The new Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC, as the lettering in its name suggests, slots in between the smaller GLA and the larger GLC. However, compared to its GL-siblings, the GLB has a boxier body shape, giving it a silhouette closer to the iconic G-Class.
The new AMG GLB 35 has a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 225 kW (306 hp) of power. It is complemented by the AMG Speedshift DCT 8G transmission and the variable AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. As a result, it is reported to accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 5.2 seconds and deliver a maximum torque of 400 Nm at 3000 rpm. The Speedshift dual-clutch transmission’s versatility means it can deliver fast gearshifts for sporty driving style or comfort-oriented gearshifts for relaxed long-distance journeys.
AMG GLB 35’s performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system is designed to continuously ensures the best possible ratios for dynamism, traction and efficiency. This is achieved through a multi-disc clutch with AMG-specific electromechanical controls. This setup can deliver variable torque splits, meaning it can be “changed instantly” according to the driving situation. The variance ranges from purely front-wheel drive to a 50:50 distribution to the front and rear axles. The driver has a choice of five AMG Dynamic Select drive programs – Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual.
The wheels are 19-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke in light-alloy, and finished in tantalum grey with a high-sheen finish. They are paired with AMG’s high-performance brake system with silver brake callipers and black AMG lettering at the front. Three further wheel variants from 19 to 21 inches are available on request, each with a choice of two colours.
The GLB 35 is distinguishable by several AMG Specific and model-specific design elements. The AMG-specific radiator grille is used for the first time in a 35-series model, and emphasises membership of the AMG family. The front splitter, the prominent rear apron with two round, single tailpipe trim elements, and the AMG roof spoiler in the vehicle colour also distinguish the SUV. The optional AMG Night package with design features such as the front splitter and rear apron trim in high-gloss black, plus black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipe trim elements, provide extra eye-catching highlights.
The sport seats are upholstered in black Artico man-made leather or Dinamica microfibre with red double topstitching. The seat belts are in contrasting red. Two optional Leather packages are available with a choice of two-tone upholstery; for example, in classic red and black, with topstitching on the beltline and dashboard. The second seat row has a 40:60 split. The overall seating capacity reaches up to seven occupants, if the third row is added.
The new GLB 35 4MATIC is the first compact car by Mercedes-AMG to be optionally available with a third seat row. It consists of two additional individual seats that can accommodate passengers up to a height of 1.68 metres in comfort. The fore-and-aft adjustment of the second seat row enables easy entry. Convenience features in the third row include two drink holders between the seats, two stowage compartments with rubber-lined inserts on the left and right, and two USB charging sockets. These seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the floor, thus extending the load compartment.
The multifunction sports steering wheel, in Nappa leather, is designed to be intuitive. Its rim has a flattened bottom section. The leather is perforated for better grip, while the red contrasting topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. The galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles add to the sporty driving experience with manual gear shifting. The optional AMG Performance steering wheel and accompanying buttons are visibly and tangibly configured for performance. This, we are informed, allows fast and confident operation of specific dynamic functions.
The new GLB 35 comes with the latest version of the AMG-specific MBUX infotainment system, comprising two displays – the widescreen cockpit and the central controls. Being under one shared glass cover visually blends the two displays. The MBUX system can be operated with the touchpad, the touch control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control.
This is what Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, had to say about the brand’s latest addition to its SUV line up: “With the new GLB 35 4MATIC, we are extending our product portfolio by adding a highly attractive model for an active target group that attaches special importance to versatility. This also includes the optional seven-seater capability of our new compact SUV, though without having to sacrifice the genes typical of an AMG. Because in its segment, our GLB 35 likewise fulfils our brand promise of Driving Performance.”