This is the first model of a compact family with a third row of seats. And she has an AMG version
He is tall, he is angular, and he is not like any other Mercedes. Already in a compact family for sure. GLB is built on the front-wheel drive platform MFA2, like the new GLA. But the two crossovers will not be pushed with their shoulders. We used to look at the first GLA as an urban hatchback with advanced features, a sort of “A-Class healthy person” with higher bumpers and a bigger trunk. The second generation grew up and even got a third side window, but the GLB is still noticeably larger, moreover, it is just too … different.
You should not try to push GLB into a certain size class – in the end, Mercedes-Benz creates these classes at its discretion, and all the roulettes in the world will not help to fit a (not so) compact seven-seat crossover into the existing coordinate system. Watch your hands: the GLB is larger than all the crossovers that we could write to our competitors: BMW X1, Audi Q3, Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-Pace (GLB is 24 centimeters longer than the last!).
But we are already familiar with the game of dimensions. For example, Lexus creates all its crossovers in this way: a Toyota wheelbase is taken from one size class, and the length is inflated to the next. But the designers of Mercedes-Benz acted differently: they increased the base! In terms of axle spacing, the GLB is superior to the Audi Q5 and even the Lexus RX. But it determines the volume of the passenger compartment.
While the linkers of competing empires scratch the back of their head with the dumb question “what could it be like that?” Mercedes-Benz came up with another scrap, against which there is no reception. And let the townsfolk open their worn record that GLB is “another child of marketing” – this time there is a great deal of truth. For the fifth year already, SUVs have remained the largest sales segment of Mercedes-Benz (820 thousand last year!) – and there are still niches in this genre. At the same time, more than 600 thousand compact cars are sold per year, which is almost a third of all Mercedes.
I believe that it was not difficult to draw up a technical task with such data, and then designers took up the matter. Seven places? This means a vertical landing, a high roof and a small angle of inclination of the windshield. All doors open almost 90 degrees. Circular curves and plastic coupe when creating the appearance is clearly not useful. And why, if you can draw inspiration from Gelika and GLS.
And so it happened: GLB in the new “smoothed” design paradigm is the most angular. Isn’t that what the male crossover audience wanted instead of the flattened GLA? Receive, sign. And here’s a bonus: two seats on the third row.
|Versions for Russia||Type of fuel||Drive unit||Horsepower||Transmission|
|GLB 250 4MATIC||petrol||full||224||RCP-8|
|GLB 200 d 4MATIC||diesel||full||150||RCP-8|
|GLB 220 d 4MATIC||diesel||full||190||RCP-8|
|AMG GLB 35||petrol||full||306||RCP-8|
The main advantage of the gallery chairs is that they are optional. That is, they can be abandoned. I would have done so: the five-seater GLB has a 570-liter boot, and the rear backs are not divided into two, but into three sections (40:20:40), and they have an adjustable angle.
In the seven-seater version, all these “buns” are also there, and the second row also moves 14 cm back and forth. Actually, this is the main condition for at least teenagers to fit on the third row. It is stated that the seats are suitable for people up to 168 centimeters tall, and I could even sit there (my height is about 170), but I would have to put someone no taller in the second row, and my legs would be firmly fixed by the back of his chair.
A ten-minute drive in this position will make any adult dream of a taxi, even at the business class rate. But adolescents today are immersed in gadgets at any time when you do not need to look under their feet – it is not for nothing that on the third row they provided two USB Type C charging sockets. And at the same time two cup holders and a pair of rubberized pockets. Alas, the space behind the backs of the third row will remain except for a pair of flat backpacks.
Everything is familiar in the cabin: two 10.25-inch screens each, an expensive steering wheel with buttons, a large touchpad, a minimalistic climate unit and backlit turbine deflectors. But GLB is not to be confused with the A-Class or B-Class: its interior feature is the silver handles-handrails on the doors and the front panel, made as if from a thick aluminum bar with a chamfer. And also good visibility and a large supply of space above your head.
Of course, as an option, GLB can be equipped with anything. For example, we already talked about the Energizing comfort control system, which can adjust the music, contour lighting, and massage programs (massage, Gottlieb!) To the driver’s mood. The GLB also has an Energizing coach feature that will advise the program for a specific moment. Including checking with the owner’s smart bracelet and finding out his level of stress and quality of sleep.
It would be strange not to find the full set of security systems from the S-Class, which scan the situation 500 meters ahead (well, what if there is a Cybertruck from stainless steel with autopilot glitches). GLB also knows how to ride in semi-automatic mode. In addition to his own senses, he focuses on navigation data.
Smart diode headlights Multibeam LED taught new tricks. If earlier they took on the functions of foglights and did not blind oncoming ones with a high beam, as if projecting a shadow on them, now they will help on the roads (since the GLB could even theoretically be there). At speeds of up to 50 km / h, sections of the headlights burn, which usually illuminate turns. The beam of light becomes much wider and helps to make out an obstacle or a detour path earlier.
Interestingly, the Off-Road Engineering Package can only be ordered for all-wheel drive versions with a large screen (and not with a basic 7-inch). So he does not shine the base GLB 200. This version will be initial, including in Russia. GLB 200 – front-wheel drive, it is equipped with a 1.3 liter turbo engine, which produces 163 horsepower and 250 “Newton” traction from 1620 rpm. Transmission – 7-speed “robot” 7G-DCT with two clutches.
This is not to say that the base GLB is slow: acceleration to 100 km / h takes 9.1 seconds (faster than the new Sonata 2.5) and stops only at around 207 km / h. GLB 200 is a prestigious replacement for the station wagon and compact van. I perfectly understand those who will not pay extra for four-wheel drive or more power, but rather spend on options.
The GLB 250 4Matic version is noticeably cooler: four-wheel drive, an 8-speed transmission and a two-liter engine. With a power of 224 horsepower, it develops 350 Nm of torque from 1800 rpm. Hardly anyone will complain about the dynamics: the “hundred” submits in 6.9 seconds, the maximum speed is 236 kilometers per hour.
There will be diesel engines in Russia: 200 d and 220 d, both versions with all-wheel drive. Motors are varieties of the new OM 654q diesel engine, already certified for Euro 6d and for the future, more stringent RDE fuel consumption measurement cycle. The younger version and its 150 forces will impress more with efficiency than dynamics: the GLB 200 d 4Matic picks up 100 km / h in 9.3 seconds, but it consumes only 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 km in a combined cycle.
But the 190-horsepower GLB 220 d 4Matic already implies driving pleasure – such a crossover went to us for a test. Its 400 “Newton” traction (incidentally, like the AMG GLB 35!) Is available from 1600 rpm. At the same time, typically diesel sharp acceleration peaks seem to be smoothed out: there is no usual feeling that you are first pushed into the back, and then … and then again nothing, because twisting the diesel does not make much sense – it is better to immediately let it go higher.
The GLB managed to tame this tattered character well, although instead of an all-forgiving torque converter, there are a couple of clutches. There is no plebeian rumble – the engine is almost inaudible, and scraps flying into the cabin do not irritate the hearing. It’s easy to believe that the GLB 220 d really gets to the “hundred” in 7.6 seconds – thanks to the 8-speed transmission for the enthusiasm in choosing gears.
But the main impressions of literally the first meters and seconds are Mercedes solidity, unfamiliar from previous compact models. As if the GLB developers remembered what the huge three-ray star on the front obliges. These feelings are difficult to separate and describe, but they are in everything: how the thick steering wheel rim lies in the hands, its slight insensibility at zero, the contempt for the rubber irregularities that are already meeting us at the exit from the parking lot. The suspension is spring, but the shock absorbers of the GLB are electronically controlled, and in comfortable mode they really make the ride as an adult soft even on huge 20-inch wheels.
And at the same time – no detachment and lazy reactions. We turn on the sports mode, and the diesel GLB instantly becomes ours on empty and narrow Spanish serpentines. They led us to an off-road training ground. Everything was perfectly planned here: high and terrible-looking climbs, impressive obstacles, heroic overcoming … But everything is calculated: GLB shows its precise geometry (the overhangs are very short) and creep – electronic locks allow it to overcome traverses, on which wheels are famously hanging in the air. The possibilities are limited only by a large wheelbase, but it would be strange to complain about one of the main advantages of the GLB. Such that the owners of crossovers in garages boasted of the angle of the ramp, we still never saw. In addition, a clearance of 200 millimeters compensates for the large distance between the axles.
The gasoline version was tested only one. But it was a Mercedes-AMG GLB 35! The same two-liter turbo engine as on the GLB 250 boosted up to 306 horses and 400 Nm of torque. It accelerates the crossover from standstill to “hundreds” in 5.2 seconds and thus brings the “thirty-fifth” title … the slowest AMG.
But it is better to be the slowest of the AMG than the fastest among Daihatsu. The status is doubtful, but for the sake of it there is no need to sacrifice anything. Ride? She’s hardly worse. Fuel consumption? He certainly will not ruin anyone. Too harsh reactions? Nothing like that! Unless at low speeds, when parking maneuvers, the “robot” AMG Speedshift DCT 8G makes the car twitch when closing the clutch.
In this case, changes in the technical part of the GLB 35 mass. Starting from the exhaust system, where an electric actuator opens the right exhaust pipe, to other four-wheel drive settings. The “thirty-fifth” has its own braking system with 350 mm perforated discs and 4-piston calipers in front, a re-calibrated electric power steering, and also its own AMG Dynamics chassis control system. It controls the operation of shock absorbers, ESP, steering and all-wheel drive in the aggregate – and complements the settings of standard driving modes (slippery, comfortable, sporty).
Engineers also reviewed the chassis: the GLB 35 has different front suspension arms, its steering knuckles and modified subframes. There is a feeling that in Affalterbach they did the same thing as always, but at some point they saw Isofix mounts on the third row of seats and decided to slow down a bit. And the degree of glow instead of extreme 45 was stopped at an acceptable 35 units.
It turned out some kind of “AMG-light”, moderate and pleasant: already fervent, but not yet aggressive. “Fifty-fifth” did not become nervous or spiteful, but only responsive, passionate and dynamic. Even the exhaust volume seemed to be divided into two. True, then they still prescribed branded shootings – the electronics is programmed to misfire when switching up. However, until you turn on the sport mode and set the heat, the demons will not vote.
At one time, the powerful compact Opel Zafira OPC did not combine the two camps – relatively affordable driver’s cars and family minivans. Perhaps the GLB 35 will succeed. It is larger, faster, and more comfortable. And at the same time more prestigious: a crossover compared to a minivan and a Mercedes-AMG compared to an Opel OPC. And even the difference in price categories will not be an obstacle. We can move from these speculative conclusions to real statistics after some time. They promise to announce prices at the beginning of next year, and the first cars will arrive in Russia in June. / m
|The car||Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4Matic|
|Like||Small but roomy real Mercedes|
|I do not like||The seven-seat version is rather a formality.|
|Verdict||Another (good) version of the first Mercedes. Or maybe AMG|
|Engine||1991 cm³, L4, 224 HP, 350 Nm|
|Figures||0–100 km / h – 6.9 s, 236 km / h|
|GLB 220 d 4Matic||GLB 250 4Matic||AMG GLB 35|
|engine’s type||gasoline, L4 turbo||gasoline, L4||gasoline, L4, turbo|
|Max. power, hp / rpm||190/3800||224 / 5500–6100||306 / 5800–6100|
|Max. moment, Nm / rpm||400 / 1600–2600||350 / 1800-4000||400 / 3000-4000|
|type of drive||full||full||full|
|Transmission||8-speed robotic||8-speed robotic||8-speed robotic|
|Front suspension||spring, McPherson||spring, McPherson||spring, McPherson|
|Dimensions (LxWxH), mm||4634x1834x1659||4634x1834x1659||4634x1834x1659|
|Curb Weight||1735||1670||no data|
|Trunk volume, l *||570–1805||570–1805||570–1805|
|Acceleration 0–100 km / h, s||7.6||6.9||5.2|
|Max. speed, km / h||217||236||250|
|Fuel consumption (comb., NEDS), l / 100 km||5.3–5.5||7.2-7.4||7.5-7.6|
|Fuel tank volume, l||60||60||60|
* data of the five-seater version