There are now no less than 14 AMG performance crossovers.
Until yesterday, you had more than a dozen choices for performance crossovers, if that is indeed your thing. There’s a hot variant in every facet of the lineup, from the GLA through the GLC, GLE and GLS, not to mention the daddy of them all, the AMG G-Wagen. Now, you can add yet another hot crossover to the mix with the new Mercedes-AMG GLB 35. Since it’s the lowest end of the AMG nomenclature with 35, we can safely guess even more powerful variants are in the works.
The Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 still packs some punch with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. This car produces 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, routing its power through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Yes, an eight-speed dual-clutch, not the nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission that’s in most of the Mercedes lineup. The use of an eight-speed box carries over from the standard GLB, and is a bit of an odd duck at the moment. The GLA-Class has a 7-speed dual-clutch unit, while the GLC, GLE and GLS all use the nine-speed transmission.
What’s more, the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 has a “Race Start” feature, where the car “displays its full acceleration potential”, according to Mercedes. To use it, you have to keep the accelerator pedal to the floor while it’s enabled. However, that mode enables the GLB 35 to hit its claimed 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds. On top of the Race Start, you have the traditional drive modes ranging from “Slippery” to “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”, as well as “Individual”.
Still packs seven seats and an AMG interior
More or less, the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is a hot hatch, just taller. And boxier. It has the power and the all-wheel drive system to handle that power. Like the standard GLB, this small crossover still packs seven seats. Again, it’s an odd duck there. You can’t get seven seats with the smaller GLA, naturally, but you can’t get them with the larger GLC either.
The interior is pretty standard AMG. You get a chunky, flat-bottom steering wheel with contrast stitching and carbon fiber accents. A digital display takes the place of traditional instrument cluster dials, and the GLB 35 also gets the MBUX infotainment system. For the exterior, 19-inch wheels come standard, but you can spec up to 21-inch wheels if you want, which look massive on such a small SUV.
Mercedes did not announce U.S. pricing for the GLB 35 just yet. However, it is heading to the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September. From there, it will go on sale here by late 2020, so we still have a little while to get more information. In any case, you could argue this as a bargain alternative to the full-size Mercedes-AMG G63. It seats seven, it’s boxy, and it still has some decent grunt. The GLB is also likely to cost about $100,000 less when it does make it to our shores.
Check out more on the GLB, including its entry-level cousin, below: