Coming soon: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB

  • Small SUV available with seven seats
  • One petrol option and two diesels
  • Prices start at £34,200
Mercedes has taken the wraps off its new compact SUV, the GLB.

As the name suggests, it’s designed to occupy the gap between the GLA and the GLC in Merc’s SUV lineup. It’s built on the same compact car mechanical bits that also underpin the GLA, along with the A-Class, B-Class and CLA, although it’s been extended to give a wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) that’s 10cm longer than in the B-Class.

And despite its modest proportions, the GLB is designed to be offered as both a five-seater and (optionally) as a seven-seater. That goes some way to explaining the upright proportions of the car, as they’re used to maximise practicality. These give the GLB a look that’s very different to the slinkier lines of the GLA and GLC, looking more like the supersized GLS SUV than anything else.
This visual chunkiness, along with the short overhangs and various other touches, certainly make the GLB look like a ‘proper’ off-roader, and it can be specified with four-wheel drive (most regular versions are front-wheel drive, though).

The GLB range features a four-cylinder petrol engine and two diesels, all driven through a twin-clutch automatic gearbox. The petrol is the GLB 200 with its 163-horsepower 1.3-litre engine. Both diesels, meanwhile are 2.0-litre units, the 200d with 150 horsepower and the 220d with 190 horsepower.

Boot space (for the five-seat version) has been given at between 560 litres and 1,755 litres, which is very generous for the class. Anyone who’s recently been near an A-Class or B-Class will also recognise the interior, with a similar design and much of the same technology.

Trim-wise, the entry-level Sport model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, four driving modes to change the character of the car's response, comfort suspension and LED headlights. It also includes a reversing camera, heated front seats and synthetic leather upholstery, as well as keyless entry and start.

The AMG Line models feature 19-inch wheels and a sporty bodykit, while Premium models have ambient lighting inside, automatically folding external mirrors and an upgraded infotainment system, with bigger screens and a more powerful sound system. The top-of-the-range AMG Line Premium Plus model features hi-tech multibeam LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof and extra driving assistance systems.

Prices start at £34,200 OTR for the GLB 200 Sport, and rise to £45,950 for the GLB 200 d AMG Line Premium Plus, which includes seven seats and four-wheel drive. The Mercedes GLB is on sale now, with the first deliveries expected in December.

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