB starts at R831 000 for the 250 variant, and if you add some extras and the AMG kit you are looking as over R1m for the GLB.

The GLB to me was an outlier before I tested it. I think it’s a decent offering from the German automaker, safe to say it is an underdog? Good car nonetheless, I would fully recommend it.

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