The Mercedes-AMG GLB35 Radiates Powerful Hatch Vibes

Hot hatchbacks are becoming harder to find these days, with only a few traditional options available like the GTI and Golf R, the Honda Civic Type R, and the Toyota GR Corolla. However, an unlikely alternative has emerged in the form of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB35. Despite its appearance as a small crossover with seating for up to seven, this vehicle is essentially a tall hatchback with extra cargo space. With an AMG badge, it meets the criteria of being “hot,” offering impressive handling, powerful performance, and quick acceleration. In this article, we will explore the key features and characteristics of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLB35.

Quick Specs:
– Engine: Turbo 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder Hybrid
– Output: 302 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet
– 0-60 MPH: 5.1 Seconds
– Transmission: Eight-Speed Dual-Clutch
– Price / As Tested: $60,200 / $69,750

The AMG Roots:
The GLB35 is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which is the same powerplant used in the non-US AMG A35. With mild-hybrid assistance from an integrated starter generator, this engine produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This power output surpasses that of the GTI and GR Corolla, making the GLB35 a strong contender in the hot hatch category. While initially unremarkable in standard modes, switching to Sport or Sport+ mode unleashes the full potential of the four-cylinder engine. The AMG 48-volt system provides a substantial torque boost, allowing the GLB35 to accelerate to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds with smooth and rapid power delivery.

– Impressive acceleration and power
– Surprisingly practical with optional third-row seating
– Engaging handling and steering feel

Corner Carving Capability:
Despite its SUV-like appearance, the GLB35 exhibits remarkable cornering ability typical of AMG models. The suspension is set to its stiffest setting, enhancing agility and responsiveness. While some front-drive understeer is present, the all-wheel drive system and limited-slip differential help maintain traction. The SUV’s taller stance provides ample ground clearance, although it does impact handling compared to lower hatchbacks. Upgraded grippier tires enhance grip and stability, especially with the optional 21-inch wheels.

– Stiff ride quality
– Some cheap interior materials
– High starting price with costly options

Daily Usability:
In terms of daily utility, the GLB35 offers practicality with optional third-row seating for up to seven passengers, although rear seating space may be limited. The interior boasts typical Mercedes-Benz technology with dual screens and adequate cargo space ranging from 12.4 to 62.0 cubic feet. Visual updates for 2024 enhance the SUV’s appearance with revised front fascia and new lighting elements. However, the stiff suspension may result in a harsh ride, along with some cabin materials feeling less premium. With a starting price of $60,200 and optional upgrades driving the price to nearly $70,000, the GLB35 sits at a higher price point compared to other hot hatches and SUVs in its class.

In conclusion, while the Mercedes-AMG GLB35 may not fit the traditional hot hatchback mold, it offers a unique blend of performance, practicality, and luxury. With its potent engine, engaging driving dynamics, and versatile seating configurations, the GLB35 presents a compelling option for enthusiasts seeking a spirited yet versatile vehicle. Despite its shortcomings such as a firm ride and high cost, the GLB35 stands out as a distinctive choice in the competitive automotive market.

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