Mercedes unveils new GLB SUV 11 | 06 | 2019

    MERCEDES HAS LIFTED the wraps from its chunky new GLB, the model which slots between the sporty GLA and ‘big brother’ GLC. The GLB, which will go head-to-head with the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, goes on-sale at Scottish dealerships towards the end of the year. Order books open mid-July, with prices expected to start around £30,000. (Related: Mercedes-AMG reveals 302bhp CLA 35)

    Sitting on the same MFA2 chassis architecture as the current A-Class, B-Class and CLA saloon, the GLB benefits from a wheelbase of 2829mm, which is 10cm longer than the B-Class MPV. The result is an SUV which enjoys greater practicality. (Related: Hamilton wins in Canada, but contoversy rules)

    Measuring 4634mm in length, 1834mm in width and 1658mm in height, it’s 21mm longer, 56mm narrower and 20mm taller than the recently facelifted GLC. It’s also only 22mm shorter than a GLC, and actually slightly taller.


    The unusually boxy profile will not be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no denying it enhances the GLB’s practicality. In fact its looks are more akin to those of Mercedes’ flagship SUV, the GLS, than it is to the GLA.

    The cabin is dominated by the  same MBUX infotainment system as the A-Class, with buyers having the option of twin displays, including a central touchscreen, and voice commands. There are also There are up to three USB-C connection points between the front seats, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also supported. A panoramic sunroof is also likely to be on the option list. (Related: Mercedes-AMG A 35 Saloon)


    Right from the offset, Mercedes has designed the GLB to be capable of having the option to carry seven people. In addition, it can have up to four Isofix points for child seats – one on each of the outer chairs in the middle row, and two more in the pop-up sixth and seventh seats. If the third row of seats is specified, smartphone-storage areas incorporate USB-C charging points.

    That third row of seats dos, however impact on boot stowage space. The ‘standard’ five-seat GLB will have a bootspace of 560-litres, an increase of 65 litres on a BMW X1; this plummets to only 130 litres if the third row is being used on a seven-seat edition. In a five-seat model, the maximum load space is 1755 litres.


    Initially the GLB range will consist of four models, with buyers able to choose between two four-cylinder petrol engines, plus a single four-cylinder diesel in two different states of tune. All but the top-of-the-line diesel will be offered with front-wheel drive as standard. (Related: New 302bhp Mercedes-AMG A 35 Hatch)

    The entry-model petrol will be the 1.3-litre turbocharged GLB200, which delivers 161bhp and 184lb/ft. Tis is followed by the 2.0-litre, 281bhp GLB250. Fuel economy ranging from 38 to 47mpg, with CO2 levels of between 137 and 169g/km.

    Diesel buyers can opt for the 2.0-litre four-cylinder as either148bhp and 236lb/ft in the GLB200d, and 187bhp and 295lb/ft in the GLB220d 4Matic. These are good for between 51.3 and 57.6mpg at the pumps, and emit between 137 and 169g/km CO2.


    An optional Off-Road Engineering Package — including hill assistance, Multibeam LED headlamps, and an additional off-road driving mode, which includes a special infotainment display showing gradient, incline angle and technical settings — is available on the 4WD GLB220d 4Matic

    The GLB200 gets a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox as standard, while the GLB250, GLB200d and GLB220d 4Matic benefit from an eight-speed gearbox.

    Mercedes is staying tightlipped for the moment regards AMG versions. It’s likely though that a GLB 35 AMG will follow, perhaps with a full-house GLB 45 AMG later.


    It’s also understood that a four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid variant, featuring an electrified rear axle and a pure electric range that is likely to exceed 31 miles, is under development.

    The GLB’s engine line-up will stick closely to that of the A-Class – although the starting point will be slightly higher to reflect the new model’s additional size and weight. The petrol line-up will include GLB 200 and 250 models, while diesel buyers should be able to choose from 200 d and 220 d versions. All but the entry-level petrol come with an eight-speed dual-clutch auto; the GLB 200 makes do with a seven-speed auto.


    Related: Niki Lauda — 1949-2019

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    Jim McGill


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