Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled its all-new compact crossover SUV, and it’s called the GLB. The GLB-Class shares much of its underpinnings with the A-Class and GLA-Class and is almost the same size as the B-Class. Within the vast Mercedes-Benz family hierarchy, the new GLB will sit right in between the GLA and GLC. The German luxury carmaker had a clear intent while developing the GLB-Class – it had to seat up to seven people. And that’s exactly what they have done. The 2020 GLB-Class can be had with the crowd-favourite third-row.
While several manufacturers claim that their compact crossovers can also seat seven, the last row is often an afterthought. However, that’s not the case with the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class. Mercedes claims that its latest offering can seat two people, each measuring 1.68 metres (or 5 feet 5 inches) in height. Not just that, the German marque has also equipped the third-row with two ISOFIX points, two cup holders, two stowage cubbies and two USB charging sockets, thereby further increasing its versatility. As for its dimensions, the 2020 GLB comes in at 4,634mm in length, 1,834mm in width, and 1,658mm in height, while the distance between the wheels is 2,829mm.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLB’s exterior design draws some inspiration from its larger SUV brethren, namely the GLC and GLE. Its modern yet boxy styling is coupled with soft edges, sleek lines, and a confident stance. The most distinctive elements along the upright front fascia are the taut clamshell bonnet, rectangular LED headlamps with peculiar daytime-runners, large grille, and a sporty bumper with faux vents and a skid plate. Along the sides, the most standout features include the GLB’s short overhangs, squared wheel arches, fashionable multi-spoke alloy rims, protective body cladding, and a unique window line. The flat-ish rear of the new GLB-Class offers a large rear wing, wraparound LED tail lights and a well-executed bumper with neatly-integrated dual exhausts and an air diffuser.
The four-pot petrol mill under the bonnet of the GLB 250 4MATIC is a turbocharged two-litre unit, and it produces 221hp and 350Nm of torque. It uses an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic for transmission duties and can propel this crossover SUV to a top speed of 236 km/h, whilst 100 km/h comes up in 6.9 seconds. The GLB’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive logic usually directs up to 80 per cent of the torque to the front wheel, with the rear ones handling the remaining 20 per cent. However, the GLB can achieve a perfect 50:50 torque split between the front and rear axle, should the going get tricky. Mercedes-Benz says the 250 4MATIC variants can achieve a fuel economy of between 7.2 to 7.4 L/100 km.
Inside, it’s business as usual. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB’s interior looks ultra-modern and sophisticated, with high-quality switchgear and great overall build quality. Adding a cherry on top of this cake is the GLB’s flat-bottom steering wheel, suave turbine-style aircon vents, high-definition dual displays measuring 10.25 inches each, and pleasing fit-and-finish. Some of the most notable gadgets include all-LED headlamps, adaptive suspension, radar-guided cruise control, panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, colour head-up display, navigation system with augmented reality, high-end Burmester surround-sound system, intelligent voice command, mood lighting, massaging seats, and a touch-sensitive infotainment head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Depending on the options you tick at the dealership, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class can be equipped with tonnes of passive and active safety features. Some of these include Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC, and Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR). On top of all that, you still get a plethora of airbags, adaptive anti-lock brakes, electronic stability and traction assist programmes, all-round parking sensors with surround-view cameras, and a total of four ISOFIX points. Internationally, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class will hit showrooms by the end of 2019, after which, it’s bound to make its way to the Middle East as well.