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Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV combines speed and utility

Pricing for the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV starts at $59,300

Mercedes-Benz, best known for high-end luxury cars and high-performance sports cars, also makes four-door crossovers and sport utility vehicles.

I recently test-drove the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV. Like other Mercedes-Benz models, this vehicle is luxurious and fast – but it also has the hauling capacity of an SUV. There are plenty of other choices for strictly functional SUVs; this is for those who want a quick, luxurious and sporty vehicle combined with the practicality of an SUV.

AMG is the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz products.

The origins go back to the 1960s when two former engineers with Mercedes-Benz started a company to build racing engines for Mercedes. The two men were Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. AMG comes from the initials of their last names, as well as the initial of the town where Aufrecht was born, GroBasopach. In the late 1990s, Mercedes-Benz acquired control of AMG. So in Mercedes-speak, AMG means high performance.

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV has plenty of power when it came to merging onto highways

The huge steering wheel with a flat bottom dominates the driver’s view

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In the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV, power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 302 horsepower. Fuel consumption is 12.7 litres per 100 km in the city and 9.4 litres per 100 km on the highway. Fuel economy is not one of the strong points of this vehicle – but then it’s not aimed at those buyers looking for economy, but rather performance. And in that category, the AMG is outstanding.

I found this vehicle had plenty of power when it came to merging onto highways. There’s no need to pause and wait for a break in the traffic for a safe entry; a heavy right foot on the gas pedal is all that’s needed. Mercedes says it can do 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds.

Standard equipment includes all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The front styling includes a large grill with a huge Mercedes-Benz star in the centre and the AMG crest on one side. The rear-end styling is more conventional; without the Mercedes-Benz and AMG logos, it might be difficult to identify.

Inside, the huge steering wheel with a flat bottom dominates the driver’s view.

There are two screens, one directly in front of the driver and the other just to the right. Both are behind one large glass covering and can be configured in various ways. I had a speedometer and tachometer directly in front of me, with the navigation screen to the side. Below that are three large round vent openings for heating and air conditioning. The black leather upholstery is accented with red stitching. The interior is very spacious, thanks partly to the high roofline.

The wheelbase is 2,829 mm (111.4 inches), with an overall length of 4,650 mm (183.1 inches). Adjustments can modify the ride from sporty to comfortable, but despite these choices, the ride can’t be described as excessively soft and smooth. But again, that’s not what buyers of this type of vehicle would be looking for. Driving this vehicle, especially in sport mode, makes it easy to forget there’s all that space at the back for hauling stuff. It just seems like a fast, great-handling vehicle.

Pricing starts at $59,300 and the vehicle I tested had plenty of options, including the $3,100 Premium Package; $800 Navigation package; $2,000 AMG Driver’s Package; $1,000 Night Package; and $1,600 Technology Package. As well, the Patagonia Red paint job was an extra $1,400, and the 21-inch AMG matte black wheels added $1,250 to the bill. The advanced sound system and 360 camera drove the bill up to $71,500. Freight and taxes are on top of that.

If you want a quick, luxurious ride with great handling – and occasionally need hauling capacity – you should consider the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 4Matic SUV.

Dale Johnson is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online. While the manufacturer provided Dale with a vehicle to test drive, the content of this review was not reviewed or accepted by the manufacturer.

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