Quality and affordability in Mercedes
Roseville, CA- So, one of the lifelong goals is to own a Mercedes-Benz. But the problem is many people believe purchasing a Mercedes is out of their price range.
Well, that’s certainly not the case with the 2021 Mercedes GLB35. It’s not only a high-quality sport utility vehicle, the GLB35 is an affordable one at approximately $49,000. Even a loaded version can be driven off the lot for a little less than $60,000.
Mercedes, BMW and Audi have all bought into the theory that dangling an affordable car in front of a Millennial is a wise thing. Once they get a taste of luxury, the pattern will be set as these upwardly mobile buyers are able to afford more expensive vehicles.
In the Mercedes SUV stable, the GLB class slots between the subcompact GLA and the larger and more expensive GLC. The GLA35 is a small SUV that has been called both a compact and subcompact. In our opinion, it should definitely be categorized as a compact.
The GLB class, which has a distinctive upright boxy exterior look, has both a five- and seven-seat configuration. The optional third row of seats expands capacity for two additional passengers. And those two passengers better be small kids. No adult wants to reside in that cramped third row.
We had the five-seat GLB35 and it had enough space in the cargo area to haul a pair of skis and several bags with plenty of room to spare. The cargo area measures 22 inches, but note that it shrinks to 5.1 cubes if a third row of seating is added.
The GLB35 delivers excellent comfort and also advanced technology. It benefits from all of the latest safety features and driver assistants, and also includes the highly efficient MBUX infotainment system that features a terrific personal assistant-style voice command that makes your life easier.
The interior centerpiece is a 10.25-inch digital driver display along with a standard 7-inch touchscreen display (a larger one is an available option). Also standard is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
AT A GLANCE – 2021 MERCEDES GLB35
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 302 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 21-26 mpg
- Price estimate: $49,000 to $59,700
- Warranty: four years/50,000 miles; Drivetrain: four years/50,000 miles; Roadside assistance: four years/50,000 miles; Corrosion: four years/50,000 miles
The comfort factor can be partially credited to the 12-way power front seats that are terrific for any long road trips. The sliding rear seats are more than adequate for three people to have ample head and leg room.
Most people will enjoy the comfortable ride and also quickly come to appreciate the performance. The GLB35 can get you there in a hurry. It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with an eight-speed transmission.
The GLB35 can travel 0-60 mph in a shockingly fast 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. It navigated through some mountain passes in the Lake Tahoe region like it was traveling along a flat stretch of pavement in Nevada. In either Sport or Sport-plus mode, the GLB 35 got even quicker. Fuel economy is solid at 21-26 mpg with a large 15.9-gallon gas tank.
We’ve driven multiple Mercedes sedans and the ride is always top shelf. This is also the case with the GLB35. It provides smooth ride quality and bumps are rarely felt because of the hydraulic dampers Mercedes utilizes. The one typical Mercedes complaint is the steering is a bit numb. Standard safety features include blind-spot monitoring with vehicle exit warning, rearview camera, and brake assist and crosswind assist.
The 2021 Mercedes GLB35 delivers far more performance, comfort and space than average small SUVs and can compete head-to-head with other luxury brands. It will be interesting to see if sales increases for the GLB class in only its second year.