Hauling seven people at breakneck speeds has become even more doable with the new Mercedes-AMG GLB 35. While not as hot as some performance SUVs, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been dialed up for 302 horsepower. That’s pretty good, considering the base version of the GLB uses the same engine with 221 horsepower on tap. It’s also good for a 0-60 sprint of 5.1 seconds.
4Matic all-wheel drive comes standard, working with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. A new Slippery mode has been added, plus extra body cladding. Yes, Mercedes is pushing the off-road capabilities of this machine, and why not? Jeep is making a fortune selling the same aspirations.
While you’re probably won’t see one of these on the storied Rubicon Trail, transverse control arms and upgraded steering knuckles up front help tighten everything up. That means less body roll, better handling, etc. Four-piston AMG brake calipers also improve control.
So should you get one of these and slap a big brush guard, skid plates, and rock rails on before heading out for adventure? Probably not. This is not like the G-Wagen and should be viewed as something more like a hopped-up Subaru than a hardcore off-roader.