Feast your eyes on the new Mercedes-Benz GLB 7-seater SUV
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With all the focus on the upcoming fully electric Mercedes-Benz EQC, you could be forgiven for forgetting about the German marque's other SUV offerings. But, that hasn't stopped Mercedes from adding more vehicles to its already well-stocked SUV line-up, and the latest of these is the 2020 GLB.
The 7-seat-capable SUV was revealed earlier today in Utah, USA, as a family focused entry that slots between the already established GLA and GLC models. It's expected to land before the end of the year.
As mentioned earlier, the GLB has the potential to seat seven (although some models will seat the traditional five. The specifics of this for the Kiwi market will be confirmed at a later date). This despite the brand's decision to position the model within its so-called "global compact car family".
Before anything else, the big thing to note with the relatively big GLB is the size of the wheelbase. This is where interior space hinges, and for the new model Mercedes gave it 2839mm between the wheels.
That's 130mm longer than what you get from the guts of a GLA, and just 43mm shorter than the wheelbase of a GLC.
Styling carries a lot of traditional Mercedes elements, but is blockier and more slab-sided than the GLA and GLC. This might cancel out any sporting pretensions (at least until an AMG version comes out, anyway), but it does at least ensure a larger interior space for occupants as well as improved visibility.
The design itself follows Mercedes' move away from sharp edges and creases. A low belt-line results in the squared-off headlights and taillights being mounted relatively low. Black cladding all round emphasises some kind of go-anywhere do-anything adventure aesthetic, and that's completed by the roof rails up top.
Inside, the GLB continues what our 2018 AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year winner — the A-Class — started. The outright layout is very similar, with familiar panels of metal and textured plastic popping up where you'd expect them to be.
The big A-Class scalp is the presence of the 'Hey Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system. As in the A-Class, it's paired to dual screens that dominate the dashboard.
Naturally, there's plenty of other technology in the GLB too. Adaptive cruise control, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, and Mercedes' Parktronic self-parking tech are all present.
Engine options for the New Zealand market have yet to be confirmed, although it has been announced over in the US that one of the models (the all-wheel drive GLB 250 4MATIC) will come with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine making 164kW at 2200rpm and 350Nm at between 1800rpm and 4000rpm.
Naturally, local pricing hasn't been confirmed either. But, we'll keep our ears pinned to the ground.