Mercedes combined its smallest box, the GLB250, with its mighty turbocharged four-cylinder to produce an AMG-tuned lunch pail. Stuffed into its Ziploc bag was 302 horsepower and four-wheel drive. Affalterbach also tightened up the handling, doing to Mercedes’ subcompact crossover what cinnamon did to applesauce; the extra spice is very nice. While we prefer the looks of the also sporty GLA35 with which it shares its powertrain and platform, the GLB35’s boxy shape makes it more practical. While the GLB35 has loads of standard features and serves as the most aggressive GLB sold today, those upgrades raise its price tag above the rest in a segment intended for the most affordable luxury crossovers.
What’s new for 2024?
The Mercedes-AMG GLB35 gets a sharper look for 2024 with an updated front bumper, headlights, taillights and an AMG crest on its hood. Its changes are also skin deep, with the incorporation of a 48-volt hybrid assist system into the drivetrain. In addition, there are new 19- and 20-inch wheels and a new steering wheel.
Prices and which one to buy
The GLB35 comes well-equipped, but we’d likely add the Premium package, which includes power-folding exterior mirrors, a hands-free power liftgate, and passive keyless entry.
Engine, transmission and performance
The GLB35 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque; An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are both standard. Additionally, this powertrain uses a 48-volt hybrid assist system in the form of a belt-driven starter generator for extending stop-start functions. At our test track, a non-hybrid GLB35 broke down quickly 4.9 second run to 60 mph. Handling is reasonably sharp and playful, but the GLB35’s stiff-legged ride is the compromise for its fun-to-drive nature. We expect a higher-powered GLB45 model to become available at some point, powered by the 382-hp version of the same turbocharged 2.0-liter, which in the revamped CLA45 sedan.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has not yet rated the 2024 GLB35, but last year’s non-hybrid AMG earned estimates of 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Similar performance SUVs like the BMW X2 M35i and the Mini Cooper Countryman JCW achieve EPA highway ratings of 29 and 30 mpg, respectively, and earn the same 25 mpg combined rating. When we get the chance, we will submit the new GLB35 our 75-mph highway fuel economy test and update this story with the results. For more information on the GLB35’s fuel consumption, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, comfort and cargo
Believe it or not, Mercedes has crammed three rows of seats into the GLB-class’s compact body, although we wouldn’t want to be the unfortunate passenger forced to push themselves back into the road. The first and second rows are where the adults sit. Differentiating itself from its Benz-branded counterpart, the AMG GLB-Class features a flat-bottomed steering wheel and microfiber and leather upholstery.
Infotainment and connectivity
A reconfigurable digital gauge display blends seamlessly into a large widescreen infotainment system behind a single glass panel. Mercedes-Benz’s new infotainment software allows for voice recognition as well as touch panel and gesture-controlled interactions with the system. An onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard; navigation is optional. We found the GLB35’s infotainment software and its various interaction methods to be finicky, which has been our experience with the system in other Mercedes products.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
Mercedes-AMG offers several driver assistance features and LED headlights are standard. For more information on the CAP class crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic emergency brake
- Available lane departure warning with lane keeping assist
- Adaptive cruise control available
Warranty and Maintenance Cover
Mercedes-AMG offers a somewhat basic, no-frills warranty package on its new cars with four years or 50,000 miles of coverage on both the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain policies. BMW sweetens the deal with its vehicles by offering three full years of free maintenance, but AMG buyers are not afforded the same luxury.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLB35 4Matic
Vehicle type: front engine, four-wheel drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $50,550/$61,485
Options: sunroof, $1500; leather seats, $1450; multimedia package (augmented reality navigation, speed limit assist), $1295; Burmester sound system, $850; third row seat, $850; premium package (keyless entry and start, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors), $800; AMG Night Package (black trim on grille, beltline and window surrounds), $750; Denim Blue paint, $720; heated front seats, $500; SiriusXM Radio, $460; leather AMG steering wheel, $400; AMG mode switches on steering wheel, $400; wood trim, $325; 19-inch black wheels, $300; wireless charging, $200; logo puddle lamps, $110; USB-C adapter cable, $25
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 inches31991 cm3
Power: 302 hp @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
8-speed dual clutch automatic
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.8-inch ventilated cross-drilled disc/13.0-inch ventilated cross-drilled disc
Tires: Continental ProContact GX SSR
235/50R-19 99V M+S
Wheelbase: 111.4 inches
Length: 183.1 inches
Width: 72.2 inches
Height: 65.4 inches
Passenger volume: 126 feet3
Cargo volume: 5 feet3
Curb weight: 4023 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.9 sec
100 mph: 12.7 sec
1/4-mile: 13.5 sec @ 102 mph
130 mph: 24.6 sec
Results above show 1 foot deployment of 0.3 sec. away.
Roll start, 5–60 mph: 6.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.2 sec
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 155 mph
Braking, 100–0 mph: 336 ft
Road holding capacity, 300-foot skid road: 0.87 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 20 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 23/21/26 mpg
C/D TEST EXPLAINED
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