2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB

The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class was presented yesterday. It will reach dealer showrooms in the USA by the end of this year.

The GLB is a rugger alternative to the GLA. The latter looks more like a high hatchback than a crossover. The wheelbase of the new SUV is 111.4 inches, 5.1 inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz GLA’s, and 1.7 inches shorter than that of the GLC.

The automaker managed to make the vehicle a 7-seater. Two separate third-row seats can be folded down so that they are leveled with the floor. There is a couple of drink holders and a storage space between the seats for rear passengers.

Powertrain

The GLB shares the MFA2 platform with the new A-Class and the refreshed Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Only the GLB 250 and GLB 250 4MATIC variants will be available at launch. They are powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder turbo engine that produces 221 hp 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque.

To accelerate to 60 mph, an all-wheel drive vehicle needs 6.9 seconds. An 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox and front-wheel drive are standard, all-wheel drive is optional.

A plug-in hybrid version will also be offered over time, like the all-electric EQB in 2021.

A warm GLB35 modification has been already tested, so a high-performance GLB45 may also be in development.

The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system comes standard with an Off-Road Engineering Package giving an additional drive program to the GLB’s selectable modes.

Interior, equipment

Inside the Mercedes-Benz GLB is similar to all the latest compact models of Mercedes. It got a pair of 7-inch screens which serve as the instrument and infotainment clusters, respectively.

The brand’s MBUX system with voice control is standard, as well as a set of driver assistance systems, including active braking, crosswind assist and a rear-view camera.

Optional packages include blind spot and parking assists, navigation, large 10.25-inch displays, an upgraded Burmester audio system, a head-up display and others.

Production, sales

The GLB for North America will be assembled at the same plant in Mexico, where the A-Class is produced. Pricing information will be announced closer to market entry.

The compact segment is important for Mercedes. Last year, it accounted for 25% of the brand’s sales, and in 2019 the figure is likely to be higher due to the refresh and expansion of the lineup.

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