Can you ever have too many SUVs and crossovers? Well, according to Mercedes-Benz, the answer to that question is an unequivocal ‘no’. Not at least when it comes to their lineup, which is soon to expand with yet another offering called the GLB.
Slotting between the GLA and GLC in terms of size, the GLB will appeal to those that find the former not that good off-road (or looking too much like a hatch) and latter too big – think of it as kind of a reincarnated GLK. It’s also been spied for numerous months now wearing curly camouflage, so let’s illustratively look at the real thing.
Stout Exterior Styling
Initial impressions suggest much influence has come from the new G-Class. Frontal styling is dominated by a bluff nose, square-ish headlamps and a smooth, rectangular grille. Given the GLB’s compact footprint, its proportions are suitably upright, and the side DLO (daylight opening area) has an up-kick below the rear quarter glass.
Sheet-metal surfacing has eschewed harder creases in favor of more organic curves. The rear end features horizontal LED taillight clusters and styling that is a mish-mash of several Mercedes-Benz models. AMG versions will be differentiated by bigger wheels and brakes, an aggressive front fascia and signature ‘Panamericana’ grille.
A-Class Accommodation Inside
Much of the cabin is closely related to the A-Class, which has a contemporary blend of cutting-edge technology and a luxurious atmosphere. Familiar cues are the triple turbine air vents, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and console-based trackpad. The large 10.25-inch twin-screen MBUX infotainment setup is packed with many customizable features, displays and augmented-reality satellite navigation.
The GLB sits on the front-wheel/all-wheel drive MFA2 (Modular Front Architecture) platform, which also underpins the A-Class, CLA and B-Class. This bodes well for occupants in terms of space, given its restrained external dimensions. Ride and handling benefit too – however, make no mistake: this is no rock-crawler or track weapon.
Starting out the range (for European markets at least) will be 1.4-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and a 1.5-litre turbodiesel pumping out 114 hp (85 kW). Next up is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing around 190 horsepower and 221 pound-feet (299 Newton-meters) of torque. A plug-in hybrid and a fully electric EQB variant will be offered down the track, too.
For those wanting more oomph, AMG will offer the turbocharged 2.0-litre four from the Mercedes-AMG A35. In this format, it makes 302 horsepower (225 kilowatts) and sends power to all four wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. A mental GLB 45 variant with upwards of 400 hp (289 kW) has also been speculated, but this remains a conjecture until officially confirmed.
Launch Timing & Rivals
Expect the all-new GLB to debut this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show as a MY2020 offering, with sales starting in most markets in the first quarter of 2020.
So, what do you think of the new GLB? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes