Little Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 SUV is big-time

James Raia

Mercedes-Benz and its uber-luxury sidekicks AMG and Maybach offer 31 vehicles in 2022 models. Coupes, convertibles, electric vehicles, sedans, sport utility vehicles, roadsters and wagons are all in the mix.

Add multiple trims in each segment, and whether via abacus or app, keeping track of the German manufacturer’s extended family of vehicles is a task.

Mercedes-Benz Offers Lots Of Choices

Even connoisseurs of the carmakers’ stoic vehicles might need a chart to differentiate the GLA 250, GLB 250 and GLC SUVs. The former is a luxury subcompact; the latter is a luxury compact. The Mercedes-Benz GLC is among the competitors of the GLB, which seats as many as seven.

Now in its third model year, the 2022 GLB 250 continues the first generation which debuted in late 2019 as 2020 model. Only few nuances changes were added this year.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GBL 250 has a small profile but it's a big-time SUV.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GBL 250 has a small profile but it’s a big-time SUV.

The GLC is available in five trims, including a hybrid and three AMG performance options. The GLB 250 is available with front-wheel or all-wheel (4MATIC) drive and with upscale AMG trimmings. The GLB doesn’t have a fourth relative as a competitor, although the manufacturer may find another SUV niche it hasn’t yet filled.

The reviewed GLB 250 4MATIC with its performance-oriented AMG treatment has starting MSRP of $40,600. It’s $2,000 more than the front-wheel drive version.

Mercedes-Benz: SUVs Galore

Purists of the upscale, hand-made performance and aesthetic treatment may scowl. The the AMG additions aren’t hand-built.

With high-raised seating, a stiffer suspension and optional third-rows of seating, the GLB has a more traditional boxy SUV look; the GLA has a more sleek styling.

Exterior appearances aside the GLA and GLB operate with the same engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 302 horsepower. All models are powered by an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Gas mileage averages are 24 miles per gallon in city driving, 32 mpg on the highway. The GLB accelerates from 0-60 miles per hour in 6.9 seconds but feels quicker.

Despite its compact status, the GLB 250’s boxy style gives it an advantage over competitors. Its interior is spacious and it has an optional third row, adequate for children only. The interior design also provides superior vision via the large windshield and rear mirror.

Mercedes-Benz: Quality Materials

Adult second-row passengers won’t feel cramped, a shortcoming in some compact SUVs. Comfort seating and support abound. Mercedes-Benz uses high-quality material and the sound-proofing must also be top-notch since the GLB offers a quiet ride. It’s another trait not always available in the segment.

Technology equipment is plentiful and functional. The GLB’s standard features include the Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated. The controls are easy to use, provide clear images and prompt navigation directions.

Further, the optional adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are welcomed safety technology. If still unfamiliar with the systems, there’s a learning curve that may cause early-use uncertainty, but the features can be life savers.

The Premium Package adds a 10.25-inch infotainment screen and a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster. It also adds auto-dimming mirrors, power-folding side mirrors, a hands-free power liftgate, Keyless-Go, and SiriusXM.

The Driver Assistance Package adds the adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, speed limit assist and lane-keep assist.

As a tight, comprehensive and varied compact SUV, the 2022 GLB 250 exceeds the segment’s expectations, notably with the AMG upgrade. It’s nimble and easily maneuverable in tight spots, swift around town and confident cruising on the highway.

It’s a $50,000 vehicle at its top end, about $5,000 more than the average price of a new car in the United States. In that respect, it’s not a only bargain, it’s at the top of its class.

Article Last Updated: September 2, 2022.

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