The luxury automakers were a bit slow getting into the urban SUV market, but they are making up for lost time in a big way. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class is just one of a long list of premium crossovers from the German brand, but that doesn't mean it blends into the crowd. Sporting stylish good looks, the subcompact vehicle is surprisingly practical, and it certainly doesn't lack power. Under the hood is a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine pumping out 221 horsepower, helping to hustle the premium 5-door car around town while still prioritizing comfort and luxury. The 2021 GLB-Class crossover does battle with the usual suspects in the USA, namely the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, but who is really the king in the segment?
Just a year into its first generation, the GLB-Class SUV receives only minor updates for the 2021 model year. Noteworthy changes include the addition of blind-spot monitoring to the standard safety suite. There is also a new AMG GLB 35, but it gets its own review.
See trim levels and configurations:
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The Merc GLB goes up against some big names in the segment, most from its German countrymen, and being late to the party has meant that the Merc subcompact has had to work that much harder to garner attention. Luckily, Mercedes knows how to make an entrance, and the GLB hits all the right marks. Not only is it good-looking, but it's also adequately powerful, and phenomenally outfitted to go toe-to-toe with the best, and often trounce them. While you won't find an official safety rating of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, we're pretty sure that it would be a good review if it were ever tested. The subcompact crossover comes standard with a comprehensive safety suite, which includes blind-spot monitoring and forward collision technology. And the German automaker has a respectable reputation for reliability.
Further impressing, the GLB is remarkably spacious on the inside, with plenty of room in the back seat and trunk area. The designers were a little too overconfident when they offered the option to slot in a third row of seats, though. These eat up trunk space and don't provide enough space for anything but really small children. The comfort and convenience features are just what you'd expect from the brand, which helps the crossover stand out from the hoi polloi and even the sporty Bimmers, which put more emphasis on performance. Top it all off with competitive pricing for the classification, and the GLB-Class seems like a recipe for success by any standard.
If you're buying a Merc, then you clearly prioritize comfort and luxury over sheer performance or even affordability, so that will influence the model configuration you opt for. The only thing separating the two trim levels is their drivetrain. Unless you need four-wheel drive for dealing with tricky road conditions in wetter areas, the FWD should suffice and save you a few bucks. These can be better spent on the Premium Package and Driver Assistance Package, which are, in our opinion, essential additions to get the most out of your GLB. These aren't overly expensive options, but they do push up the price of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class SUV to around $43k when specced like this.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class: