Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to the Mercedes-Benz GLB, says Julian.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB200 is nowhere near the juicier GLB35. Compared to the latter’s aurally satisfying exhaust note and Speedy Gonzales on-road behaviour, the GLB200 falls short, and quite significantly, if I may add.
Still, it makes up for it with its high levels of comfort, lighter kerb weight and, more importantly, annual savings.
You see, the Mercedes-Benz GLB200 is equipped with a humble 1.3-litre engine that sends 163bhp and 250Nm of torque to the front wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The GLB35, on the other hand, has a 2-litre powerplant that shoots out 306bhp and 400Nm of twisting force to all wheels.
In terms of engine size and driven wheels, the faster GLB35 is obviously heavier, and you feel its heft when you’re going round long sweeping bends or short stubborn corners.
Moreover, the 1.3-litre powerplant in the GLB200 means that your annual road tax is a lot more affordable. At $586 a year, it’s over $600 cheaper than the 2-litre GLB35. That’s 51% worth of savings per annum!
Speaking of savings, you’ll also be saving yourself a lot of discomfort if you go with the regular GLB.
Unlike the GLB35, the GLB200 has neither a stiffer damper setup nor does it sport two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody, which reduce torsion and increase rigidity.
All these may sound foreign and technical, but what they simply mean is that you won’t have to visit the chiropractor every two weeks when you’re piloting the GLB200.
You also won’t have to put up with complaints from the kids and the wife (which happens from time to time) about how painful it is when the car shuttles over broken tarmac and speed bumps.
Drivability and handling are what matter more, argues Jeremy.
If you want to acquire a Mercedes-Benz GLB, then the GLB35 4Matic should be at the top of your list.
A quick look at the GLB35’s tech specs will surely get a keen driver’s attention: 306hp and 400Nm from a turbocharged 2-litre inline-4, and zero to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds.
That’s faster than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, at least in a straight line.
Actually, the GLB35 is no slouch when the roads turn twisty. With its lower ride height and well-sorted suspension, it can still hold its own.
Dad or mum probably won’t do this while they’re on the school run. But it’s nice to know that he or she can still indulge in such manoeuvres after the kids have been dropped off.
By the way, the ride quality – even in Sport – remains agreeable.
Julian says that the GLB35 attracts over $600 more in annual road tax than the GLB200. I can’t refute that. But I will say that you can’t put a price on driving pleasure.
Besides, the Mercedes-AMG GLB35 and its higher performance is better suited to carrying a full complement of passengers and their belongings. If you can afford the premium it will command over the Mercedes-Benz GLB200, go for it!