2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 new car reviews

Photography by Tim Suddard

Don't like the slopped rear hatch of the entry-level GLA SUV? Mercedes-Benz will gladly sell you the GLB that offers a similar package, since the GLA and GLB share the EQB platform.

Front-wheel drive is standard, though all-wheel drive is an option, with power coming from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four rated for 221 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.

Does entry-level mean bottom of the barrel? Keep reading to find out.

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Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz 250 GLB is an excellent choice for a myriad of drivers, with optional seating for seven, an upscale and very roomy design and excellent driving manners.

A base price of only $38,000 and highway fuel mileage over 30 miles per gallon just add to the appeal of this luxury, compact SUV.

This front-wheel-drive (all-wheel-drive is optional), mid-size SUV features a 2.0-liter, inline-four engine good for 221 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque that propels this Mercedes-Benz to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. While not blessed with blazing speed, this drivetrain features an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that is both smooth and quiet.

While this Mercedes weighs in with a 3638-lb. curb weight, it is surprisingly nimble on its feet. The power steering is spot on with none of the typical numb feel or dead center of cheaper SUVs.

The suspension is comprised of a MacPherson strut front with a multilink rear design. We hustled this SUV around the twisty California mountain roads at rapid speeds as we led a tour of expensive sports cars. While we were pushing this Mercedes past the limits that most owners would normally do, we were pleasantly surprised at how well we could keep ahead of the group.

Despite being at the cheaper end of the price range of vehicles in this category, the 250 GLB comes nicely equipped with niceties one would expect in this category. M-B Tex leatherette comes standard, but leather seating is optional.

The interior is simple, spacious and is easy to get in and out of, even for drivers approaching seven feet tall. While we were not fans of the optional, rather garishly designed and brightly finished air vents, the rest of the interior was much to our liking.

The seats were quite supportive and the heated seats worked well on the chilly fall mornings The infotainment system worked well and featured a seven-inch screen and a larger screen is optional.

While this SUV is not rated to tow, a similar-sized GLC model with a larger engine is rated to tow 3500 lbs. This would give someone with a small sports car, production or formula race car on an open trailer a comfortable, practical upscale option to tow to events.

Overall, we came away quite impressed with the Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 SUV. Its balance of simplicity, luxury, economy, low price (in the segment) and optional 7-passenger capacity make for a very compelling package.

Throw in the prestige of driving a Mercedes-Benz and their reputation for safety and reliability, and you have a truly winning combination.

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