Only recently has Mercedes begun testing body cladding-free GLB prototypes, giving us a better look at this upcoming crossover’s exterior styling. The only thing missing was the interior, most of which is now visible in this latest batch of spy images.
Of course, we can’t even talk about the interior without mentioning the GLB’s overall form factor first. The reason for that being that the crossover’s boxy exterior should also influence interior practicality.
While we have yet to see the GLB without any camouflage on, or at least, from anything resembling a clear angle – our view of that undisguised crash test prototype was partially blocked by other cars – we can obviously tell that Mercedes is looking to maximize practicality in a segment that is often about setting trends and looking sporty.
Initially, it seemed as though the GLB looked a bit like a smaller GLS, but now after seeing the shape of its rear end, we’re not so sure anymore. Its design might be a mix of several other Mercedes models, or perhaps something entirely original.
Either way, the GLB might just end up putting the ‘U’ in SUV, as its styling doesn’t appear to be in any way aggressive or overly modern, something rivals from Audi and BMW need not worry about.
Segment-appropriate bells and whistles
We definitely shouldn’t expect Mercedes to fit the GLB with as much tech as they have their latest CLS for example. However, the former’s cabin still boasts a dual-screen setup like the A-Class, combining a digital instrument cluster with the automaker’s critically acclaimed MBUX infotainment system, which is sharp, snappy and very easy to use, especially with that track pad there.
Meanwhile, design elements include the three circular air vents in the middle of the dashboard, towering over the climate control system – pretty much the same setup as in the previously-mentioned A-Class, with which the GLB will share its architecture.
As for what powertrains could be available for the GLB, we should again look towards the A-Class and its wide range of petrol and diesel options – although the latter will most definitely not make it to the US, unlike any potential electrified version. Also, rumor has it that at least two AMG-powered models could arrive in the form of the GLB 35 and GLB 45.
Mercedes should unveil the GLB towards the end of this year, with sales commencing early 2019.