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Review of Mercedes Benz GLB 220d 4Matic diesel SUV 2022: engine, performance, journey, features, price – Introduction

The luxury seven-seater SUV has finally arrived in India; is it worth its import price? The answer may surprise you.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is a luxury SUV that seems tailored for India. The only seven-seater among its direct rivals, the GLB has an impressive appearance, as large as SUVs in its class, and a large and flexible cabin that gives it a USP that buyers Luxury cars in India are likely to appreciate. There are challenges, too. The GLB, unlike its sister cars – the GLA and the A-sedan – will be imported and not assembled in India. This is because the factory where it was made in Mexico does not offer it in kit form. And that means the GLB will be expensive. Expecting prices to range between Rs 68 lakh to lakh, petrol GLB 200 is more affordable than 220d. The question is how attractive is the GLB at this price point? Will buyers pay more for more seats? And is it luxurious enough? We put it under the microscope.

Mercedes Benz GLB: exterior design

GLB makes a good first impression, an extremely good one. The long beam, the big looking, the upright stance is exactly what Indian SUV buyers want, and what’s even better is that the design, styling and detailing are as good as on any Merc SUV. In fact, it looks huge and lavishly detailed, it has all the features of a Rs 70 lakh SUV, without the two.

The upright grille and rectangular headlights set the tone, it has a long flat bonnet, and square wheel arches give it a solid look (though it’s not as wide as SUVs of its size. other), ‘D’ column and taillights. makes it easy to mistake it for the GLS when viewed from behind. This is a mistake that Mercedes designers want you to make. GLB is even called sub GLS, just like C Class is called sub S Class.

That’s not all the design hallmarks of the GLS, however; The GLB has an interesting kink at the shoulder line. Its job is to raise the shoulder line to the rear, but not to make the SUV look forward. And doesn’t the GLB 220d 4Matic, seen here in the AMG line-up trim, stand out with its riveted grille, more prominent bumpers and attractive 19-inch alloy wheels?

What will also help in the case of the GLB is the fact that it is significantly larger than the GLA. The length of 4,646mm is really impressive and it builds on a wheelbase of 2,829mm. This compares very well to the 4,658mm long GLC and interestingly the wheelbase is even longer than the Audi Q5! Underneath it all, the Mexican-made GLB uses the same MFA2 platform as the Mercedes-Benz A-sedan and GLA.

That means it’s mostly front-wheel drive and is a bit narrower than rivals of the same length; but front-wheel drive and a transverse engine structure give it superb space efficiency. This is especially true when compared to the GLC, with the engine mounted vertically, using more space for the engine compartment.

The GLB also benefits from having a 100mm longer wheelbase than the GLA and a sizable overhang at the rear. Suspension is used to keep this bike comfortable and stable using struts at the front with multi-link rear taking care of the suspension at the rear.

Mercedes Benz GLB: interior, space, features

The interior of the GLB looks familiar because there are many details shared with the GLA and A-sedan. The deconstructed dashboard with individual elements such as dual screens, circular vents and air-conditioning controls neatly assembled in a row are all very familiar. Elements in the door pads and touchpad controls, and this is clearly a familiar cabin. The high-quality, sporty steering combines leather, brushed aluminum and red stitching, the buttons on the steering wheel operate intuitively and what’s also carried over to the GLB is the sturdy overall construction. As on other Mercedes MFA models, there are some ordinary-looking plastic details that seem even more out of place on a vehicle at this price point. The door gaskets look and feel lower than face value and the bottom of the dashboard and glovebox are made of lower grade plastic.

However, the long central tunnel with shutters finished in piano black accents and the decorative metal block above the dash adds definition. Other highlights include dual-zone climate control and wireless phone charging, but Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not wireless. The 10-speaker audio system is also well specified, the resolution of the reverse camera is good, and like on the GLA, you get bright LED ambient lights that accentuate the cabin and come in 64 colors. Also familiar are the 10.25-inch screens, Merc’s MBUX interface, and the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice commands that seemed to work better every time we used them. This version of the 4Matic also features eye-catching semi-suede and faux-leather sport seats, with horizontal and lumbar support.

The space and legroom on the second row is also great as you can slide the second row back a bit. And the solid texture of the chair feels good. The backrest can be reclined, the back of the chair is supportive, and it helps that you sit at the right height. However, the seat is a bit small, perhaps to support changing seats and therefore, the support under the thighs is not as good.

Meanwhile, space, comfort and accessibility to the 3rd row are all poor, especially for adults. The entrance is very tight; the second row slides and folds, but the distance between the forward-tilted backrest and the door is very narrow. And then, even with the second row of seats pushed forward, there was barely enough space to fit my 12-foot size.

The saddle is also very low – even Mercedes says the rear seats are only for children. It has a sticker inside the door frame that effectively says for passengers under 5 feet 5 inches tall only. Probably more than four and a half meters. You get third-row cup holders, sundries shelves, and a 12-volt outlet, but no air-conditioning vents, which can pose a problem.

The GLB also has a power tailgate that can be raised to reveal 130 liters of luggage space when all seats are raised. You can put a few soft bags here, no more. However, the third row of seats fold flat and then you have 500 liters of space, or half if you fold only one seat; Cargo space has a volume of 1055 liters if you fold the second row of seats down. However, you don’t get a spare tire but only a puncture repair kit, which could be the first for a Merc SUV in India.

The safety kit includes seven airbags with curtain airbags extending all the way to the third row of seats. There’s ABS, ESC, downhill control and tire pressure monitoring, and the GLB has a 5-star NCAP crash test rating. There’s also active braking, but the system was overactive in our conditions and needed to be turned off. Other equipment includes dynamic seats, panoramic sunroof, driving modes and gearshift paddles, among other equipment.

Mercedes Benz GLB: engine, performance, refinement

The GLB will go on sale in India this week, offered in both petrol and diesel engine options, and will also have an all-electric version, the balance (read the review here). The front-wheel drive GLB 200 petrol engine is equipped with a 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine that produces 163 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The GLB 220d, reviewed here, has more than 190 hp and a very healthy 400 Nm of torque. It can be had with front-wheel drive or, as here, with all-wheel drive.

The 2.0-litre diesel is one of the most responsive diesels in its class. This is especially true at low and medium speeds. Hit the gas and torque is delivered instantaneously, urgently, and very powerfully. Keep your feet down and the GLB pulls forward with lots of power, without sacrificing torque even as you shift into the next gear. It doesn’t feel as powerful as when powering the smaller and lighter GLA, especially at higher engine speeds, but still packs a lot of performance. It’s so fast, Merc claims a 0-100kph time of 7.6 seconds for the 220d 4Matic and sometimes it’s even faster.

While the diesel GLB moves well and the NVH is well contained, pull the engine and it gets grumpy and makes even louder noises on the powertrain. And idle isn’t the smoothest either. However, the 8-speed dual-clutch transmission is quick and smooth, and with tight gear ratios, it can keep the engine running quite easily. What also makes the transmission so enjoyable to use is that it responds strongly when pulling the lever to the left, and there’s very little hesitation or wobble that you’re used to with a dual-clutch transmission.

Mercedes Benz GLB: ride, stability, handling

With Mercedes engineers having to balance driving behavior and handling on an SUV with a long wheelbase and high suspension, a little compromise was made. While the GLB gets over minor bumps and doesn’t really throw you on bad roads, the big potholes and rough roads will reveal some flaws. Here, you feel more thumping and can occasionally hear a pause while working. And when the impact is deeper, the suspension will jump and throw you more.

Even so, the stability of the straight line is excellent. You often don’t know about the stretched footprint, the traction-assisted all-wheel drive system (20% of torque is sent to the rear wheels, 30% in Sport mode and 50% in off-road mode) and The GLB even drives into corners with a fair amount of enthusiasm. There’s some body roll, as you’d expect, but the GLB rolls in an ascending manner, feels neatly tied in corners, and directional control is generally good. It’s not a BMW X1, though, so while you’ll love to squeeze it into corners, it doesn’t really excel at corner carving. That said, the steering is precisely calibrated and that means the GLB can be steered at speed without too much effort or wheel adjustment, which makes driving a pleasure. mild taste.

Mercedes Benz GLB: judgment

The GLB makes a compelling addition to Merc’s fleet of SUVs, which happens to be the largest of any automaker in India. On the one hand, it is a seven-seater and has no real rival other than the Land Rover Discovery Sport, preferably a proper rival. It looks to match, has many of the Merc SUV touches and looks, feels and rides more like a pricier SUV than it is. It is even well equipped, comfortable for four people and pleasant to drive. The GLB, on the other hand, isn’t a real seven-seater – the third row is cramped and only suitable for children, even if Merc allows it. And it’s imported, so it’s expensive. So it’s not really appealing to the head.

The point is, Merc’s GLB creates tremendous appeal, and luxury SUV buyers really want a seven-seater. They want more flexibility, they want the ability to travel with family, friends, employees, and pets (not necessarily in that order); and with no real rival, Mercedes can do something about it. In fact, if anything, Merc’s GLC might be its biggest contender. There’s no denying it, the GLB is a much-loved SUV, one that we’ll likely see quite a bit, despite the price.

Also see:

Video review Mercedes-Benz GLB India


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