Wraps come off Mercedes-Benz' latest seven-seater SUV, the GLB. It's based on the same platform as the new A-Class and will slot in between the GLA and GLC.
Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the GLB SUV. As the name suggests, the GLB slots in between the GLA and GLC in Mercedes’ high-riding line-up, albeit the main highlight of the new SUV is that it’s a seven-seater, which should make it an ideal choice for large families with deep pockets.
The GLB is based on the second-gen MFA platform that forms the base for the likes of front-and all-wheel drive Mercedes vehicles such the new A-Class, CLA, GLA and B-Class. In the GLA, the body has been stretched to 4,634mmm, which is only 35mm short than the bigger and more expensive GLC. The wheelbase is 2,829mm, and the GLB will be offered with a 5-seat setup as standard and a 5+2 setup as optional. In the latter, the third-row will be suited for individuals up to 168cm tall, says Mercedes.
On the outside, the GLB doesn’t have a brash or butch SUV proportion – instead, it has an upright and boxy appearance. The front end, however, has a touch of GLC about it, and overall the GLB looks quite handsome, if not attractive or exciting. Inside, the cabin is similar to the A-Class and other MFA siblings, which means the GLB also features Mercedes’ latest MBUX screen, which is split into a digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen infotainment.
At the time of its market launch in global markets, the GLB will be offered in four engine options – two petrol and two diesel. The petrol range will kick off with the GLB 200, featuring a 1.3-litre turbo with a power output of 161bhp and 250Nm of torque. This will come mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The other petrol unit is a 2.0-litre turbo that develops 221bhp and 350Nm of torque and comes paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Both the petrol versions are available only in front-wheel drive configuration.
The diesel range is offered with a 2.0-litre unit in two different tunes. At the entry level, there’s GLB 200d that has a power output of 148bhp, along with a torque of 320Nm. The engine will come mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch. It will be front-wheel driven, but all-wheel drive 4Matic will be optional in this trim. The other variant, the GLB 220d, is rated at 188bhp and 400Nm. This will also come paired to an eight-speed dual clutch transmission, but it’ll have only be offered with all-wheel drive.
The suspension setup of the GLB will feature McPherson suspension struts at the front and a multi-link axle at the back. Adaptive adjustable dampers will be optional, but it doesn’t get air-suspension even as an option.
Unlike its other compact cars, Mercedes will not be producing the GLB in Europe. Instead, it’ll be manufactured in Mexico and China. This means the company will launch the product in Europe by the end of 2019. At the moment, there’s no news if the GLB will make it to our market anytime soon. However, given the fact that it’s a practical seven-seater with SUV credentials, Mercedes-Benz India may plan to bring it here next year.