Mercedes GLB SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2
The Mercedes GLB has fairly efficient combustion engines, with a plug-in and fully electric model on the way
Engineers had a wide selection of engines to put in Mercedes' eighth SUV, but for now at least they've kept things pretty sensible and family-focused, offering a turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel to UK buyers. This helps set it apart from the similarly-sized Mercedes GLC, which is available with bigger, six-cylinder engines and plush air suspension.
The GLB does enjoy a smooth automatic gearbox (there's no manual option), that's keen to shift up quickly to keep progress quiet and unruffled. Sport mode allows the revs to climb higher but, in the diesels at least, this doesn't feel as natural.
Despite conventional steel springs and dampers as opposed to more luxurious air suspension, the setup on the GLB does a good job of soaking up bumps. There's a small amount of body lean in corners but it's still possible to keep up a decent speed on country roads. Even given this comfort-orientated brief, we'd like some more feedback through the light steering, but at least the lack of weight makes the GLB easy to drive. It's also worth noting that the Discovery Sport should still be your first choice if off-roading is important because four-wheel-drive versions of the GLB are only really intended for mild forays into grass car parks and along dirt tracks.
Mercedes GLB diesel engines
Despite a consumer-driven shift towards petrol in recent months, Mercedes thinks diesel will still be more popular in its SUV range for the time being. To this end it offers the GLB 200d and 220d, both with the same 2.0-litre diesel, but tuned differently to produce 148bhp and 187bhp respectively. This is a familiar engine that's fitted in bigger models than the GLB, so here it feels plenty quick enough.
In range-topping form, the GLB comes with 4MATIC four-wheel drive as standard (it's optional for the GLB 200d), and gets from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds. That's almost two seconds faster than the Discovery Sport D180 and is competitive with the D240. It's a pretty refined engine too, only making itself known at higher revs.
It feels punchy on the move and its automatic gearbox works well to make the most of the diesel's pulling power.
It might be small, but the GLB 200's 1.3-litre petrol engine packs a reasonable 161bhp, with 250Nm of torque on tap from 1,600rpm. It gets the GLB from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 129mph. At the other end of the scale is the high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLB 35, with a 2.0-litre petrol, four-wheel-drive and 302bhp. Despite having seven seats as standard, you’ll hit 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds.