Mercedes-Benz’s boxy-looking GLB compact luxury SUV slots between the smaller GLA and larger GLC. It has very good visibility, generous passenger and cargo room, and is easy to get in and out of. In our tests we found it to be quick, nimble, and fuel efficient. By eschewing the heavily-tapered styling found on many of its newer models, Mercedes has built a useful compact luxury SUV—a rare find.
The GLB may share a basic platform with the A-Class and CLA, but it uses an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission—not the seven-speed from those cars. Paired with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the combination gives the GLB a more sprightly feel in urban and in-town type driving, and the hesitation that plagued those sedans is largely absent. There’s plenty of power no matter the speed, and its 26 mpg overall is very good.
We enjoyed driving the GLB whether on our track, back roads, or the highway. Thanks to its quick-to-respond steering and restrained body lean, the GLB gave confidence in spirited driving. It feels light on its feet and doesn’t mind being rushed through corners. The suspension keeps the GLB settled and absorbs bumps decently. Although the ride feels firm, it’s steady and controlled.