The AMG label on a Mercedes corresponds to its performance division. Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles are tuned in a specific way and upgraded for additional power. They are known for their extra-sporty handling and more stylish aesthetics. But sadly, I would not get experience this to the fullest.
The week I had the 2022 Mercedes Benz GLB35 AMG in my arsenal was the most inopportune time. The timing corresponded with Vancouver’s 2022 Snowmaggedon, 10 plus centimeters of the white stuff coming down hard for this part of the country. And if you live in Vancouver; you know the following is true: Vancouverites cannot operate in snow. The city was a mess, the streets that went unsalted and unplowed saw multiple motor vehicle accidents, and bridges were closed due to safety concerns. So not only was I avoiding driving as much as possible, but the GLB35 was also sitting on performance tires, as a tuned-up sports vehicle; which meant I could not drive it in the snow and slush, even if I dared to. This resulted in this auto review with little opportunity to drive the vehicle I am meant to review.
This is Mercedes smallest brand offering. A crossover SUV advertised as a 7-seater, but unfortunately the last row is basically for small bodies and little legs only. Although its overall larger size and boxy build does make it ideal for transporting people and hauling cargo.
The interior is roomy with large windows and an expansive sunroof for a panoramic view. You are seated on lush microfiber-and-leather upholstery. A comfortable bucket seat hugs you, while keeping you firm and comfortable in place. The arm rest to your right is levelled with the sturdy hand and wrist support of the infotainment system and its touch pad control. It all feels ergonomic. The cabin is made party-ready and sleek with Mercedes’ signature ambient lighting feature. This is the ability to customize the piping of the cabin in lighted trim. Choose a solid colour or pick a cascade of hues that travel from one side of the gradient to the other. It is proven that colour affects mood and that colour therapy is a founded science; and in the 2022 Mercedes Benz GLB35 AMG it is all part of the package.
The GLB35 has all the latest and familiar driver luxuries and then some. Minus the wheel warmer, cooling seats, and wireless charging pad. Apple and Android connectivity capable with various driving modes. Sport, Comfort and Slippery modes lets you customize your drive as you see fit.
One feature of any Mercedes we have yet to take advantage of is the built-in assistant. You have the ability to program commands for verbal and motion direction. However only having the car for a week, I haven’t found the need or it convenient to program hand gestures.
The GLB35 is fun to handle. You can hear the engine roar with life, and barely feel the vehicle speed beneath you. You embody the power from the exhaust that vibrates through the shell of the car.
Although it feels like the AMG gives you get a lot of power for a vehicle that doesn’t feel like it should have it. Marketed as a daily transport, given the additional row of seats slowing it down, the extensive cargo load, and the presence of a flat-bottomed steering wheel to tell the drive when the wheel is straight. It feels as if you are behind a (albeit sleek) soccer mom’s minivan. The GLB promises sharpened handling and more driver responsiveness, but both are far and few in between when you are behind the wheel for your daily trafficked commute. Instead, you feel the rough ride over potholes and all the cracks in the road as you roll over each.
This is a sexier ride definitely meant for better weather driving. Sun soaked on dry pavement or out for a day at the beach. The 2022 Mercedes Benz GLB35 AMG is one we wish we had more time with and didn’t have to brush snow off of.