Mercedes GLB review - Practicality, comfort & boot space
More practical than the more expensive GLC, the GLB has the option of a third row of seats
The GLB is almost identical in size to the GLC, so you might be wondering why you’d consider the more expensive SUV. The short answer is that they cater to different audiences. The GLB puts practicality ahead of premium qualities, which is why it comes with seven seats. It’s a more family-friendly take on the GLC formula – and it’s all the better for it.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB is 4,634mm long and 2,020mm wide, including the door mirrors. Thanks to its larger bumpers, the GLB 35 4Matic is actually 16mm longer than the standard GLB.
There’s little difference between the size of the GLB and the supposedly larger GLC. In fact, the GLC is 4,663mm long and 2,096mm wide.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Although the seats in the third row are useful for children or occasional use, the GLB isn’t a true seven-seater. If your children are beyond their early teens, they won’t thank you for subjecting them to a long journey in the cheap seats.
Even adults will find plenty of room in the middle row. There’s lots of headroom and legroom for passengers in the outer seats, while the raised position of the front seats means there’s plenty of room for even the largest feet. Even the middle seat is fine for adults, with only a shallow transmission tunnel preventing the GLB from getting full marks.
The GLB’s boxy dimensions provide lots of headroom up front. This means you can raise the seats to the limit and still have plenty of space. In doing so, you can create the commanding driving position favoured by many SUV drivers.
Luggage capacity in the five-seat GLB is 570 litres, which is actually 20 litres more than you get in the larger Mercedes-Benz GLC. Opt for the seven-seat option and the figure drops to a still-generous 500 litres when the rear two seats are folded away.
An electric tailgate is fitted as standard, which lifts to reveal a wide and square opening that makes it easy to load heavy items. Not that you’ll get much in the back with all seven seats in use – there’s enough room for a couple of rucksacks or a few bags of shopping.
Things are much better in five-seat mode, with the third row folding away to create a flat floor with a flush loading lip. The middle seat in the second row also folds down, which is handy for carrying longer loads or a pair of skis.
The GLB 200 d and 220 d 4Matic models have a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg. The two-wheel-drive GLB 200 d, GLB 200 and GLB 35 4Matic can tow up to 1,800kg. Pre-installation for trailer coupling is standard on all except the entry-level AMG Line model. A tow bar can be ordered from a Mercedes-Benz dealer.
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 technologyThe GLB offers hints of the G-Class, with an interior that’s modern and upmarket
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingMore 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