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A Week With: 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 — The Five-Door Conundrum

by | March 29, 2024

It looks so ponderous, yet proves so fleet.

2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35’s practical shape lacks any kind of sexy appeal.

Say that you meet someone to date, and they’re unappealing and have the personality of a houseplant. Yet they can cook well and prove to be an incredible lover. That’s the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35, a car that receives a modest update for 2024.

You can be excused if you didn’t notice; the updates are mild at best. There’s now an AMG badge on the hood to prove there’s extra power under the hood. And, as is typical for a vehicle that’s a few years old, it receives a fresh face, with a redesigned front bumper, AMG-specific radiator grille as well as freshly-designed headlights and taillights.

And there are new 18- and 20-inch wheel designs. The alterations do little to alter the Mercedes-AMG’s overall look. It retains its dorky, unattractive appearance. The nicest thing that can be said of this automotive shoebox is that it’s functional, able to hold anywhere from 12.4 cubic feet to 62 cubic feet of lifestyle debris. That’s impressive considering tis compact 183-inch length. It’s like saying your new girlfriend or boyfriend has a nice personality.


Yet few utility vehicles wear the letters AMG, and that’s where this little soapbox racer differs.

The GLB gets twin 10.25-inch digital displays for 2024.

While it has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder connected to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, it also incorporates a 48-volt hybrid assist system and 4Matic all-wheel drive.

This provides acceleration of 5.1 seconds running from 0-to-60 mph, according to Mercedes-Benz. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35’s Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual drive modes return, accompanied by a new Slippery mode for inclement weather. Being an AMG, there’s also a Race Start mode, which provides higher engine revs and optimized shifting when accelerating from a standstill.

More noticeable are the interior updates, where its instrument cluster and infotainment screens now measure 10.25 inches each, up from 7 inches last year and using the newest user interface software. It now incorporates wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a major convenience, and the software is easy-to-use, even if it does require multiple steps. The new screen and our GLB 35’s carbon-fiber trim and red/black accents endow the vehicle with a techy, up-to-the-minute feel, although its design and its finishes seem more rugged than elegant.

Rear seats space is adequate for its size.

Our vehicle, with an MSRP of nearly $70,000, did have the niceties you’d expect, such as automatic headlamps, dual automatic climate control and heated seats. But it lacked a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats. Sure, the Burmeister audio system sounds incredible. But such omissions seem incredibly cheap for a luxury SUV of this small size no matter how good its performance.

Seats come with standard black MB-Tex / microfiber with red stitching and red seat belts. Two-tone leather is optional. Our test vehicle came with the latter, and proved very firm, yet supportive and comfortable without being overly aggressive. While the GLB 35 is offered with three rows of seats. Given its 183.1-inch length, it’s about as useable as you might expect.


By now, you’re starting to get the sense that the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 has good points, along with a few negatives. And yet, to drive it is to overlook them all.

There’s 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space; 62 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

That’s when you experience a Mercedes-AMG with the refinement and power you expect. Every system seems expertly engineered and tuned to precisely and smoothly drive at speed or in stop and go traffic, where it proves harder.

Its Sport+ mode seems made for interstate driving; its Comfort mode is ideal for urban environs. Its ride is firm, and there’s fairly good bump absorption most of the time. At others, the ride turns harsh as the GLB 35 clobbers road shocks, its force felt by passengers.

The trade-off is amazing stability in corners with little-to-no body lean. If you can put up with the ride, and that depends on how well your local streets are maintained, you’ll find this pint-size shipping container a hoot to drive, even with the ever-present road and tire noise.

When did something so homely ever prove so fun to drive? That’s the conundrum of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 — as is the price.

But for those looking for a different flavor, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 may be your best choice.


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