Mercedes GLB Review & Prices
The Mercedes GLB is a small, stylish SUV with a posh cabin and seven seats, but alternatives are more practical, cheaper and come with a greater choice of engines
Find out more about the Mercedes GLB
The Mercedes GLB is a family SUV with enough space inside for seven. It looks a little like the lovechild of Mercedes’ boxy brute the G-Class and its largest SUV the GLS, making the GLB come across as quite the little upstart with attitude.
Unlike the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Skoda Kodiaq, the Mercedes GLB is quite small for a seven-seater. But, there’s still enough space on its boxy body to pack plenty of chrome, loads of plastic faux-air vents and a whopping great front grille. Combined, these features make it look more like a baby GLS than an overblown hatchback.
It’s not just good-looking, though. The GLB is such a good car, it won the Best Family SUV in the 2021 carwow Car of the Year Awards.
Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by an equally posh-looking interior. The Mercedes GLB’s cabin looks a bit like it was drawn by someone copying the A-Class’ homework, but with enough changes to make sure they avoid getting put in design detention. The familiar five brushed-metal air vents look fantastic and most of the materials feel nice and yielding.
Unfortunately, the entry-level infotainment system lets the side down – you’ll definitely want to upgrade to the larger 10.25-inch screens instead of the standard car’s weedy 7.0-inch units.
You do at least get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard, but it’s a shame that only top-spec cars come with electrically adjustable seats. There’s plenty of room in the front five seats for adults to get comfy, but the sixth and seventh seats are only big enough for kids and the Mercedes GLB’s boot can’t match that in a Discovery Sport or Skoda Kodiaq.
If you mainly drive around town, go for the 200 petrol, but we think the 220d diesel in AMG line trim will suit the majority. Head to our deals page for the best price!
The Mercedes has the edge over these cars when driving in town, however. Its smaller size makes it fairly easy to manoeuvre and it’ll soak up the thud of large potholes pretty well, too.
Other SUVs are quieter to travel in at motorway speeds, however, and the Mercedes GLB doesn’t come with a great many engines to choose from. That said, the 200 petrol model is perfectly suited to pottering around town and the 220d makes a good motorway cruiser.
Neither, however, makes the Mercedes GLB particularly good fun to drive on a twisty back road, and you’ll have to pay extra for a top-spec car if you fancy a full suite of driver assistance systems.
If you’re happy to fork out for a few optional extras and want your practical SUV to be more comfortable and stylish than it is sporty, you should consider the Mercedes GLB. Sure, alternatives are cheaper and more practical, but few small SUVs can transport seven people as stylishly as the GLB.
See how much you can save by visiting our Mercedes GLB deals page or check out our latest used GLB models. You can also browse other used Mercedes models and get a great price by selling your current car through carwow.
The Mercedes GLB has a RRP range of £38,745 to £52,805. Prices start at £38,745 if paying cash. The price of a used Mercedes GLB on carwow starts at £27,500.
Our most popular versions of the Mercedes GLB are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|GLB 200 Sport Executive 5dr 7G-Tronic||£38,745||Compare offers|
|GLB 200 AMG Line Executive 5dr 7G-Tronic||£42,225||Compare offers|
|GLB 200d Sport Executive 5dr 8G-Tronic||£39,415||Compare offers|
The GLB range starts with the Sport model, which gives you LED headlights, reversing camera, voice command and two 7.0-inch screens. Next is the AMG Line which adds in tinted rear windows, sport seats and a central armrest in the middle seat row. Then there’s the AMG Line Premium, which brings electric folding door mirrors, wireless smartphone charging and an upgraded stereo and the larger infotainment screen.
The AMG Line Premium Plus introduces a panoramic glass roof into the mix and extra safety technologies such as automatic cruise control. Move into the Mercedes-AMG 35 and you’ll find an upgraded stereo, leather seats and performance upgrades.
While the GLB is priced higher than the smaller GLA, it is much less than the GLC, which – in terms of practicality – offers pretty much the same.
What you get with the GLB in terms of great practicality and seven seats is taken away by it being not that much fun to drive – largely because it’s a big, square and tall SUV
The high driving position is definitely an advantage in town, plus rear visibility is good, as long as the headrests on the middle and back row of seats are pushed right down.
Parking and attempting tricky manoeuvres is made more straightforward by the gear level that is mounted on a stalk behind the steering wheel. It’s a bit like activating the indicator, but instead it’s the simple task of moving between forwards and reverse.
The steering is light, which helps in town and the turning circle is good enough to navigate mini roundabouts with ease. The Land Rover Discovery’s turning circle is smaller by 10cm, but it’s not enough to make a recognisable difference.
Where the Mercedes does beat the Land Rover is when it comes to the gearbox. The German’s eight-speed transmission (called 8G-Tronic) is smoother and quicker than that found in the Disco. That gearbox is standard in the diesel models, while the petrol 200 comes with a seven speed 7G-Tronic box.
The ride in the GLB is comfortable as you might expect with the long wheelbase and decent suspension setup employed in the car, with most bumps covered without too much drama. Encouraging given the state of some UK roads at the moment.
On the motorway
Acceleration going from 40mph is decent, which is important when coming onto a motorway or main A road. The diesel engines, which can sometimes be a little noisy in some applications, are relatively quiet in the GLB. This makes for a happy driver and almost certainly happier passengers!
There is a bit of tyre and wind noise, which can be partly put down to the shape of the car. A big square metal box is never going to be very aerodynamic and the sounds generated outside of the vehicle can often creep into the cabin, instead of going above or around the outside.
If that doesn’t sound quiet enough for you, maybe consider an Audi Q5, which takes the refinement to an extra level and offers a comparable level of kit. Although you won’t get the option of seven seats with the Q5.
On a twisty road
Unsurprisingly, for a big and tall car, the GLB does tend to lean into corners, but still holds on fairly well. The steering is good enough, but this isn’t really designed to be a sports car – especially not in diesel-powered form. There’s more fun to be had from the AMG 35 version, but the dimensions don’t change, so it’s never going to feel nimble. There is a Sport mode but, again, it can only do so much to make the car sporty.
The brakes are firm, without being overly sensitive, which means that drivers will get confidence from increasing their speeds into corners. Ride is good, without being too unsettling.
The GLB is a big car, with plenty of leg and headroom all round. However, the passengers in the third row of seats will be a bit cramped
Given it fits up to seven, the GLB is designed with an impressive amount of storage solutions for passengers in all three rows.
The driving position is good, with plenty of headroom, should you wish to raise your seat high for a more commanding view of the road ahead and to the sides.
The steering wheel offers manual adjustment in all directions, meaning that it is relatively easy to get comfortable in the driver's seat before heading out on the road. The seats offer under-thigh support for extra comfort and the materials and foams used are of good quality, with plenty of depth to them.
If storage is an important consideration – and, given it’s a big family car, it probably will be for most GLB buyers – then there are plenty of options. There’s an ample sized glovebox, a deep centre console bin that contains two USB charging points to keep any electronic devices topped up with power. The cover for this space features two panels, one of which can be closed independently of the other, meaning that it can still be used as an armrest, but offers access to the storage box at the same time.
Further forward towards the dashboard there are dual cupholders that accommodate large and small bottles or cups, alongside space for a mobile phone or wallet (or some loose change, if anyone bothers with that anymore), as well as an additional USB port.
There are big door bins front and rear that can hold large bottles with ease. Elsewhere in the back there is netting on the seat behind the driver and front passenger – a bit like what you might find in front of you in an airline seat.
Some spaces feature at the back of the centre console at the rear, but they are limited to only being able to hold smaller items. More USB ports have also been integrated into this area. Fold down the armrest of the rear middle seat and more cupholders pop out and there are even more cupholders and USB ports for passengers in the back two seats of the GLB.
Space in the back seats
Sit in the rear and you’ll find there is more than ample room all around you. Loads of knee room is available and, with the front seat raised up, it’s easy to stretch your legs by putting your feet underneath them.
The rear seats slide for improved comfort and also to maximise space in the rear. They also recline, which is useful if a snooze is required on a long journey.
The transmission tunnel down the middle of the car is a bit of a hindrance – especially if the middle rear seat is occupied. It is possible to straddle your legs either side, but it will impact those sitting beside you, depending on their own size.
But in reality, because the car is so wide, it’s relatively easy to fit three adults in those seats.
The rear windows are large and low, which means children travelling in the back will still get a good view out of the car.
As the GLB is a true seven seater, customers will have the choice of filling the boot with either stuff or, maybe, people. Note that’s not exclusively ‘children’ because, while it might be a bit snug in the third row, there is enough room to prevent small people feeling cramped back there. Although it wouldn’t really be recommended for longer journeys.
Head room might be a bit of an issue for some taller people because above the seats is part of the roof that slopes down. A Land Rover Discovery Sport offers slightly more room and comfort than the GLB, but it’s still more than bearable. Getting out of the boot via the rear doors is also not the most straightforward because it’s a bit of a squeeze getting through the gap between the door and rear seat when it is folded forwards.
With the boot seats up, there’s not a huge amount of room, but enough for a few overnight bags. When folded flat, the boot offers 500 litres of storage space, which is ample, and only about 10% less than in a GLC. Other options with bigger boots include the Skoda Kodiaq, with 620 litres available in seven-seat versions with the rear-most seats folded. The Discovery Sport is larger still, at over 800 litres.
Other features in the boot include cargo nets and straps for storage, a 12V socket and hooks for shopping bags. Unlike a Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, the rear seats can’t be push flat down from the boot, you have to get into the car and pull the straps to drop them.
The infotainment system in the GLB is arguably the best in the business, but the voice control does have a habit of popping up when you least expect – or want – it to
Many of the interior touches in the GLB follow on from that seen in the A-Class and the GLA. For example, the general layout of the dashboard is lifted straight from those cars – with a choice of one large infotainment screen or two smaller ones. The latter option can look a bit out of place in the GLB, so we would probably advise going for the bigger, more clearer unit.
It looks a bit more grown-up and sturdy than the GLA’s interior. There are extra trim panels in front of the passenger and next to the steering wheel, while the door trims are slightly more upright and more befitting of an SUV.
In terms of material quality, there’s a mixture of pleasant soft plastics for much of the dashboard and interior surroundings, mixed in with cheaper, thinner plastics that are susceptible to scratches.
The centre console is solid, but less said about the HVAC control panel the better because it is – like in the GLA and the A Class – a bit flimsy.
But generally the interior quality is good and the design is sensible, with all of the controls exactly where you need them.
Coming back to that single-screen infotainment offering (very much our suggested option), it is very easy to navigate using the touchscreen that allows you to easily scroll through the different menus available. It can also be operated via a pad on the centre console and also one on the left hand side of the steering wheel, next to the volume and smartphone controls.
The upgraded sat nav system also uses virtual reality to superimpose the live camera feed from the front camera with digital arrows, enabling improved clarity when on the move. The driver’s display can be personalised with a range of options, depending on what information you want at your fingertips. It might be navigation, audio or trip information – all are possible in the GLB.
In the GLB’s engine range there are two petrols and two diesel choices. The petrol options are a 1.3-litre turbo with 163hp in the GLB 200 and the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35’s 2.0-litre turbo with 306hp.
But you may opt for the fuel economy and driving range of a diesel. There, buyers have the choice of a 2.0-litre unit with 150hp that powers the GLB 200d or the GLB 220d’s engine of the same capacity but with 190hp.
All versions get an automatic gearbox and, depending on engine, it will be front- or all-wheel-drive. The claimed 0-62mph time for the 220d model is 7.6 seconds, which is quick enough, given the GLB is not a small car.
A carwow test drive in the GLB 220d recorded an average economy of 42.2mpg, which is decent, but a bit shy of the quoted manufacturer’s figure of 49.6mpg. It’s still more economical than the Land Rover Discovery though – another seven-seat SUV that is targeting big families with its offering.
Emissions-wise, the cleanest GLB is the 200d, which emits 149g/km of CO2, closely followed by the other diesel – the 220d (156g/km). The petrol offerings emit 160g/km (GLB 200) and 197g/km for the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35.
Another Mercedes and another five-star ranging from European safety test organisation Euro NCAP. The GLB scores highly in adult occupant protection (92%) and child occupant (88%) and features an almost full complement of frontal crash protection equipment. These include belt pretensioners and load limiters and a knee airbag for the driver.
There are side head airbags front and rear in the seven-seater, as well as side chest and pelvis airbags for front passengers. Seatbelt reminders are included all round, while other safety systems from Mercedes helping to reach those five stars include speed assistance and lane assist.
Like all other Mercedes passenger cars offered in the UK, the GLB comes with a warranty of three years/unlimited mileage. This is pretty standard for its class, although extended warranties are available from Mercedes dealers.
Recalls have taken place for GLB issues, including ones associated with the emergency call system, side spoilers and the rear tailgate spoiler. Elsewhere another recall was down to reports of a low oil level in the transmission and also a suggestion that the vehicle body might not be sealed.