4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level seven-seat SUV

Mercedes-Benz GLB SUV Review Video
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At a glance

New price £34,135 - £45,885
Fuel Economy 38.7 - 49.6 mpg
Road tax cost £145 - £465
Insurance group 27 - 36 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Genuine seven-seat practicality
  • Impressive cabin
  • Rapid AMG performance version
  • Decent standard kit levels

CONS

  • Third row best suited to children
  • A lot of high-tech kit likely to cost extra

Mercedes-Benz GLB SUV rivals

Written by James Dennison on

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is a seven-seat SUV based on a modified version of the A-Class hatchback platform. This means it’s smaller than most other seven-seat SUVs, such as the Skoda Kodiaq, Volkswagan Tiguan Allspace and Kia Sorento, sitting in its own niche segment of the market. BMW’s 2 Series Gran Tourer is the only other premium seven-seater around this size and price range, yet even then it doesn’t have the SUV bodystyle of the GLB.

A Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4Matic performance version adds to the appeal, with only the Skoda Kodiaq vRS coming close as a true rival. However, just because the GLB’s unique it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth your cash, so read on to find out whether this seven-seat Mercedes-Benz is the right car for you.

Seven-seat practicality

The GLB’s seven-seat practicality (note that it’s also available with five seats) is a real bonus when compared with a number of premium five-seat rivals, ranging from the Audi Q3 to the Jaguar E-Pace and BMW X3. Space in the second row of seats is excellent, with an airy feeling cabin on a par with its bigger brother, the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLB interior

Meanwhile, space in the third-row seats is tight for anyone but children, yet it is usable for short journeys as long as the middle row bench is slid forwards. There’s also a pair of Isofix points in the third row, two USB-C ports and cupholders in the middle. Granted, you will get more space from larger seven-seaters such as the Skoda Kodiaq and Kia Sorento, yet for many customers (who rarely use the sixth and seventh seats), the GLB could be the perfect balance between size, cost and flexibility.

AMG Line trim levels

The GLB is available with four trim levels, ranging from entry-level Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus. All versions get sat-nav, a reversing camera, heated half leather front seats, dual-zone climate control and cruise control as standard, yet we reckon the spec to aim for is AMG Line Premium or above. With this, you get the larger 10.25-inch central infotainment screen and digital cockpit display, both of which help to lift what is already an exceptional cabin.

Standard safety features are also extensive, and include Active Brake Assist (a form of autonomous emergency braking, Active Bonnet (improves pedestrian safety), Active Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist and the eCall emergency call system, capable of automatically alerting the emergency services if you’re involved in an accident.

Choice of petrol and diesel engines, plus GLB 35

The regular of GLB variants includes one petrol and two diesel options. Opt for the former (GLB 200) and you get a 163hp 1.3-litre four-cylinder, while the latter two are the 150hp GLB 200 d and 190hp GLB 220d 4Matic variants of the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. All models come with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic (apart from the GLB 200 which has a seven-speed version), while 4Matic all-wheel drive is either optional or fitted as standard.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4Matic driving

A Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4Matic performance version is also available, boasting the same 306hp 2.0-litre petrol engine as the A35 hatchback. Hitting 62mph in 5.2 seconds, it’s one of the quickest seven-seaters on the market, slotting in behind the GLE 53 and GLS 63 also made by Mercedes-AMG.

Adaptive suspension not available in the UK

We’ve only driven the GLB on the international launch so far, where all cars were fitted with optional adaptive suspension. In the UK, only the GLB 35 will be available with this setup. All other GLBs use a simpler passive suspension setup that can’t be switched using the car’s drive modes. Considering the regular GLBs run on up to 20-inch wheels, we reckon it’s worth waiting to see how the passive suspension fairs on UK roads before committing.

Read on for the full Mercedes-Benz GLB review

Mercedes-Benz GLB SUV rivals