With a 302-hp turbocharged four-cylinder under its boxy hood, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLB35 offers speed to match its practical three-row package. Mechanically similar to the coupelike GLA-class, the GLB is compact, maneuverable, and fun to drive. The first two rows of the GLB's interior are spacious and well-equipped, but the third row is really suitable only for children. A high-tech dashboard features both a large digital gauge display and an identically sized infotainment screen sleekly integrated beneath a single pane of glass. Although it's slightly larger, the GLB35 competes directly against other performance-oriented small SUVs such as the BMW X2 M35i, the Mini Cooper Countryman JCW, and the Range Rover Evoque HST.
What's New for 2022?
For its sophomore year, the GLB35 sees only minor changes. All models now come standard with a USB-C cable for smartphone charging and data connection, the optional Premium package now includes SiriusXM satellite radio, and the AMG Night Package Plus joins the options sheet and adds black exterior trim. A new Rose Gold paint color is also now available.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The GLB35 comes well-equipped right out of the gate, but there are a couple option packages we'd splurge on. First, we'd add the Premium package, which adds power-folding exterior mirrors, a hands-free power liftgate, and passive keyless entry. We'd also spring for the panoramic sunroof, and then we'd end our shopping spree with the Exterior Lighting package, which includes adaptive LED headlamps with an automatic high-beam feature.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The GLB35 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 302 horsepower; an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are both standard. At our test track, the GLB35 snapped off a brisk 4.9-second run to 60 mph. Handling is fairly sharp and playful, but the GLB35's stiff-legged ride is the compromise for such a fun-to-drive nature. We expect a higher-powered GLB45 model to become available later on, powered by the higher-output version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter that makes 382 horsepower in the revamped CLA45 sedan.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has given the GLB35 fuel economy ratings of 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Similar performance SUVs such as the BMW X2 M35i and the Mini Cooper Countryman JCW achieve EPA highway ratings of 29 and 30 mpg, respectively, and earned the same 25 mpg city/highway combined rating. When we get the chance, we'll subject the GLB35 to our 75-mph highway fuel economy test and update this story with results. For more information about the GLB35's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Believe it or not, Mercedes has squeezed three whole rows of seating inside the GLB-class's compact body, although we'd hate to be the unlucky passenger forced to cram themselves into the wayback. The first and second rows will undoubtedly be more comfortable for adults. Differentiating itself from its Benz-branded counterpart, the AMG GLB-class sports a flat-bottomed steering wheel and microfiber and leather upholstery.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A reconfigurable digital gauge display blends seamlessly into a large wide-screen infotainment system behind a single glass panel. Mercedes's new MBUX infotainment software allows for voice recognition as well as touchpad and gesture-controlled interactions with the system. An onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all standard; navigation is optional. We've found the GLB35's infotainment software and its various interaction methods to be fussy, which has been our experience with the system in other Mercedes products.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Mercedes-AMG offers several driver-assistance features, but almost none of them are standard. For more information about the GLB-class's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes-AMG offers a somewhat basic, no-frills warranty package on its new cars with four years or 50,000 miles of coverage on both the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain policies. BMW sweetens the deal on its vehicles by offering three full years of free maintenance, but AMG buyers aren't offered the same luxury.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance