By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we spent time with the niche but practical and premium Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 AMG Line. It slots in between the GLA and GLC in the extensive Benz SUV line-up. The ace up its sleeve is its loads of practicality and versatility, being a 7-seater. Moving around all this practicality is a punchy 2.0l turbo-petrol engine making 165kW/350Nm.
Living with the GLB
Indeed, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to SUVs but 7-seater options are limited, especially in the compact SUV arena. The GLB aims to address this. The tall body design makes it a champ in doing that. All rows have sufficient space and tech goodies like USC ports. Yes, you can even fit teenagers in the last row. Finally, the luggage space is commendable being a cooler box larger than that of a GLC, thanks to the sliding bench. Also ticking safety and tech boxes easily, the only gripe so far is fuel consumption which stays around 8,9L/100km.
This is where the Mercedes-Benz GLB has impressed us the most. Being a family car through and through – spacious, comfortable and practical, it scores high on the tech and safety front.
Its active safety features are a must-have. Adaptive cruise control ensures that the car can slow down and pick up pace according to the vehicle in front of it. Couple that with lane keep and steering assist, the vehicle virtually drives itself. This ensures safety and relaxation on long drives.
Other key safety features are the blind spot monitor and autonomous emergency braking. The latter came in handy when a pedestrian threw himself at the car as I was reversing. The car reacted faster than I could have ever done and avoided the incident.
Finally, there are the 360-degree cameras which make parking in tight spots a breeze. There is more. These are the ones that you interact with the most.
Like most Mercedes-Benz in the recent past, pricing might be the GLB’s Achilles heel. Whilst an impressive product overall, the starting price of R907,000 will invariably have potential suitors thinking twice. In fact, with a few optional but important features added, the car will easily break the R1million mark.
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