Families love SUVs, especially ones with premium badges. And the Mercedes-Benz GLB goes straight to the heart of what mainstream buyers want out of their cars, combining status, practicality and tech into one appealing package. Derived from the A-Class
hatchback it has – by Mercedes standards – relatively humble roots but is priced above its GLA brother
. In terms of equivalent seven-seater rivals
it’s more expensive than a Peugeot 5008
but slightly cheaper than a like for like Land Rover Discovery Sport
. A Hyundai Santa Fe
offers more space for similar money but, worthy or not, can’t match a Mercedes for prestige.
Running costs will, meanwhile, depend on your choice of engine, Mercedes offering various options in both petrol and diesel and front- or all-wheel drive. Unlike the GLA there’s no hybrid in the GLB range. None of the engines are spectacular for CO2 emissions or fuel consumption, though if you’re buying as a company car
and need to keep a lid on these you’re better off with the less powerful engines and front-wheel drive. Unless you’re doing mainly town driving diesel probably remains your best bet for all-round fuel costs.
At the other end, there’s even a high-performance GLB35 AMG model for those who want to have fun when the rear seats aren’t stuffed with screaming kids, though in purchase and running costs this is an expensive indulgence. Still, if there’s only space on the driveway for one car and you want a family SUV with the heart of a hot hatch…