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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class

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$38,050 - 40,050 MSRP

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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class Review

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB has a spacious and upscale interior, refined driving dynamics, many standard features, and an above-average predicted reliability rating. The GLB does not have an overall score or ranking because it has not been fully crash tested.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, high-end interior
  • Large cargo area
  • Peppy turbocharged engines
  • Poised ride and handling
  • Relatively low starting price
  • Hit-or-miss voice recognition system

Research & Ratings

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class is unranked in Luxury Compact SUVs due to missing safety data. Currently, the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 11 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.9
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other luxury compact suvs.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Mercedes-Benz GLB a Good SUV?

Yes, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB is a great luxury compact SUV. The GLB sports a high-end interior with easy-to-use tech features, a large cargo area, and seating for up to seven passengers – a rarity in this class. The GLB rides comfortably on rougher road surfaces, and it feels rather agile and composed through turns. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine scoots the SUV around briskly while returning admirable fuel economy. The GLB also impresses with its sub-$40,000 starting price, wealth of standard features, and above-average predicted reliability rating.

Drawbacks are few and far between, though some critics find the GLB’s "Hey, Mercedes" voice recognition system a source of frustration due to its tendency to misinterpret or fully miss commands.

Why You Can Trust Us: 11 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 11 Mercedes-Benz GLB reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

This 2021 GLB review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz GLB?

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB is worth a look if you’re shopping for a luxury SUV. It provides an excellent blend of refinement, practicality, and value, and it makes just as much sense for small families and empty nesters alike. Even so, you owe it to yourself to check out well-regarded competitors like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Volvo XC60, along with Mercedes-Benz’s own GLC SUV.

Find a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB: What's the Difference?

The GLB debuted as an all-new vehicle for the 2020 model year. There are two main differences between the 2020 and 2021 GLB. Mercedes adds blind spot monitoring to the 2021 GLB’s list of standard features. This system was previously optional. Also, the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 model debuts for 2021, and it packs a 302-horsepower engine and a stiffer sport-tuned suspension.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 GLB »

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2020 GLB review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz GLB Cost?

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB has a $38,050 starting price, which is at the lower end of the luxury compact SUV class alongside rivals like the Acura RDX, Lexus NX, and Infiniti QX50. Pricing for the GLB 35 variant was not available at the time of writing.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

Mercedes-Benz GLB Versus the Competition

Mercedes-Benz GLB vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC

The Mercedes-Benz GLC sits right above the GLB in the brand’s SUV lineup. The GLC is about the same size as the GLB, and it has a similar infotainment system and many of the same safety features. The GLC’s main advantage is its wider variety of engine options, including twin-turbo V6s and V8s that enable it to keep pace with many sports cars. Go with the GLC if you want to have a bit of fun behind the wheel. On the other hand, the GLB represents more of a value proposition. The GLB’s starting price is lower by about $5,000, and it’s available with a third-row seat – one thing you won’t find in the two-row GLC.

Compare the GLB and GLC »

Mercedes-Benz GLB vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

The Mercedes-Benz GLA shares a lot in common with the GLB. Both of these SUVs offer the same infotainment system, the same tech and safety features, and visibly similar interior styling and materials. Both are mechanically related as well, boasting the same 221- and 302-horsepower engines and dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mercedes has built in differences between these SUVs though. The GLA has softer edges on the outside and a smaller footprint, and its starting price is lower by about $1,800. The boxier GLB offers more cargo space and the convenience of third-row seating.

Compare the GLB and GLA »

Compare the GLB, GLC, and GLA »

GLB Interior: Deceptively Spacious

GLB Cargo Space

The Mercedes-Benz GLB has 27 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second-row seats and 62 cubic feet with these seats folded. That’s one of the largest cargo capacities in the luxury compact SUV class. The liftgate opening is tall and wide, making it easy to load bulky items. The optional third-row seat reduces overall cargo space to a still roomy 56.7 cubic feet. However, a paltry 5.1 cubic feet is available when all seats are in use.

How Many People Does the GLB Seat?

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is offered in five- and seven-seat configurations. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and there’s a generous amount of headroom and legroom for taller occupants. The second-row seats are similarly comfy and provide ample space for two adults or three kids. The optional third row is a tight fit even for smaller kids, but it is quite convenient for occasional use. Notably, the only other luxury compact SUV with an available third row is the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The GLB’s large windshield and tall windows provide great visibility to the front and sides of the vehicle. Visibility is decent to the rear as well. Synthetic leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats are standard. Genuine leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

GLB and Child Car Seats

The Mercedes-Benz GLB has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

GLB Interior Quality

The Mercedes-Benz GLB boasts a premium interior with crisp styling. Most surfaces are trimmed with high-end materials like synthetic leather, soft-touch plastic, and brushed metal. The switchgear operates with a precise and substantial quality, and the interior panels feel as solidly built as those in bigger Benzes. The cabin does a fine job of muffling road and wind noise as well, resulting in a quiet ride.

GLB Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is equipped with the brand’s MBUX infotainment system, which features a standard 7-inch touch screen or an available 10.2-inch touch screen. These displays have slick graphics and relatively simple menus. Both can be controlled in multiple ways too, including a touchpad on the center console, buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel, and a voice recognition system that reacts to natural speech – just say "Hey, Mercedes" followed by a request like "turn down the air conditioning."

The touch screens and physical controls operate well, and they don’t require too much attention to use while driving. The voice recognition system feels like a work in progress, though. It tends to react to unintentional commands – or sometimes not at all.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and five USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: a 10.2-inch touch screen, a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, navigation, wireless device charging, satellite radio, and a Burmester stereo
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, push-button start, and a power liftgate
  • Other available features: proximity keyless entry and a panoramic sunroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

GLB Performance: Lots to Like

GLB Engine

The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is equipped with a 221-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The brand’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is available. This engine feels spunky, and it shuttles the GLB around town and up to speed confidently. Going from zero to 60 mph takes about seven seconds. The dual-clutch transmission changes gears quickly when on the move, keeping the engine in its power band and enabling swift passing maneuvers on the highway. That said, it can be a little hesitant in stop-and-go traffic.

The Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 has a 302-horsepower version of this engine, as well as standard all-wheel drive. Throttle response is snappier, the engine sounds a bit more aggressive, and it can slingshot the GLB from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.1 seconds.

GLB Gas Mileage

The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 gets an EPA-rated 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. This rating dips to 23/30 mpg city/highway for all-wheel-drive models. Both fuel economy estimates are great for the luxury compact SUV class. Estimates for the GLB 35 were not available at the time of writing.

GLB Ride and Handling

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is an easy and enjoyable SUV to drive. The GLB feels stable around turns, with steering that's responsive and nicely weighted. A tight turning radius makes this Benz a cinch to park. The brakes provide ample stopping power, and the suspension comfortably sops up most bumps and dips in the road, yielding a smooth and composed ride. An adaptive suspension is optional, and it helps tame what little body roll the GLB has.

GLB Towing Capacity

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is not rated to tow. Consider upgrading to the Mercedes-Benz GLC if you need to tow a trailer. The GLC is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about performance »

GLB Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLB Reliable?

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Mercedes-Benz GLB Warranty

Mercedes-Benz covers the GLB with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

GLB Safety

GLB Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 GLB. This is fairly common for luxury vehicles.

GLB Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Driver drowsiness monitoring

Available advanced safety features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Hands-free park assist
  • Road sign recognition
  • Head-up display

Read more about safety »

GLB Dimensions and Weight

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,638 to 3,891 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB Built?

Mercedes-Benz builds the 2021 GLB in Mexico.

Which Mercedes-Benz GLB Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB comes in two trims: GLB 250 and GLB 35. The entry-level GLB 250 is the best pick for most shoppers. It has a zippy turbocharged engine, a nice array of safety and convenience features, and a sub-$40,000 starting price that undercuts that of most rivals. The GLB 35 ups the performance ante with its punchier engine and sport-tuned suspension, though it’s expected to demand a considerably higher price for that muscle.

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250

The GLB 250 starts at $38,050, and it’s outfitted with a 221-horsepower engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The GLB 250 4Matic variant costs $40,050 and adds all-wheel drive.

Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, five USB ports, HD Radio, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a split-folding second-row seat, a power liftgate, LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated side mirrors, and 18-inch wheels. Standard safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

Numerous packages are available. The Premium package adds a 10.2-inch touch screen, a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, and proximity keyless entry. The Multimedia package adds navigation and road sign recognition. The Driver Assistance package adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The Parking Assistance package adds a surround-view parking camera system and hands-free parallel park assist.

Individual options include genuine leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, a third-row seat, a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, a Burmester stereo, wireless device charging, a head-up display, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, an adaptive suspension, and 19- or 20-inch wheels.

Mercedes-AMG GLB 35

The GLB 35 features a brawny 302-horsepower engine, an upgraded all-wheel-drive system, a stiffer suspension, 19-inch wheels, an AMG-specific grille and front bumper, bolstered sport seats, a 10.2-inch touch screen, and a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster. Most options carry over unchanged. Pricing for the GLB 35 was not available at the time of writing.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes deals page.

See 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB stands out in the crowded luxury compact SUV class because of its optional third-row seat, a handy feature that almost no competitors offer. That said, there’s a lot more to the GLB than an extra pair of seats. The GLB is zippy, relaxing to drive, and features an upscale interior. Its infotainment system is easy to use, it’s packed with standard features, and its cargo area is expansive. The GLB costs less than many of its rivals as well.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The GLB-Class is affordable for what it is while continuing the tradition of excellent SUV/crossovers from Mercedes-Benz." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2020 GLB 250 finds a seemingly perfect middle ground between the too-small subcompact crossover class and SUVs such as the GLC. Taking into account that the GLB costs $5,900 less than the GLC, we consider it a best-in-class contender. With an unusual available third row of seats, the GLB is one of the most versatile vehicles in any class." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "In that way and many others, the 2020 Mercedes GLB is more than just a gateway to the brand. It's a fully-fledged member and one that doesn't constantly remind that you bought one of the cheapest Mercedes. Given the front-drive small-car platform and past experiences with the current GLA, we frankly weren't expecting this to be so. Yet, with its ritzy interior, generous cargo space and refined driving experience, the GLB 250 is the real deal." -- Autoblog (2020)
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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class

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