19 November 2020

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020 Car Review

The new Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is built on the B-Class platform, and somehow fits seven seats in, comfortably, all whilst managing to maintain a spacious feel.


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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020
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Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 2020

So, is the Mercedes-Benz GLB just another new SUV that will blend in on the New Zealand road, or has the German manufacturer produced something much different, and a car that will stand out from the rest.

Comfortable cabin

Unsurprisingly, the Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is well-equipped inside, and the cabin is a very comfortable place to sit. The large double sunroof helps make the SUV feel spacious, which is only aided further by a generous amount of headroom.

There’s a welcomed combination of touchscreens and physical buttons/switches, all of which feel premium (as do most of the surfaces within the cabin).

Perhaps the ‘main event’ of the cabin is the two 12.3-inch infotainment screens, within the beautifully appointed dash. The ‘Widescreen Cockpit’ layout is now commonplace in Mercedes-Benz models, including the A-Class, which was awarded AA New Zealand Car of the Year back in 2018.

The innovative MBUX system is also included in the GLB 250, allowing you to control things like climate control and the ambient light colours with only your voice. Using Artificial Intelligence, the system also learns your habits and preferences over time to enhance your driving experience.

Mod cons like a wireless smartphone charger are included, and our model also came installed with the Sports Package ($2,290), which includes the DINAMICA/ARTICO upholstery – eco-friendly alternatives to Alcantara and leather respectively. The package also includes tinted rear windows, a sportier leather steering wheel and various AMG styling options.

The second row is equally as spacious as the front seats, but the third row seats are only really suitable for smaller passengers and we’d expect them only to be used sparingly. Overall, the storage capacity of the GLB 250 is a generous 565 litres (albeit with the third row folded).

Outside of the box

Despite the fact Mercedes-Benz have a large selection of SUVs available in New Zealand, there’s something about the GLB 250 that makes it stand out from the rest. Perhaps it’s the dimensions– it’s a compact 4646mm long, 2020mm wide and 1658mm tall. This means it’s a ‘boxy’ SUV, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. It looks big on the outside, but it doesn’t feel like you’re navigating a tank when you’re on the road.

The signature Mercedes-Benz front grille is quite prominent, and the LED headlights are reminiscent of other Mercedes-Benz models. Four styling lines run down the bonnet for added aesthetic. Dual chrome tailpipes at the rear of the GLB 250 give off a sporty look.

Our test model looked great sat atop five-spoke 19-inch black alloys, which were wrapped in Continental Premium Contact 6 SSR high performance tyres. 

How does it perform?

At the heart of the Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is a 2.0L, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 165kW and 350Nm. It’s paired to an 8G-DCT eight-speed automatic gearbox that powers the 4MATCH all-wheel drive system.

Due to the height of the car, visibility is superb, making this SUV  a delight to drive. Like with many Mercedes-Benz models the GLB 250 provides a great driving experience, no matter what type of driver you are. For cruising, Evo/Comfort modes, are perfect and everything remains calm and quiet inside. When ‘Sport Mode’ is selected, lots of fun is there to be had - gear changes shorten, the suspension firms up and everything gets a bit louder. This is all aided by a Sports Direct-Steer System.

When it comes to parking up, Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC makes everything incredibly easy, and takes the stress out of parking a larger car. 

Safety-related features include Active Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and nine airbags.

Verdict

We really enjoyed the Mercedes-Benz GLB 250. It’s familiar enough to not seem alien, but unique enough to make it a popular choice for drivers in the market for a premium SUV who want something slightly different.

Pricing starts from $92,900 (+ORC), but there’s also the less expensive Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 to consider, which is priced from $78,900 (+ORC). The top-spec Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is available from $104,900 (+ORC). Besides offerings from Mercedes-Benz, other alternatives lie with their German counterparts - the Audi Q3 and the BMW X3 are both great choices.

At a glance

Models

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4Matic

Engine

2.0L four-cylinder

Price

From $91,900 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

5 star

Power and Torque

165kW @ 5,800rpm, 250Nm @ 1,800rpm 

Transmission

Eight-speed DCT

Fuel economy

7.7L/100km (Combined)

Towing capacity

2,000kg (Braked)

2WD/4WD/AWD

AWD

Seating capacity

7

Luggage capacity/payload

565L (Third row folded)

Safety systems

  • Active Brake Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Speed Limit Assist
  • Active Parking Assist
  • Automatic Emergency Call (eCall)

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

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