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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz GLB
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
In the front the GLB is basically the same as Merc’s other ‘compact’ cars. Base Sport spec gets twin 7-inch screens, but AMG Line cars upgrade to dual 10-inch widescreens mounted side-by-side behind one piece of glass – one directly ahead of the driver giving speed, revs, nav and so-on. An impressive-looking setup, with no conventional binnacle. The highly configurable driver’s screen is controlled by a touchpad on the steering wheel, which frustratingly doesn’t always register your swipes and prods first time around. No matter – you’ll set it once and leave it.
The centre screen’s MBUX UI takes some learning, but is broadly quite user-friendly and has smart, crisp graphics. You can either touch the screen itself (our preferred method), use a second touchpad on the other side of the steering wheel, a laptop-style trackpad on the centre console or the mostly intelligent “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant.
Under the screen is a trio of air vents with a shiny black plastic surround, then a row of climate controls. Looks great – properly impressive – but doesn’t feel all that expensive to the touch. The top of the dashboard is nice and solid, but lower down, around the glovebox for example, the plastics get a bit cheap and scratchy. The backs of the front seats are made from what feels like the same material – looks a bit odd, but makes sense given all it has to do is withstand your kids’ kicks.
The second row of seats can be slid forwards by 90mm or backwards by 50mm from their standard position, and the backrests can be adjusted through eight stages. With it slid all the way forwards the second row is really only suitable for kids, but with it slid all the way back even adults over 6ft ought to be pretty happy.
The third row is obviously just for kids, however. There are even ISOFIX points should you want to stick really small children back there (not that we’d recommend doing so). Stowing, erecting and accessing the two rearmost seats is easy enough – it’s entirely possible to do it one-handed. There’s a special compartment in the boot floor to store the parcel shelf when it’s not in use.
The second and third rows both have USB-C ports, so make sure your devices are compatible or you’ve got a handful of adapters at the ready. And there’s loads of light from the big windows and low belt-line.
In terms of outright space, the seven-seat GLB has 1,680 litres of cargo space with all the seats folded flat, the Disco Sport has 1,451 litres, while the Skoda Kodiaq manages over 2,000 litres.