Need a 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35? Take into account these luxurious SUVs, too

How badly would you like a three-row compact SUV with an AMG engine?

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I don’t usually exit of my option to attempt disagree with my cohort-in-Driving-crime, Brian Harper. In actual fact, I don’t exit of my option to disagree with anybody that blesses Nonetheless, I discover myself at some odds not solely with Brian — my longest-serving accomplice in what was once referred to as Driver’s Edge — but in addition videographer-par-excellence, Justin Pritchard.

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So, you need a Mercedes-AMG GLB?

The explanation for this aforementioned disagreement is the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 which, sadly to say, I’m not able to gush throughout as a lot as my esteemed colleagues. Oh, to make sure, I’m a fan of AMGs generally and have had all method of enjoyable in different of the corporate’s automobiles that share the GLB’s 2.0-litre turbocharged powertrain, most particularly the GLA 35.

And, as it’s within the GLA, the little uber-boosted 2.0-litre Turbo within the GLB is the very definition of ebullient. Responsive, throaty and boisterous, it boasts 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque in a decent little package deal. That each one little four-bangers have been so rorty.

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Not solely that, it’s pretty civilized as properly. For one factor, it’s the alternative of excessive strung, Mercedes-AMG’s tackle huge enhance kicking in at low rpm, most torque being produced at an impressively-low 3,000 rpm. In actual fact, it could nearly be too muscly at low speeds, that huge lump of torque someday kicking in too enthusiastically. Fortunately, there’s a Consolation mode — together with Slippery, Sport and Sport+ — that tames a few of that enthusiasm if you’re making an attempt to only poodle about. It is a gem of an engine and probably the greatest — if not the most effective — turbo fours extent.

I’m much less satisfied in regards to the GLB 35’s chassis. Oh, it’s all rigidly-damped and stiffly sprung so the little beast corners a deal with. Grippy Continental SportContact6 235/35ZR21s all spherical and an impressively inflexible physique construction care for the remainder. For those who’re in search of sizzling hatch ranges of dealing with from one thing that appears kinda, sorta like an SUV, then the GLB 35 is simply your cup of tea.

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  1. SUV Review: 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35

    SUV Evaluate: 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35

  2. Spied! Mercedes-Benz working on a refreshed GLB

    Spied! Mercedes-Benz engaged on a refreshed GLB

The one downside is that you just’re additionally giving up just about any semblance of SUV-ness, as in there’s just about no floor clearance. In actual fact, in response to Automotive & Driver, the EPA refuses to categorise the GLB 35 as a sport utility and, fairly, sees it as a mid-sized station wagon, a designation I’m fairly certain Mercedes-Benz USA desires stored secret contemplating the antipathy our Yankee associates have for taking pictures brakes. In on a regular basis driving, meaning the GLB 35 faces the identical points as any sedan, hatchback or station wagon, scraping bumpers on parking curbs and doorways on errant concrete steps. I can’t communicate for the remainder of the SUV world, however for me, one of many main sights of utility autos — even those pretending to be a sports activities automobile — is that I don’t have to fret about such trivia. One thing that labels itself SUV ought to at the least be capable of take a velocity bump higher than a coupe, don’t you suppose? I’m unsure such limitations trouble AMG consumers, nevertheless. In spite of everything, the AMG variations of the Gelandewagen — that’s G55 to these not steeped in Mercedes’ oft-confusing mannequin nomenclature — have sidewinder exhaust techniques that scale back their floor clearance to that of a Ferrari FF they usually’re essentially the most wanted of AMG’s off-roaders.

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That off my chest, the GLB 35 is lush, highly effective and fairly roomy for one thing so compact, a lot with the intention to order it with three rows of seats (although no person out of diapers will discover the rear seats comfy). It has all the presence a Mercedes with AMG deserves, is simple on the eyes and is pretty frugal (its 10.0 L/100 km primarily matches the Ford Bronco Sport I drove just lately despite the fact that it sports activities however twice the horsepower). However, if you would like a sizzling hatch, why not simply purchase one. Mercedes-AMG will likely be glad to promote you one with much more efficiency and simply as a lot panache.

You need one thing equally Germanic however don’t need to be consistently scraping your bumpers

Could I counsel the BMW’s X2 M35i. With totally 20 extra millimetres between it and terra firma than the GLB 35, the souped-up Bimmer is a bit more SUV-ish even when not even remotely Jeepish. It additionally manages as a lot energy — 301-hp — from an analogous 2.0-litre turbocharged four-banger. That mentioned, its 2.0T is neither participating because the GLB’s, however is best mannered. And, like the remainder of this phase, the X2 seats a most of 5, two in need of the GLB in the event you order the elective ($1,300) third row of seats.

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BMW X2 M35i
BMW X2 M35i Picture by BMW

For those who’re decided to have three rows of seats in a stylish SUV

Why not store Land Rover’s really off-road worthy Defender? Oh certain, the Defender 130 — the one model with three rows of seats — is way larger, nevertheless it really seats eight (not simply seven), boasts two extra pistons (in an iconic inline six format, no much less) and, at $69,000, prices about the identical as my GLB 35 tester with the included choices ($71,500). To make sure, it’s not as quick — the bottom model desires 7.1 seconds to do what the Merc-AMG can do in 5.2 — but when your want for velocity is actual, there’s a 395-hp model that can all however match the GLB 35’s acceleration. It’s roomier for all on board, has extra cargo area and, overlook worrying about climbing curbs, the Land Rover is a real berm-basher, in a position to go locations that the AMG can can’t even dream about. The Defender additionally matches the Merc’s Bay Avenue badge-banging credibility, at all times necessary to those that spend huge bucks on four-wheeled trinkets. Its main concern is that it’s about as compact as a Ford F-150 with all the problems — parking, turning radius, and many others. — that ensue.

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2023.5 Land Rover Defender 130
2023.5 Land Rover Defender 130 Picture by Land Rover

You need a Mercedes, ideally with the identical bangin’ engine

Properly, usually I’d simply advocate the lesser GLB 250 with which the 35 shares a chassis and a extra moderately-motored —221-hp — little Turbo. You may get nearly all of the 35’s choices and gear — or, at the least, nearly all the necessary choices and gear — within the 250 which suggests the one benefits are the stiffer suspension and that much-talked about engine.

However, if it’s the M264 four-banger that you just’re in love with, could I counsel the A 35. With the identical 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, however weighing a full 200 kilograms lower than the GLB, it’s a half second quicker to 100 kilometres an hour (its 4.7 second dash to 100 km/h is critically fast) and is likewise imbued with AMG’s “efficiency” model of Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. It’s additionally surprisingly roomy for such a cute, cuddly little roustabout. As added benefit, it can additionally set you again $7,400 lower than the GLB. Hell, you could possibly even go for the smaller five-seater GLA 35 which fellow highway tester, Nadine Filion, and I completely liked final yr. Lighter, smaller and undoubtedly sportier than the bigger GLB, it too is a pseudo-SUV and is powered the hyperactive little 4.

Mercedes-AMG A35
Mercedes-AMG A35 Picture by Brendan McAleer

So, in the event you completely must have this engine mated to a small seven-seater SUV, then by all means, purchase the GLB 35. However, in the event you don’t want seating for seven, there are at the least three automobiles — the bottom GLB 250 and the AMG’ed A 35 and GLA 35 — in Mercedes’ lineup that, I believe, supply worthwhile alternate options whereas nonetheless sporting that all-important three-pointed badge.


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