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Two Editors travel all the way to Andalusia, Spain, just to argue which cars are better to live with - the Mercedes-Benz GLB200 or the Mercedes-AMG GLB35?

11 Dec 2019


Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to the GLB, Julian says


On the go, the GLB200 is obviously slower and less exciting than the GLB35
The all new Mercedes-Benz GLB200 may be nowhere the juicier Mercedes-AMG GLB35. From the aurally satisfying exhaust note to the speedy Gonzales on-road behaviour, the regular GLB200 falls short, and quite significantly, if I may add.

Still, where it lacks, it makes up for it with its high levels of comfort, its lighter kerb weight and, more importantly, annual savings.

You see, the GLB200 is equipped with a humble 1.3-litre engine that puts out 163bhp and 250Nm of torque to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The GLB35, on the other hand, has a 2.0-litre powerplant that shoots out 306bhp and 400Nm of twisting force to all wheels.

Having a 1.3-litre engine means you'll be saving quite a fair bit with regards to your annual road tax
In terms of engine size and driven wheels, the faster GLB35 is obviously heavier, and you feel its heft when you're going round long sweeping bends or short stubborn corners.

Moreover, a 1.3-litre powerplant in the GLB200 just means that your annual road tax is a lot more affordable. At $586 a year, it's over $600 cheaper than the 2.0-litre GLB35. That comes up to 51% worth of savings per annum!

Speaking of savings, you'll be saving a lot of discomfort with the regular GLB. Unlike the GLB35, the GLB200 has neither the stiffer damper setup nor does it sport the two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody, which reduce torsion and increase rigidity.

Not only is it comfortable, the GLB200 sports a modern cabin, too
All these may sound foreign and technical, but what this simply means is that you don't have to visit the chiropractor every two weeks when you're piloting the GLB200.

You also won't have to put up with complains from the kids and the wife (which happens from time to time) about how painful it is when the car shuttles over broken tarmac and humps on our roads.

Driveability and handling are what matter more in the GLB, says Jeremy

The GLB35will hit the 100km/h mark in just 5.2 seconds, which is faster than a Golf GTI
If you want to acquire a Mercedes-Benz GLB, then the GLB35 4Matic should be at the top of your list.

A quick look at the GLB35's tech specs will surely get a keen driver's attention: 306hp and 400Nm of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line four, and zero to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds. Faster than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, at least in a straight line.

Actually, the GLB35 is no slouch when the roads turn twisty. With its lower ride height and well-sorted suspension, it can still hold its own.

Dad or mum probably won't do this while they're on the school run. But it's nice to know that he or she can still indulge in such manoeuvres after the kids have been dropped off.

2.0-litre powerplant shoots out 306hp and 400Nm of torque
By the way, the ride quality - even in Sport - remains agreeable.

Julian says that the GLB35 attracts over $600 more in annual road tax than the GLB200. I can't refute that. But I will say that you can't put a price on driving pleasure.

Besides, the GLB35 and its higher performance is better suited to carrying a full complement of passengers and their belongings. If you can afford the premium it will command over the GLB200, go for it!

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