Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4Matic Is The Family Man’s AMG

What Mercedes adds in power, they take away in practicality for this 5 seat SUV. 

Rounding up the local launch of Mercedes’ GLB three-row SUV today is the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV that is priced at RM 363,136.52.

Headlining the GLB 35’s performance aspirations would be its powertrain, which consists of a AMG-tuned 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder that outputs a healthy 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Mated to an 8 speed AMG Speedshift dual clutch transmission and driving all four wheels through the standard AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, this jacked up minivan does the century sprint in just 5.2 seconds (thanks to a race start function, on an SUV) and on to a top speed of 250 km/h. In other words, it would comfortably satisfy the need for speed for any parent who likes to get a bit of a move on. 

Drivers also have the freedom to select their preferred driving mode on the AMG Dynamic Select drive mode selector, of which there are 5 to choose from: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. This feature, when combined with the AMG Dynamics Agility Control will probably make the GLB 35 one of the fastest ways to drop the kids off at international school. 

As if that weren’t enough, the GLB35 also features adaptive AMG Ride Control suspension which can Mercedes claims ‘provides a wide range of set-ups from comfortable to very sporty.’ Knowing most AMGs though, the occupants will probably be in for a pretty harsh ride even if it was on the most comfortable setting. 

Continuing on the sporty theme, several performance trinkets were added onto the GLB35 to distinguish it from the plebeian GLB models. A more aggressive front end on this chunky SUV is courtesy of an AMG front splitter, front grille and apron. 20 inch AMG 5 spoke alloys that hide performance AMG brakes behind it meanwhile adds the performance flair to the boxy side of this SUV. Out back, twin pipes gives away this SUVs performance intent, as does the AMG roof spoiler and prominent rear apron. 

On the inside too, the nods to its performance heritage continues. Red seatbelts and standard ambient lighting brightens up the black Artico synthetic leather interior, while the MBUX infotainment system adds a few new AMG-centric displays like the Supersports display that prominently places a giant rev counter right in the centre of the 7 inch digital instrument cluster. 

The second cheapest AMG-badged car within the current Mercedes lineup, with the A35 coming in at RM 30k shy of the GLB35’s RM 363k price tag, this latest addition to the AMG lineup is perhaps the AMG that the family man racer can aspire to. 

Before signing on the dotted line for this sporty AMG SUV though, there are a few things to note about what lies behind the second row of seats of the GLB35, or more precisely, what is missing. 

While it may be the performance SUV that boy-racer parents have been eyeing for, what Mercedes giveth with more power, they taketh away by removing the third row of seats. Making this three-row SUV in standard trim, a strict 5 seater in performance form. Thus completely losing the plot of the GLB. Considering that the same 4Matic all wheel drive system is found in the lesser GLB250 AMG line, there is no practical explanation as to why the third row seats were removed in this performance trim level. 

To parents insistent on a seven seat SUV that will set your hair on fire though, there is another option in the form of the Tiguan Allspace R-Line. It too has a German badge and sufficient power (220 PS and 350 Nm) to go anywhere fast. More importantly though, it seats 7. Which no matter which way you cut it, is two more than the GLB 35 ever could. 

PRESS RELEASE: “The AMG genes of the GLB 35 4MATIC are clearly recognisable at first sight. Its AMG-specific radiator grill, the striking AMG rear apron and dynamic spoiler lip ensure that this compact SUV is not only sporty but self-assured on the road – just like the rest of the AMG family,” said Michael Jopp, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.

Design: hallmark AMG expressiveness

Based on the AMG Line, the new GLB 35 4MATIC is distinguishable by further model-specific design features. The AMG-specific radiator grille is used for the first time in a 35-series model, and emphasises membership of the AMG family. The front splitter, the prominent rear apron with two round, single tailpipe trim elements, and the AMG roof spoiler in the vehicle colour with a black spoiler lip also guarantee a high recognition factor.

The front of the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC makes an impression on its own right and features the signature AMG radiator grilled into the bargain. With its front apron and the flics serving as air deflectors on the outer air intakes, it makes the look unmistakably an AMG. The 20-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in tantalite grey with high-sheen finish and the AMG high-performance braking system with silver brake callipers and black AMG lettering at the front provide further visual highlights.

Membership of the AMG family is visually underlined in the interior by the sports seats upholstered in black ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber and design red seat belts. Also standard in the GLB 35 4MATIC is the Light and Sights package which provides added interior value appeal and optimum visibility in the vehicle. It comprises functional lighting that enhances comfort and safety as well as ambience that lends the interior even more atmosphere.

Responsive and emotive: the AMG 2.0-litre 4-cylinder in-line turbocharged engine 

Thanks to a twinscroll turbocharger, the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine rated at 225 kW (306 hp) impresses with great responsiveness to movements of the accelerator pedal, high torque (max. 400 Nm from 3000 rpm) and great liveliness.

Fast and agile: AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual clutch transmission 

The transmission masters fast gear shifts and a sporty driving style just as well as comfort-oriented gear shifts for relaxed long-distance journeys. During upshifts, partial ignition interruption produces an impressive sound experience, while the double-declutch function during downshifts benefits gear shifting comfort. The function synchronises the engine and transmission speeds, minimises unwanted gas cycle responses and stabilises the vehicle, for example when braking ahead of bends. This also supports a particularly dynamic driving style.

The new Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC delivers its full sprint potential with the RACE START function included as standard. Higher engine rpm when starting off, in combination with optimised shift points, produces the best possible traction and maximum acceleration. RACE START remains active while the accelerator is kept fully depressed.

Driving fun to the power of five: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT and AMG DYNAMICS agility control

The five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes – Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual, make for a very variable driving experience with a wide range from serene comfort to agile and sporty. The modes modify key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering.

The drive modes are linked to the AMG DYNAMICS agility control, which means that the handling characteristics can be even more closely matched with different requirements and driving conditions.

Optimal traction: variable AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The performance-oriented all-wheel drive system continuously ensures the best possible ratio of dynamism, traction and efficiency. A multi-disc clutch with AMG-specific electromechanical control allows a variable torque split which can be instantly changed according to the driving situation. This ranges from purely front-wheel drive to a 50:50 percent distribution to the front and rear axle, for example during dynamic driving manoeuvres or on snow or ice. The influencing factors for torque distribution are not only the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, but also the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels and the gear selected. The all-wheel drive is controlled depending on the selected stage of the 3-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® – from sporty with a focus on safety to highly dynamic.

With AMG-specific displays: the MBUX infotainment system

The innovative MBUX control and display concept creates an even closer bond between the vehicle, driver and passengers. At the same time, the latest version of the infotainment system contributes to the great daily practicality of the new GLB 35 4MATIC. Emotive displays such as the particularly striking Supersport mode with a central, round rev counter and bargraph-style additional information underline the exclusivity.

With the three AMG-specific display styles “Classic”, “Sporty” or “Supersport”, the vehicle functions are directly visualised on the instrument cluster on the left side and on the touchscreen display on the right. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.

Even more dynamism: the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension

The optionally available AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension guarantees superior performance. The adaptive, electronically controlled damping provides a wide range of set-ups from comfortable to very sporty. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting.

The best possible operating point is always selected on the basis of numerous data such as acceleration or vehicle speed. The suspension characteristics are modified by simply selecting one of the drive programs Comfort, Sport or Sport+.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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