Auto review by Veeno Dewan

The GLB-class is a Crossover SUV model for the Mercedes – Benz lineup.. The GLB has the same underpinning platform as the A-Class and will come in two trims for the Canadian market: GLB 250 4MATIC and GLB 35 AMG 4MATIC, an upgraded, high-performance version
We tested the GLB AMG 35 model, the three-row crossover SUV with a 302 Horsepower 2.l Turbo four-cylinder engine. Its part family cruiser , part hot- hatchback with real performance chops. There are the AMG body mods with a jazzed up-front splitter and roof spoiler. A Mercedes-Benz Pananamerica style vertical slat grille and a more aggressive rear bumper round off the look. Black alloy wheels in sizes ranging from 19 to 21 -inch are available, while silver AMG script brake calipers complete the purposeful demeanour. The engine is hooked up to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The GLB 35 4MATIC AMG uses an upgraded four-cylinder unit that delivers 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, with enough grunt for a 0-100 km/h dash in a very quick 5.2 seconds. AMG also added a specially tuned dual-clutch gearbox and suspension system, adjustable dampers, launch control, and a variable all-wheel drive system that can send up to 50% of power to the rear axle if required. To handle the increased power AMG increased front-end structural rigidity with strut tower braces and underbody bracing. The 2022 GLB 35 AMG 4MATIC lists at $58,900. The must- have $3,100 Premium Package adds needed feature such as: blind spot assist, twin 10.25-inch screens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Keyless-Go, ambient lighting, and more. The performance AMG GLB 35 4Matic starts at $58,900.
The interior cabin of the GLB 35 AMG is a masterclass in design. The cool jet turbine engine style air vents draw the eyes and separate the upper and lower dash. 64-way ambient lighting highlights metal, chrome and wood in the dash console and doors. The showstopping widescreen dash display with five different styles of display wows with its cool factor. The reconfigurable digital gauge display blends seamlessly with the infotainment system behind a single glass panel. Mercedes wonderfully easy to use MBUX infotainment software allows for voice recognition as well as touchpad and gesture-controlled interactions with the system. Simply say ‘Hey Mercedes’ and the voice assistant feature will follow commands quickly and easily. Onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all standard.
Optional with the new Multimedia Package is navigation with augmented reality. The chunky AMG steering wheel is another thing of visual and tactile beauty with its optional suspension tuning and drive mode set in the steering wheel as buttons. The individual settings can also be adjusted on the center console or through the digital cluster.
The cabin features comfortable front and rear seats and even an optional third row of seats in the compact interior. The reclining 60/40-split middle rear seats slide 5 inches backwards and forwards and offer an impressive 1,805 litres maximum in the five-seater, and 1,680 litres in the seven-seater GLB.
On the road, the turbo-4 engine delivers its 302 horsepower with aplomb. The launch control feature allows for beautifully exuberant off the line dragster- like acceleration while the 8-speed dual-clutch AMG SPEEDSHIFT automatic shifts quickly, with a satisfying feeling. Use the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and you wring a fraction more in reactions.
Depending on terrain and driving style, the standard all-wheel drive 4MATI C system is skewed to the GLB’s front wheels but can divert up to 50% of the torque to the rear axle based on speed, steering angle, and acceleration parameters. Despite being a tall boxy SUV, the tuned suspension system, adjustable dampers, and more rigid structure mean body roll is well controlled with just a hint of understeer when pushed hard . The GLB 35 reaches its true nadir in Sport mode+. The engine and transmission seems to operate at warp speeds on empty highway stretches, the engine screams, things blur past, yet the GLB35 remains poised, stable, and confident. So much fun!
To sum up, the GLB 35 AMG is lithe, and agile with Sport car reflexes despite it being a SUV. The seven- seat option is fantastic on a SUV of this size and yes some may complain the third row is kids only, but even then, it can traffic adults for short runs if need be. I would rather have the flexibility of having seven-seats rather than five in any case. A wonderful addition to the Mercedes -AMG lineup and destined for great sales and a lot of happy performance drivers and their families!
2022 Mercedes -Benz AMG GLB 35 4MATIC priced from: $58,900.
Price as tested with all options: $70,590 plus taxes and fees

More info at ww.mercedes-benz.ca