- The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is a bargain family SUV
- My Mercedes loaner came out to $49,725 but you can get it down to $47,125
- The GLB 250 is a luxury SUV you don’t need to think about
I’ll come right out and say it now. I am not Mercedes-Benz’s target buyer for this luxury SUV. I have no children, and I have no need for a car this size. Despite that, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 still found ways to impress me. Really, it checks just about all of the boxes someone with a small family could want. However, there’s a few drawbacks. But that doesn’t stop this thing from being a sub-$50K luxury SUV bargain.
Is the GLB 250 a good car?
Let’s look at the GLB 250 as a piece of metal first. If you’re here for the money side of things, scroll a bit. I spent a week with Merc’s entry-level luxury car. As luck would have it, Colorado threw just about every climate it had at the GLB. Obviously, this small SUV drives like one, regardless of climate. Mercedes’ 4Matic AWD system performed beautifully. This is no Ford F-150 Raptor, but every patch of snow and ice the GLB came across was dealt with without a fuss. Honestly, I never felt the need for more stability in the GLB. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is a good car made better by 4Matic.
Inclement weather and AWD aside, the GLB 250 fills its role as a family SUV built for urban cruising rather well. My test car came outfitted with Merc’s adaptive dampers, though frankly, the “comfort” setting is all you need. With a turbo-four pushing 228hp/258 lb-ft, this family SUV has more than enough go juice. Driver assists like pre-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring are present, but not invasive. In fact, I found the GLB to be a very calming thing to be in, owing largely to a quiet ride and Merc’s killer ambient lighting. Talking of the interior. ISOFIX mounts are easy to access, and the rear hatch has plenty of space. Some interior trim is, however, slightly below the competition.
Android Auto and Apple Carplay worked flawlessly, as does the rest of MBUX (Merc’s infotainment system). This is about as good as infotainment gets, though I lean towards the iDrive system in my loaner 2022 BMW M240i a bit more. My Merc’s winter tires were a bit loud on the highway, but it’s no Ford Bronco in that regard. That said, I’m still baffled that adaptive cruise control isn’t present in a vehicle at this price point.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is a bargain luxury SUV for families
Let’s talk about money, then. As specced, my 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 loaner came out to $49,725. Frankly, that number is a little eye-watering. Thankfully, my loaner also came with a bunch of stuff you don’t need. First, the $2,240 AMG-Line pack. It adds AMG body styling and an updated grille. You need neither. I’d also skip the $360 AMG steering wheel; this just isn’t a sports car like the A 35 AMG. Do keep the stunning Galaxy Blue paint ($720, and worth every penny).
That brings the price down to a much more palatable (and competitive) $47,125. While I’ve yet to sample the competition from Volvo (send me one, guys), ditching the AMG-ness helps keep it more competitive with cars like the Volvo XC60 and Land Rover Discovery Sport. With some options, either of those vehicles will match the GLB in price.
Should you buy a GLB 250?
So, should you buy a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250? Yeah. This strikes me as the kind of car you don’t have to think about. It’s got all the nice new creature comforts, and most buyers will snap one up off the dealer lot, simply picking the color they want (Galaxy Blue). There’s a comfort in that. Knowing you don’t have to think about or worry about your car is something people with kids probably value a great deal. It’ll have a warranty, and it’s going to keep your family plenty safe thanks to the included safety features. I don’t see why you wouldn’t want one at this price point. But it also reminds me that I’m not quite ready to have to make such decisions. Even if that decision comes in a cool color.