Cars Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_test drive

Published on January 2nd, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 Test Drive Review

No Salt Added. No Sugar Added. It’s A Healthy Dose Of Family Fun. 

If you like family weekend excursions and you also need a daily driver that does not make you feel like a bus driver, then it might be worth 8 minutes of your time to read our test drive review of a completely brand new Mercedes-Benz. 

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_side view

This is the Mercedes-Benz GLB compact 7-seat SUV from Mercedes and in Malaysia it competes with the Peugeot 5008 and the Hyundai Santa Fe

Yes, one is French and the other Korean and are priced lower, but please remember, in Malaysia car taxes on not level for all vehicles and their formats. Yes, local assembled vehicles pay a lower duties and imported vehicles pay a higher duties. So, in a fair playing field, all these three vehicles will be sitting equally. 

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_sport mode meter cluster
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_dashboard
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_second row seats
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_clear screens
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_multi-function steering wheel
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_cabin light switches

Ok…… the 3-pointed star gets added respect, but with the GLB 250 and its sibling the GLB 200 they are not really luxury appointed vehicles, they cater more for the middle class buyers looking to climb the social ladder.

How BIG

Sitting by itself you would think this is a big vehicle, but its not. At 1658mm high, 1834mm wide and 4634 long, its smaller than the Mercedes GLC and about the same size as a Subaru Forester. 

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_size

How It LOOKS

Mercedes’s intentions for this all new 7-seat SUV are made clear as soon as you lay eyes on it. Bold sharp-edged styling replaces the softer styling of its other SUV’s. The front end of this Benz makes many rivals look staid, successfully translating Mercedes’s design themes for future SUV’s. The sculpted arches are a strong feature together with the rather tall rear end. 

BHP diesel

How is the INTERIOR

The interior is reminiscent of every other new Mercedes SUVs. It is spacious, practical and comfortable with added visual attraction with its tablet like screens taking up almost 70 percent of the dashboard length.

The rivals lack its interior flair and therefore they are a little bland when compared. Many buyers in this region like flamboyant interiors as we have seen with many other vehicles and this is a big selling feature at the showroom level. 

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_rear legroom
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_flat screen
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_center control
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_dashboard layout
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_rear luggage space
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_park assist

How many FEATURES

Getting in the GLB is easy as the ride height is not as high as normal SUV’s and it’s more like a high riding sedan. Drivers who prefer a taller seating position will appreciate the ease to use (controls are on the door) electric powered front seats which offer a more commanding view of the surrounding environment. There is leather upholstery, keyless entry and ignition, a premium sound system, navigation system, rain-sensing wipers and a powered tailgate. Inside, the GLB 200 gets the MBUX with two 10.25″ displays as standard, along with Mercedes me support, Android Auto, Apple Carplay. This entry level GLB also comes equipped with comfort seats, velour floor mats and black Artico leather upholstery.

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_front view
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_rear view
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_side view

Other standard features include:

  • Memory Function for front seats
  • Powered tailgate with hands-free access, Easy-Pack tailgate
  • Thermotronic dual-zone climate control with rear vents.
  • Reverse camera
  • Active Parking Assist with Parktronic
  • Pre-Safe
  • Active brake assist
  • Keyless-Go
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_rear flat folding seats
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_rear luggage room
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_parked
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_size in parking space

How is the DRIVE

Passengers will notice the firm ride, but no more than they would in any other German made SUV (due to the use of run-flat tires) and though it cannot ultimately match the 5008 or the Santa Fe comfort, this GLB is in no way embarrassed with its premium asking price. It will easily chase down the 5008 with its 1.6-liter engine but will not catch up to the Santa Fe’s more powerful 2.4L petrol engine.

Take this SUV for a test drive and you will find its 1.3-litre turbo engine working smoothly with its 7-speed slick shifting automatic transmission, allowing you to drive it with ease in city traffic. For a vehicle of its size, the acceleration is good on the open highway with a progressive wave of torque allowing this ‘family vehicle’ to leave some other cars hanging behind us on the open road. Around long sweeping corners and on highway exit ramps we found this Benz not lacking in grip as we progressed our pace with enthusiasm. At times we had to restrict our pace in order to bring some sanity to our drive, simple because the cabin insulation is so good that we could not hear the tire roar and traffic speeds.  

With a full load of passengers, you will find the added weight bearing down on the 1332cc engine when you try and get frisky on the road, but remember, this is a family vehicle, not a hot hatch. 

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_road tax cost
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_engine hood

Decision Time

Take a test drive yourself, bring your family, load them into all 6-passenger seats if possible and then drive it and experience it for yourself. 

As is always the case, we would question whether most Malaysian buyers actually need the added 3rd row of seats or would it be better to just fold them flat and get that great luggage space at the rear.  

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_large luggage space with 3rd row folded flat
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_power tailgate
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_front passenger seat
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_3rd row legroom
Mercedes-Benz GLB 200_infotainment

Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 Specifications

Engine: 4-cylinder 16V Turbo

Displacement: 1332cc

Transmission:  7G-DCT

Max power: 163bhp @ 5500rpm

Max torque: 250Nm @ 1620-4000rpm

Top Speed: 207km/h 

0-100km/h: 8.6secs

Price: RM269,118.00

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