Every now and then, we stumble across a car which ticks all the boxes for a modern urban family. Meet the Mercedes-Benz GLB220d…
You should know: Actually its name is much, much longer than that: 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB 220d 4Matic Progressive. In plain English, that means it’s a boxy crossover with a frugal diesel engine, intelligent all-wheel drive and a fairly contemporary level of luxury and safety specifications.
More info: By “boxy” I also meant spacious and practical, as the square rear quarters allow a very generous 565 to 1,800L of cargo capacity; while five adults have plenty of leg-room and enough vertical space to wear hats. This raised estate car on road-biased rubber is obviously not a proper 4×4, but at least offers “4Matic” traction and an off-road mode in its multiple drive train settings.
What else? “Progressive” is one of two trim levels for the GLB range: the other being a sportier, harder, but no faster “AMG Line”. Unless you enjoy those attributes, I would highly recommend staying with the softer ride and chunkier look of this Progressive model with its standard 215/65R17 tyres. 18’s, 19’s and 20’s are optional.
Why you shouldn’t: Besides the price of million Dollars, a senior family member dismissed the ride as too hard. Also, our test car didn’t have a spare wheel, sunroof, navigation, keyless entry or power tailgate. While some people won’t be bothered by most of those, they can all be ordered individually or in tightly-knit option packages; at additional costs.
Our local retailer, M+Z Motors, can also fit a temporary spare wheel on request.
The 8-speed DCT (gearbox) can be caught napping at times, but does its best to balance performance and fuel consumption. Our best 0-100km/h sprint time was 7.8 seconds (Merc claims 7.6) while we did see the claimed 5.5L/100km during steady highway cruises.
Why you should: The GLB220d is a jolly expensive but incredibly nice way of moving about our country; especially long distances as it has a 60L fuel tank. It’s highly refined, extremely safe, can do a little bit of soft-roading and comes with a 2-year warranty and 5-year/100,000km service plan.
FULL SPEC LIST
|Engine:||1,950cc i-4 Turbo-diesel|
|Transmission:||8-speed DCT, AWD|
|Max. Power:||140kW @ 3,800rpm|
|Max. Torque:||400Nm @ 1,600rpm|
|Avg. cons.:||Claimed 5.5L/100km|
|0-100km/h:||7.80 seconds (claimed 7.6)|
|Top Speed:||Claimed 217km/h|
|List Price:||From R998,388|