Mercedes GLB review - Interior, design & technology
The GLB offers hints of the G-Class, with an interior that’s modern and upmarket
There’s something refreshingly boxy about the Mercedes-Benz GLB. While the GLS, GLE and GLC are perhaps guilty of a Russian doll-approach to the styling, the GLB has a whiff of baby G-Class about it. It’s a welcome tonic to the current crop of repetitive SUV silhouettes.
AMG Line is the base trim in the UK, so all versions of the GLB have an upmarket look. AMG styling, 19-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels, LED headlights, polished aluminium roof rails, privacy glass and a striking radiator grille are the exterior highlights of the ‘base’ model.
It’s certainly boxier than anything else we’ve seen spun off the architecture that underpins it – the platform also supports the A-Class hatchback and GLB. Inside, there are dashboard flourishes to mimic the grab-handles of the G-Class.
The GLB doesn’t feel too dissimilar to the A-Class inside, which is no bad thing. Quality is a notch or two down on the GLC, but that’s totally forgivable when you consider the price difference and practicality of the GLB. Besides, the scratchy plastics are mostly out of sight.
Like all new Mercedes-Benz models, the dashboard is dominated by a pair of digital screens, which are complemented by five turbine-style air vents and the G-Class-style grab-handle. Clever use of leather, metallic trim and polished surfaces deliver an excellent first impression.
There are four trim levels: AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus and Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4Matic Premium Plus. Standard equipment is excellent, so there’s no real need to upgrade to one of the more expensive trim levels. That said, the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is almost a standalone model, with beefier styling and most of the options boxes ticked.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
If there’s one reason to upgrade from the AMG Line to one of the other three models, it’s the infotainment system. On the base model, the GLB comes with a pair of seven-inch screens, which look a little inadequate when viewed alongside the twin 10.25-inch screens.
These look superb, with the MBUX infotainment system becoming the main focal point of the dashboard. There’s also a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, which blends with the touchscreen to create a single high-gloss panel.
‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation is standard across the range. It allows you to control many of the infotainment functions, including the navigation, telephone and music.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Mercedes-Benz GLB is a stylish family SUV with an upmarket interior and seating for seven
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe GLB is smooth and comfortable, but not in the least bit exciting to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsExcellent fuel economy from the diesel engines, while a GLB electrified version is set to offer even greater efficiency and savings
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe GLB offers hints of the G-Class, with an interior that’s modern and upmarket
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceMore practical than the more expensive GLC, the GLB has the option of a third row of seats
- 6Reliability and safetyThe GLB has a five-star safety rating, but some driver assistance systems are only fitted to the most expensive models