WATCH | The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is what modern SUVs should be all about again

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  • The Mercedes-Benz GLB is often referred to as the 'Baby G'.
  • Its 2.0-litre petrol engine delivers 165kW and 350Nm.
  • Pricing for the GLB 250 starts from R1 000 750.

The entire world has been SUV obsessed for a while now, which has transformed these vehicles from people movers to sporty-looking hatchback-esque cars, which at times, you can't really tell apart. So, it's refreshing to see a manufacturer making a few sportier hatch-type SUVs and introducing a car that takes it back to the original idea of an SUV.

Affectionately known as the 'baby G' due to its boxy shape, like its bigger, more expensive sibling, the G-Wagon, the Mercedes-Benz GLB is a quirky-looking mid-size SUV that offers more space than all of its direct rivals.

Using the same platform as the A-Class and GLA, it's a lot bigger inside, with seating for five people. Four tall adults could easily fit, with a fifth person in the middle being a little cramped, but not much to make the journey unbearable. A third row of seats can be spec'd but would only be ideal for children. Because of its longer body and higher roof, it gives an open airiness to the cabin; the boot will provide you with 500 litres as standard and with the rear seats down, just more than 1800 litres.

WATCH | Mercedes GLB reminds us why it's a much better proposition than the C-Class

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250
Mercedes-Benz GLB 250

The interior is dominated by Mercedes' well-known two-screen design, making use of their MBUX system, allowing you to use your mobile device with access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Safety tech includes a plethora of airbags, ABS, front and rear PDC, rearview camera, radar cruise control, Isofix seat mounts, with additional extras of lane keeping and oncoming traffic alert, road sign recognition, 360-degree camera and many others on offer.

Sporting two engine variations, diesel or petrol, both make use of a four-cylinder two-litre turbocharged engine. The diesel found in the GLB 220d produces 140kW and 400Nm while the petrol GLB 250 delivers 165kW and 350N, with both models making use of Mercedes' dual-clutch 8-speed auto transmission. 

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250
Mercedes-Benz GLB 250

Our test car has a claimed fuel consumption of 8.8l/100km, which in typical day-to-day driving on our tests, we could get close to by averaging 9.1 – 9.7l/100km. The engine is quite punchy and will surprise you a few times with its hot hatch-like torque steer; due to all the power going to the front wheels, an all-wheel drive version is also available. 

The drive is smooth overall, with not much to complain about, as it does everything it's intended to do, well, without any fuss. It's a perfect everyday run-around, a tourer or a people mover. It's taking it back to what SUVs were initially supposed to be. A car that offers more space and versatility than a sedan or hatchback, with this car doing it in comfort and style, albeit its quirky looks.

READ | Mercedes-Benz's GLB looks to ruffle feathers in compact SUV segment

Pricing for the GLB 250 starts from R1 000 750; it comes with a two-year or unlimited kilometre warranty and a 5-year or 100 000km warranty plan.

Watch more of Tyrone Paulsen's videos on his YouTube channel here.

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