After a series of teasers and previews, Mercedes-Benz has finally unveiled its latest compact SUV – the GLB Class.
Sitting between the GLA and GLC, the GLB will be offered in five variants - the GLB 200, GLB 250, GLB 200d, GLB 200d 4Matic, and GLB 220d 4Matic.
The GLB 200 is powered by a 1.33-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 163 hp 250 Nm of torque, which is paired to a Getrag seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The powertrain enables the GLB 200 to do the century sprint in 9.1 seconds, and clock a top speed of 207 km/h, while consuming between 6.0 and 6.2 litres of petrol per 100 km.
The GLB 250 on the other hand, is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine which makes 224 hp and 350 Nm. Paired to the engine is an 8-speed 8G-DCT gearbox which enables the SUV to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 236 km/h, while consuming 7.2 to 7.4 litres of petrol per 100 km.
As for the diesel variants, the GLB 200d and GLB 220d are powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engines, but with different power output. While the GLB 200d delivers 150 hp and 320 Nm of torque, the GLB 220d produces 190 hp and 440 Nm of torque. Both get the 8G-DCT gearbox. Out of the lot, only the GLB 250, GLB 200d 4Matic, and the GLB 220d 4Matic get the 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
Measuring 4,634 mm long, 1,834 mm wide, and 1,658 mm in height with a 2,829 mm wheelbase, the GLB is the first Mercedes-Benz compact SUV which is offered with seven seats as an option. It is 53 mm longer, 30 mm wider, and 164 mm taller than the GLA, and its wheelbase is 130 mm longer as well.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the exterior design off the GLB is very off-road oriented, which explains the muscular and contoured shoulder, short front and rear overhangs, the high waistline, and the doors that reach over the side bar to improve ease of access and increase protection in a side impact.
In addition, there are all-round protective claddings and the simulated underride guard which divide the overall proportions and emphasise the vehicle's off-road character.
The 4Matic models also come with the Off-Road Engineering Package, which includes Multibeam LED headlamps with a special off-road light function which makes it easier to see obstacles in rough terrain in the dark.
Inside, the GLB is all about space. While the headroom in the first row is 1,035 mm – a best in this segment, there is 967 mm of legroom in the rear of the five-seater variant.
As for the seven seater, the third row seats can actually fit two occupants who are 1.68 metres or less in height. Luggage space stands between 560-litres, and can be further expanded to 1,755 litres with the seats folded.
Moving along, the instrument panel consists of a single piece, which has optical cut-outs in the driver and front passenger area. The driver faces a widescreen cockpit, with control and display via the MBUX infotainment system.
A new feature is the characteristic off-road tubular element in an aluminium look which rounds off the lower section of the instrument panel and houses the three round centre air vents.
Unlike most models in the brand’s portfolio, the GLB’s interior is designed to look more angular, in order to emphasise the whole off-road theme.
Elsewhere, key features include Active Steering Assist, Active Lange Change Assist, Active Parking Assist with Parktronic, and the Dynamic Select switch to select between 3 driving modes with varying torque distribution ratios.
Expected to go on sale around the globe towards the end of this year, the Mercedes-Benz GLB will be assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and for the Chinese market, in Beijing.
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