Crossovers

Mercedes-AMG's GLB35 is a sprightly SUV headed for the US

It's cool in non-AMG form, but a little extra vim never hurts.

The GLB35 is a 300-hp hot crossover that looks ready to rip up a twisty road.

Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

Mercedes-Benz SUVs have been getting softer in terms of their design, which makes the blockier GLB a breath of fresh air. It's great in its standard trim, but if you were hoping for a little more pep in its step, consider your prayers answered.

Mercedes-AMG announced the hotted-up GLB35 4Matic at the end of August ahead of its Frankfurt debut, and it's a hell of a thing. As you might expect based on the name, AMG has bestowed upon this little beastie its 305-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and some sweet all-wheel drive. The best part is that Mercedes has confirmed that it'll hit US dealers in late 2020. Time to start saving that couch change.

"With the new GLB 35 4MATIC we are extending our product portfolio by adding a highly attractive model for an active target group that attaches special importance to versatility," said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG. "This also includes the optional seven-seater capability of our new compact SUV, though without having to sacrifice the genes typical of an AMG. Because in its segment, our GLB 35 likewise fulfills our brand promise of Driving Performance."

What else makes the GLB35 special? Well, it's got an eight-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission and what AMG is calling Race Start -- aka launch control. Add that to its five selectable driving modes and AMG-tuned suspension and dynamic power steering, and you've likely got an impressive little canyon carver that's just as happy grabbing groceries as getting speeding tickets.

Because the GLB class is new, it gets to benefit from Mercedes' excellent MBUX infotainment system and the stylish dash layout that tends to come with it. Other interior touches include Mercedes' first optional third row with two individual seats, rather than a bench.

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