Published on May 14th, 2022 | by Subhash Nair


2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 AMG Line Review

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 AMG Line earns its way into our hearts with its charm.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is an extremely unique product for the brand. Launched in 2020, the GLB is an all-new model with no predecessors. It’s Mercedes-Benz throwing out the rulebook and decided for themselves what they want to do in the compact SUV market and it’s absolutely lovable. It builds on the same MFA2 platform as the 4th generation A-Class and its other derivatives, but takes it up a notch in terms of size and packaging.

That’s because the GLB has a much longer wheelbase than other MFA2-based vehicles, which has been used to add an additional row of seats in the boot for smaller occupants. It’s also almost as long as the GLC, but uses a transversely-mounted engine and gearbox, which frees up room in the cabin, as there’s no 9G-TRONIC gearbox taking up half the available legroom for front passengers. The MFA2 is also an extremely rigid and well-engineered compact premium architecture. It behaves exceptionally well under pressure and still has the kind of comfort needed in the premium segment.

The unit we tested is the GLB 250 4MATIC AMG Line, the highest spec model one can get in Malaysia before dipping into AMG territory. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia launched it here in 2020 as a fully-imported model and gave it a minor equipment update in 2022. It’s powered by the familiar 2.0L four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine found in many popular compact ‘250’ badged Mercedes-Benz models since 2018. It sends a healthy 224 PS and 350Nm of torque to all four wheels via an 8-speed dual clutch transmission.

mercedes-benz glb 250 4MATIC side profile

In my opinion the ‘250’ range for Mercedes-Benz compact cars always over-delivers in terms of raw speed. We’ve experienced twice before and were thrilled in both the A-Class Hatch and Saloon. With a 4MATIC system in place, there’s even more enjoyment to be had, with less drama upon launch and more grip in the bends. The added weight of the overall larger package does slow the GLB down a notch, but it’s still plenty rapid and wears its AMG bits with pride. Except the exhaust tips, which are completely fake!

Despite (or maybe because of) that, in terms of looks, the GLB 250 is a big winner, especially in this shade of Denim Blue. The look of the GLB contrasts with the rest of the family. The ‘predator face’ of the current A-Class models has been softened and rounded for a more approachable look that is decidedly playful in its character. It takes some of the G-Wagon’s genes and plays around liberally with the cues of a serious off-roader. More upright A- and D-pillars lend a ‘MINI’-like feel, especially when behind the wheel. Yet it doesn’t feel like it’s a brick moving through the air in spite of this appearance. It’s just a plain old fun car to drive and look at, giving a dose of character to a range of compact Benz vehicles that are starting to overlap in terms of form and functionality.

In terms of equipment and size, the GLB is made to accomodate two large adults in front, two or three average adults in the middle and 2 children in the final row.

Rear air cond vents in the centre console offer some relief to those in the back on warm days, while USB-C ports throughout the vehicle ensure iPads are juiced up on long trips.

Mom and dad will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to keep them entertained on the 10.25″ MBUX display.

Deploying the seats in this formation makes very little room for cargo as only about 130L of luggage room is available. Fold these two seats down and you’ll have a very usable boot of 1805L for weekend adventures. There is no spare tyre, so these adventures will probably have to be on tarmac despite the GLB’s appearance and the presence of all-wheel drive.

The interior is typical of compact Mercedes-Benz vehicles of the day. However, it’s not a mere copy-and-paste job. The design team has clearly adopted some rugged design cues to the cabin. The brushed metal surfaces inside have been reshaped and given flat sides.

Mercedes-Benz could have just re-used the A-Class’ cabin, but they went out of their way to reshape these parts and that lends to the GLB’s character for sure. The AMG Line interior lends a sporty touch, with red stitching, gloss-finished carbon fibre Dinamica microfibre, aluminium pedals with black rubber studs, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel elevating the interior a notch. The black headliner is also a nice touch.

For 2022, the GLB 250 now comes with Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Wireless Charging and more. Active Brake Assist an all-digital instrument cluster, a customisable ambient lighting system, and galvanized paddle shifters complete the premium feel of the vehicle.

Other toys like self-parking, extended MBUX features and contactless power boot operation are nice to haves but may not be frequently used. There’s an off-roading pack and some accompanying kit to go with it, but we really don’t think any Benz customer is going to take something like this off tarmac.

What’s missing? You’ll feel the absence of a 360-degree parking camera, but the reversing camera here suffices and active cruise control would make it a much nicer vehicle for long-distance drives. For RM321K, the GLB 250 4MATIC AMG Line presents a very convincing case for itself. It’s for the family man who wants a little more practicality and character than a sedan can offer without sacrificing performance.

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4MATIC AMG Line Specifications

Engine: Inline-4, 16-Valve, DOHC, turbocharge Petrol
Capacity: 1991 cc
Gearbox: 8-speed Dual Clutch Automatic
Max power: 224 hp @ 5500 rpm
Max torque: 350 Nm @ 1800-4000 rpm
Top Speed: 236 km/h
0-100 km/h: 6.9 seconds
Price: RM320,965.61

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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